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Review Punjabi

Majajan Orchestra review: A predictable exploration of an important social issue

Release Date: 17 Jul 2022

Cinestaan Rating

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Sukhpreet Kahlon

Navneet Kaur Drall’s film leaves much to be desired in this superficial study of the plight of women in orchestra groups.

The Chaupal original Punjabi drama, Majajan Orchestra (2022), starring Kanika Mann, is a film that deals with the women who are part of orchestra groups in Punjab. Directed by Navneet Kaur Drall, the film is written by Rajneet Drall, with the concept by Naresh Singla.

The film explores the story of Manpreet (Kanika Mann), and her journey towards becoming Miss Mahi, a well-known dancer and celebrity. Manpreet is a simple, innocent girl who loves to dance. Her evil stepmother ill-treats her, the stepmother’s brother has his lewd gaze on her, while Manpreet’s father watches helplessly as a mute spectator.

Meanwhile, the owner of an orchestra company, Heera, is looking to hire new talent to boost his bookings. Manpreet is goaded by her boyfriend, Goggi, to join the orchestra and pursue her love for dance. However, all hell breaks loose when her family finds out. 

Hereafter begins Manpreet’s journey as Miss Mahi and we see the travails of women in orchestra groups, the many ways in which they are exploited at every turn and how their attempts at choosing a better life for themselves are thwarted at every step. We are also shown the marginalised status of the dancers in a society that looks down upon them but, at the same time, calls upon them for entertainment. 

Although the social issue-based film makes us aware of the plight of women in orchestra groups, the story and treatment leave much to be desired. From the beginning, the background score is done with a heavy hand, the few moments of comedy are not funny and the plot is quite predictable. This is a story we have seen play out several times.

The women suddenly take charge of their lives after being at the beck and call of their manager for so long and it happens so easily, with Mahi being a kind of sister/mother figure bringing about change, which it seems altogether forced. Furthermore, the dialogue-heavy film relies on Kanika Mann to carry the movie and the supporting cast is largely unimpressive. 

As a film that seeks to explore the struggles and desires of women, Majajan Orchestra fails to flesh out Manpreet’s life suitably. From a meek, exploited girl in her father’s home, we see her fighting battles for other women and standing up to Heera and the men who make money off her.

One wishes that her transformation was made believable instead of being just on the surface, so one could really empathize with her situation and find joy in her victories. It is disappointing to see such unexceptional narratives at a time when stories about women's lives in cinema have progressed by leaps and bounds.

The Punjabi-language feature is available for streaming on Chaupal. 


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