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DHARTI (Punjabi Movie Review) : Its RAJNEETI made in Punjabi minus the illegitimate sons and brutal murders, but still can be called a brave and appreciable attempt. (Review By Bobby Sing)
26 Apr, 2011 | Movie Reviews / 2011 Releases / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / D

After many requests to comment upon this latest Punjabi film, I finally got to see it and here I am writing my first review of a Regional (Punjabi) film DHARTI, made with a decent budget and a better vision. Now though the film was not able to make any kind of great impact on me, but still I would like to start with all the merits associated with the film, particularly for all the friends who want to listen only good things about the movie.

The best thing about DHARTI is that it has been made with a completely different mind-set moving away from the usual fixed norms of a Punjabi film. And for this Jimmy Shergil has to be the mastermind, since he comes from a Bollywood background and is also one of the producers of the film, quite thoughtfully. Further looking at the current scenario, I strongly feel Jimmy is the only person who can be instrumental in giving a new direction to the Punjabi Film Industry by starting more such products in the near future with the help of his Mumbai experience and team.

So, very thankfully the film is not even close to anything routine and is a hardcore political thriller, which sticks to its subject throughout and doesn’t allow any useless romantic angles or comedy sequences to come in uninvited. The director and the production designer get full support of their producers having a good budget for them which shows on the screen and leaves an impression. As a rare event, the actors rise above their assigned roles and perform exceptionally well, even when the writers do not give them a solid backing. Lead by Jimmy Shergill and Rahul Dev, the film majorly becomes enjoyable due to their most believable and outstanding polished acts. However I would like to rate Rahul Dev’s performance better than even Jimmy Shergill, due to his remarkable dialogue delivery and the laid back amusing style chosen to enact his role. Prem Chopra as the veteran delivers another great Punjabi act after his “Rocket Singh – The Salesman of the Year”. Binnu Dhillon makes his presence felt but only towards the climax. Ranvijay, the famous Roadies Anchor, looks sharp and charming in his limited scenes. Surveen Chawla softly provides the required glamour touch to the movie as required and Japji Khera fills the second heroine place quietly. So from performances point of view, the director Navaniat Singh surely deserves his praises for extracting the best from almost everyone in the cast, which is not an easy task, especially in a regional film.

But that’s all, as far as merits are concerned and unfortunately I have more flaws to mention about the movie which many may not be willing to read or accept in reality.

1. First of all, I couldn’t understand what the title of the movie meant in context of its storyline. The film has neither got any scene or feeling of patriotism shown anywhere, nor does it talk about the farmers or productivity of the region in any sequence as suggested by the title, DHARTI. So the title misguides the viewer completely.

2. Secondly, in the promos we get to see Jimmy as an Air Force Officer and many shots of him flying in a fighter plane suggesting the theme to be related with war, our country’s pride or similar subjects. But very surprisingly AIR FORCE has nothing to do with the actual concept of the film and it has been added only to have some extra grandeur in the final product and nothing else. So all the viewers who are expecting something great to see, written around a War or Patriotism are sure going to be disappointed.

3. Coming to the main storyline of the film, truly speaking it’s the Hit Hindi Film RAJNEETI made in Punjabi minus the illegitimate sons, brutal murders and sensuous scenes. The writers religiously follow the Prakash Jha film giving it a different ending with a suspense element roped in which fails to impress. So if you have seen RAJNEETI, then this has nothing fresh in store for you as far as its subject or plot is concerned. However, if only DHARTI had released before RAJNEETI, (which I seriously doubt), it surely would have become the talk of the town within days of its hitting the screen on a national scale. But for now it can be called nothing more than a good copy.

4. While watching the movie, I seriously wanted to ask the director many straight forward questions which would have given him a real tough time. For instance, how can a respected, responsible Ace Air Force Officer go on the roads like drunk and sing “Gaddi Modhange, Signal Todhange”? That was quite ridiculous watching on the screen being done by an Air Force Officer along with a young college going boy. Next, if a person gets hit by a truck coming at a great speed, gets thrown into the air with full force and then falls down on the road almost dead……..then how can his turban still stick on his head right till the sequence when he is being taken to the Operation theater in the hospital. Come on, I know it’s a Punjabi film and we are dealing with all Sikh characters here, but at the same time we got to be realistic while shooting such scenes too.

