New Delhi, 05 Aug 2022 21:00 IST
Sonam Bajwa dazzles in this tragic love saga with a faltering screenplay.
The Punjabi-language feature Jind Mahi (2022) starring Sonam Bajwa, Ajay Sarkaria and Gurnam Bhullar is a love story with some twists. Directed by Sameer Pannu, with a story by Manmord Singh Sidhu and Sameer Pannu, the film is the story of Lado and Harry.
Lado or Lakhvinder Kaur (Sonam Bajwa) is a happy-go-lucky woman, who loves listening to Punjabi singer Chamkila, riding her motorcycle, and lives pretty much in the moment. She accidentally meets Harry (Ajay Sarkaria) who is her exact opposite. His shoulders are weighed down by life’s many problems and he cannot bring himself to tell his father the truth about his aspirations in life. Moreover, his father wants him to marry Sabreen (Raj Shoker), which pushes him over the edge.
But when Harry meets Lado, it’s like a blast of sunshine comes into his dull, drab life. She enables him to see the brighter things in life and helps him transform. In the midst of all this, Harry falls in love with Lado, but is heartbroken when he finds her with Bhinder (Gurnam Bhullar). Undaunted, he concentrates on him winning her over.
The first half of the film is fun and games with the comedy moving the film along at an even pace. The second half lags in comparison and while one can see that the film aspires to be a memorable tragic romance, its screenplay fails to capture the depth of emotion needed to convey that. However, the witty dialogues by Jatinder Lall deserve special mention, as does the cinematography by Ravi Kumar Sana.
In terms of performances, the film belongs to Sonam Bajwa hands down. She is vivacious, fun, infusing her character with energy and life. Ajay Sarkaria is wooden in his performance, unable to skilfully portray his emotions or match up to Bajwa's performance. Bhullar is passable but desperately needs to improve his doleful dialogue delivery.
There are certain stereotypes that the film panders to and this, unfortunately, cannot be discussed without there being some spoilers ahead. One, is that alcohol can solve most of life’s problems. Thankfully, at least drinking and driving is shown to have horrid consequences.
Second, is a theme that was seen in films like Anand (1971) and later in films like Kal Ho Na Ho (2003), the idea that someone who is luminescent and exuberant must have a terminal illness! One can see this track coming from a mile in this film. But credit where it is due. Jind Mahi tries to move out of that space to try something different. However, it’s attempt remains unsuccessful.
The thing about portraying extraordinary romance is that the love needs to compelling enough for audiences to believe in unconventional possibilities. Jind Mahi lacks that conviction and in the end, becomes just another love story.
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