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Posted at: Oct 16, 2015, 9:37 PM; last updated: Oct 16, 2015, 9:37 PM (IST)MOVIE REVIEW: QISSA PANJAB

Qissa worth recalling

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Qissa worth recalling

Jasmine Singh

Nikos Kazantzakis, a Greek writer known for his novel Zorba The Greek, had an interesting take on reality. The good old man said, ‘since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality!’

As you travel through the cold and dark lanes of Punjabi film Qissa Panjab soaked in reality, there is no way you can turn your eyes away from it! Jatinder Mauhar-directed Qissa Panjab is indeed a praise-worthy effort to come out with the real and existing scenario of Punjab. Who isn’t aware of what the word ‘drugs’ has done to the youth here? 

The film brings out the story of six individuals caught in this menace, in one way or the other. Rather than just throwing in facts, director Jatinder Mauhar has given a contemporary turn to the problem. The screenplay and story written by Uday Pratap Singh needs to be applauded. 

The real effort, however, lies in establishing the six characters, which the director did manage nicely, in the first few minutes of the film itself. The other tough job was to connect the six lives, bring them to a point where their routes criss-crossed each other, which Mauhar has again managed well. Despite this, some characters lack complete conviction. There is no explanation whatsoever for their behaviour. Open-ended stories in cinema are grabbing eye-balls; Qissa Panjab follows suit only to realise that they actually forgot things like giving some end to their characters like that of Deep played by Aman Dhaliwal. Even though every inch of the story is convincing, a dark end and an equally dark treatment somehow takes away all hope about any positive change in the existing scenario. The story, of course, is the hero of the film, all the same, actors like Dheeraj Kumar who plays Heera, Jagjeet Sandhu as Speed, Preet Bhullar as Arjun; Kul Sidhu, who is Kismat, Harashjot Kaur playing Sukhjeet Kaur and Aman Dhaliwal as Deep, have delivered convincing performances. Each of them have justified their characters. 

Dheeraj Kumar as the folk singer Heera manages to stand out, though the director fails to bring out the empathy in this character. Jagjeet Sandhu is another loveable actor in the film. Every inch of his character is soaked in real, something the youngsters of Punjab can relate to. The sultry and pretty actress Kul Sidhu has done a good job of her role, but again the director could have given us some more explanation for her ‘strong ideals’. 

As for the handsome hunk Preet Bhullar, who plays the role of the ‘heavily into drugs’ rich guy Arjun, his character comes across as ‘not-given-much-thought’. His reactions and actions for a person into drugs are pretty placid. Aman Dhaliwal comes with a lot of potential, but the director forgot about him towards the end. We wondered something or the other happened to all the characters, but what about Deep?

Jatinder Mauhar has given Punjabi cinema and the audience a reason to think about the existing state of affairs, one feels really sorry for it but then he doesn’t leave you with any hope of resurrection. All the songs in the film are apt and superb; Jinde Meriye by Nooran Sisters is already the chart-buster. Qissa Panjab does narrate the qissa of existing Punjab in a fairly nice manner, but without leaving us with any hope. Can we change the eyes which see reality; well the director can answer this. Any hope, anywhere?

jasmine@tribunemail.com

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