5. Apart from the above, DHARTI has one of the most ridiculous, questionable, bizarre and absurd climaxes ever seen, where a Car hits a truck in its back, loaded with long iron rods which get pierced into the car’s front glass hitting both its driver and his companion. Now in the next scene we are shown that the person sitting on the side seat is having 8 to 10 iron rods gone through his whole body, but at the same time the driver has escaped the rods miraculously, may be because he was the hero as well as the producer of the film in reality. And then the film ends silently with the hero coming on the screen without any major wounds. With this climax, DHARTI gives you a feeling of a film made in 1970s or 80s when the people used to get thrilled watching the hero escaping all bullets and wounds by the grace of GOD. But luckily its 2011 now and the viewers have grown up watching loads of International Stuff regularly on their TV sets.

5. Further all the songs featuring in the film are deliberately inserted and have no melody or lyrical value in them of any sort. And I was really shocked to see that the most likable song, which was all written, performed and arranged perfectly by its makers, was used along with the closing titles of the film in a very silly way. In fact, this very song “Sarkaran” could have been easily used repeatedly in the background throughout the movie. The track undoubtedly would have given new meaning and energy to all those political rallies scenes shown in the film and would have added a solid punch to them, as I can visualise.

6. Talking about the creative look of the movie, I really felt that the way “Dharti” was written in its posters and promotional campaigns could have been much better. Along with that I would also like to mention that the promos and (misguiding) posters of this movie were very loosely made which actually demanded to be designed and conceived with more power and impact telling about the real picture in store for the viewers. But here I also sense as if the producers themselves did not want to reveal their actual movie in the promos as they knew that it was a copy of the already Hit “RAJNEETI”. So they very tactfully made all its promos and posters more around the AIR FORCE stuff and other things, which were not even there in the film in reality. So in short they tried to fool the viewers by presenting many different kind of promos giving it a patriotic feel as suggested by its title DHARTI.

7. Lastly the biggest flaw of the film is related with the casting of Ranvijay Singh in the movie in a very underwritten and unimportant role. Roping Ranvijay in a Punjabi film in the role of a College Students Union leader was a real ace in the hands of the director. But I really felt sorry both for the makers as well as for the actor when I saw the kind of treatment given to Ranvijay Singh in a side role having no importance at all in the script. That really made me doubt the intentions of the makers regarding Ranvijay’s appearance in the film. Now, what I feel is that either his role was cut to make any other person look stronger on the screen or he had some problems with the makers which resulted in his fewer scenes in the movie in the end. Whatever may be the case, it is a loss both for the producers and the viewers to see Ranvijay Singh missing the action on the screen in such a wasteful way.

Summing up, I can only say that DHARTI is undoubtedly a brave and much needed, out of the routine attempt made in the PUNJABI FILM INDUSTRY. But I seriously wish it had an original script of its own and was not a copy of RAJNEETI. The film has too many flaws in it to be called as something exceptional. But still it’s a welcome change in Punjab, making way for something more fresh, innovative and original to be made in the near future.

Ratings : 2.5 / 5


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26 Apr 2011 / Comments ( 11 )
akshay sharma

agree but hve a lineant opinion..u focused to small points..
hve a look at ths http://akshay-s-page.blogspot.com/2011/04/dharti-spare-this-from-criticism.html

Bobby Sing

Hi Akshay,
As you said, I went through your post and am Sorry to say that there is no review there of DHARTI, but only a Defensive post to save the movie from Criticism.

For me Cinema is cinema, be it regional or national..............so I cant go soft on it just taking it as a Punjabi film. Morever if you are making a film with a descent budget exceeding 5 crores as you said then you are not making a regional movie.....you are then gone into the mainstream cinema.

Punjabi Cinema still has many hurdles to cross and those hurdles first exists in its PUNJAB itself.......

Cheers!

