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AAJA MEXICO CHALLIYE (Punjabi) - A confused version of Amitoj Maan and Sunny Deol's KAAFILA made with noble intentions addressing the youngsters. (Review by Bobby Sing)

04 Mar, 2022 | Just In / ALL ABOUT INSPIRED MOVIES / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / A / Movie Reviews / 2022 Releases

For the last couple of decades, Punjab has been the hub of both legal and illegal immigration through various agencies and fake agents. Most of the youngsters here dream of settling abroad because of their misconceptions and then suffer along with their families when fooled by the cunning agents. Promising them a safe entry into the foreign countries without a direct visa, a chain of agents in different countries use the illegal donkey route (as it is called), smuggling them into those borders before vanishing from the scene. 
Aaja Mexico Challiye thoughtfully brings forward the subject but at the same time follows a confusing vision, as a less impactful version of a Hindi film released around 15 years back.
Explaining the confusion, the film has been made with a fear of non-acceptance by the audience. The makers were not sure whether the viewers would like to watch a meaningful film led by a star or not. Hence, they did two strictly avoidable things, ruining an otherwise appreciable attempt. 
First, they titled the project by taking the phrase from a popular Punjabi song ‘Mexico’ by Karan Aujla, released in 2020. The song’s opening hook line says ‘Pa Lai Koka Ni Baliye, Aaja Mexico Chaliye’. The inspired title took away all the seriousness from the theme, falsely giving it a feel of a light-hearted youthful musical film.
Second, following the same old rotten format of Punjabi cinema, it begins on a comical note with typical background music and maintains that tone in almost the entire first half, yet again hampering the message of its crucial subject. After a while, the awkward one-liners and jokes appear to be deliberately added in order to make it an entertaining film, showcasing the confusion. Even the casting displays the same, with Pakistan’s comic actors roped in for the very purpose, following their success in hits like Chal Mera Putt. 
These two features never let the film leave a hard-hitting impact on the viewers despite its tragedies, a shocking climax, and worth noticing lead performance by Ammy Virk. A couple of songs hold your attention but they also do not have any sustaining effect because of the film going back to its avoidable format, bringing in the comedy.
In all, Aaja Mexico Challiye can only be praised for the team’s courage to take up this subject with noble intentions to guide the youngsters of Punjab, spreading awareness. But I wish this was made with a focused vision without the visible confusion and all that forced comedy.
Coming to the inspiration part, this isn’t any original work exploiting a subject that has never been dealt with before by the Punjabi filmmakers. Amitoj Maan made an exactly similar film titled Kaafila in the year 2007 featuring actors from both Punjabi and Hindi cinema. Targeting a pan India market, the film was made in Hindi and it had a similar story progression of a group of people trying to enter the foreign land through an illegal donkey route.
The project was in news as it also featured Sunny Deol playing an extended special appearance coming in the latter part of the film. As always, the publicity campaign wrongly highlighted his role as a major one, leading to a massive disappointment. But more importantly, it also didn’t work as Sunny Deol surprisingly played a Pakistani officer in the film, post his Gadar success.
Aaja Mexico Challiye is like an unofficial updated version of Kaafila that might appeal to the youngsters not aware of the 2007 film. Though Kaafila is also not any outstanding effort in terms of writing and execution, it still has its focus intact, remaining far ahead of Rakesh Dhawan’s new release. 
On a concluding note, films made on such significant and eye-opener subjects should not try to satisfy all kinds of audiences, incorporating the unrequired elements. Sadly, Aaja Mexico Challiye has been conceived with that kind of mindset and therefore misses the opportunity of being a brave, path-breaking film of the new-age Punjabi Cinema.
Rating : 2.5 / 5
(Released in Theaters)

(Note : Amitoj Maan and Sunny Deol’s KAAFILA was available on YouTube at the time of posting this article.) 

Tags : AAJA MEXICO CHALLIYE (Punjabi) Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Punjabi Films Reviews By Bobby Sing
04 Mar 2022 / Comment ( 0 )
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