Will it, or will it not…the year 2014 is almost over, and it is still dwelling over the fact—will the Punjabi film industry complete the relay race, or it will fall flat, never to get up again.
Having said this, if we were to flash back, this year wasn’t great for the industry. In fact, it only managed to keep going due to some reasonably good films, which definitely deserve a mention. Punjab 1984, Jatt James Bond and Chaar Sahibzaade, these three films gave the industry the much needed hope and support to run a little more. Director Anurag Singh, Rohit Jugraj and Harry Baweja definitely deserve a round of applause. Where Punjab 1984 touched the soul, Chaar Sahibzaade beautifully depicted a chapter of Sikh History, while Jatt James Bond gave us much thrill and excitement sans the regular brand of humour.
Coming down, a good number of films which were much hyped due to their star cast, could barely last for a week in theatres. Mere Yaar Kaminey, Kirpaan, Ishq Brandy, Marriage Da Garriage, Myself Ghaint, Mundeyan Ton Bach Key Rahin, Dil Vil Pyar Vyar, Rambo Ranjha, Yaaran Da Katchup, Happy Go Lucky, Proper Patola, to name a few, did the damage to the industry (there were many others).
Most of these films had a must-watch-out star-cast of renowned singer-actors but neither could they sing nor act. Not only the singer-actors, this year the directors and script writers also did their share of damage. Some directors like Amrik Gill, Amit Prasher and Navniat Singh whom the industry was hopeful about, actually drowned their projects with their mis-direction.
If the industry and Bollywood went ga ga over Punjab 1984, many other films close to this topic like Rajeev Sharma’s 84-47 was a fiasco.
This year, however, gave us a surprise element in the form of films that actually did fairly well at the box office. Amrinder Gill starrer Goreyan Nu Daffa Karo was a remarkably well made film that brought Amrinder Gill in the limelight again. Mr and Mrs 420 was another film, which probably did not set the cash registers ringing, managed to tickle the funny bone of the audience to an extent. The film worked as the debut ground for the rising singers Jassi Gill and Babbal Rai.
Again a much-hyped film, Disco Singh starring Jimmy Shergill and Surveen Chawla, came and went. Whereas on one hand, the popular duo of Anurag Singh and Diljit Dosanjh changed the history of Punjabi cinema with Punjab 1984, they could not do the same with Disco Singh. Falling in line, Manmohan Singh directed Aa Gaye Munde UK De but could not create any ripples at the box office. The same thing happened with Gippy Grewal and Dharamendra-starrer Double Di Trouble.
One good trend in 2014 was that we got to see films with some interesting storylines. The directors experimented with films like Fateh, Arshoo, Yodha, Baaz, Patiala Dreamz. Though these films didn’t do well at the BO, they were, at least, different from the comedy that ruled the industry for some time.
This year was not a very bright year for Punjabi cinema. However, with some fresh faces from Bollywood taking to directing Punjabi films, we might have something good to look up to…2015 isn’t, after all, far!
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