HIS BLESSINGS

akshay sharma

for sure i didnt review it...
i hve given up doing that since it wont help films improve especially in pnjb...
films like mel kara de rabba or even dharti might hve done well, but still we need mre audiences for pnjabi films..audiences out of the student bound...
Film reviews are supposed to guide us the best pick out of several releases on a weekend..reviews are not meant to ask people not to go for a film in an industry where films exist once in 2 mnths..so criticism can wait fr punjabi films..
anyway how nice to meet one mre movie lover...all the best.!

Bobby Sing

Hi Akshay,

No Creative Expression of any kind can grow without good criticism. So if you think Punjabi Films would grow up on their own without any harsh, bold and innovative steps taken, then you would have to give a major chunk of your life to see it happening.

Anyway that was my personal opinion........Thanks for writing in and if possible do read more articles on this site devoted to the love of cinema.

Thanks

tiger
good to see a punjabi movie with direction, acting, music and songs at par with the best of bolywood. You do an injustice in saying this is rajneeti in punjabi. It is a copy only as mvch as rajneeti was a copy of godfather. Also in bolywood we are used to heroines changing clothes 20 times in a song and to rajnikant being what he is so how improbable is a an ace fighter pilot driving his car in such a manner that he is able ato kill his copassenger without hurting himself.

Bobby Sing

Hi Tiger,
Yes, its indeed a good effort as compared to the previous works of Punjabi Industry.
But this cannot be taken as a justification that the film from which we have copied is itself a copy so why not.

Rest I respect your opnion and welcome you at my site too.

Cheers!
HIS BLESSINGS

 
JATT
You all are taking it too seriously. If an average film with punjab's cinema still growing. I can say its just as average and accepted by the media as compared to movies in Bollywood. Too critical. Looking at all the nitty and griddy aspects to degrade the film.
Bobby Sing

Hi Jatt,
It seems that you have read my first review here. In that case I would like to introduce myself as a person who believes in appreciating cinema in its best form and quality without any bias and preferences. 

And I cannot support any particular movie or project just because it happens to be of my known or of one of my favourite actors.

I normally dont review Punjabi films for the reason that we still are not able to take criticism very positivley. And this review of DHARTI was done on the request of many friends.

I respect everybody's opinion and have also praised the film for its big effort.....but rest its your own will to take it as you wish.....and thanks for your valuable comments.

However, if you are a lover of cinema then do spend more time at the site and give it a try......

Thanks

ARK

If we want to our (punjabi) cinema 2 get respected recognition internationally then we need good creative movies, not like dharti a copied n boring bogus storyline, stereotype of air force officer, n taking a mumbai's has been (loser) actor jimmy shergill not gonna make any sorta impact or create respect 4 our beloved punjabi industry.

4 instance just c that how bhaiya movies (bhojpuri) r expanding n big shot actors like Amitabh 2 Ajay Devgun n etc. are acting in their movies; where as in our industry we only have bollywood rejects or anymore nobodies like jimmy, that sucks, after watching trailer of dharti I thought it would be a spectacular movie but my hopes shattered into tears as I was unable 2 bear movie after 10 or 20 minutes, jimmy's acting was pathetic, Air force officer don't sing n dance in streets with college students n talk trash like he said "budha" to herione referring about her father.

Few dialogues were okay n songs were okay too but completely mismatch with the context of d movie, only senseless morons can make n watch this movie, when punjabi industry gonna rise, it is a big shame in d name of cinema, misleading trailer n songs created hypes but in fact this movie even don't deserve 2 get attention... truth is bitter but better 4 improvement....

John Saggu

Hi Bobby,
I have read all the reviews which you have posted for almost all the movies and I too go for the movies after having a quick reviews for the same. But the harsh reviews which you have showed are not accepted by us. The movie indeed was a new concept and need to be admired instead of Negativity for the subject. It was indeed a copy of Rajneeti but from my point of view it was a step ahead in the Punjabi Film Industry. Jimmy, Ranvijay and other Co- actors have acted well and are the new face for the Punjabi Film industry.

Rest respect brother. Take care and Satshriakal

Bobby Sing

Hi John,
Here everyone is free to have is own opinion and your viewpoint is also taken with due respect.
Rest as said earlier Punjabi Cinema has to cross many other hurdles before reaching any sort of mark and those hurdles are not at all about anything related to Cinematic values in it.

Anyway Keep Visiting and writing in.

Cheers!
HIS BLESSINGS

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