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AMBARSARIYA (Punjabi) - An absurdly written film with a better first half that keeps trying to be a thriller without leaving the routine path of a comedy. (Review by Bobby Sing)

02 Apr, 2016 | Movie Reviews / 2016 Releases / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / A

We have often seen exceptional actors (unwillingly) getting caught in a ‘specific image format’ in Hindi films. The same is being repeated in Punjabi Cinema at present with Diljit Dosanjh, who is probably the most talented ‘singer turned actor’ of the current times if considered in comparative terms. A gifted performer, who finds himself trapped in the web of ‘mostly comic characters’ given to him as per the audience demand, a pattern that could only be broken once in the past and that too riding on the shoulders of an ever-controversial subject of 1984, touching right there where it hurts.
To be straight, it can either be 84, a social issue based film or a religious subject where the audience wouldn’t mind watching Diljit minus his quick, witty one-liners or naughty smiles. But otherwise a big majority of viewers are just there to enjoy yet another comical act from the man, who has really mastered the art in a short span of time of just 5 years (since JATT & JULIET). Personally I hope with the upcoming UDTA PUNJAB, he somehow manages to come out of this hit-monotonous trap for his own growth, but talking about his latest AMBARSARIYA, Diljit is once again doing the same kind of role, with the similar hilarious dialogues delivered with an impeccable comic timing, offering nothing new or fresh in terms of his individual performance.
Giving you a clear idea, AMBARSARIYA is lot better than (the cursed) MUKHTIAR CHADDHA but a lot less than the fresh & well-crafted SARDAR JI, heavily relying on the tried and tested formula the actor is known for.
So in case you are just interested in some timely entertaining scenes, a few good laughs here and there, a couple of catchy songs, three gorgeous female faces and Diljit in almost every frame of the film enacting a casually written screenplay with an absurdly executed climax you really don’t mind or damn care about, then AMBARSARIYA is just for you and it wouldn’t disappoint as a whole in return of your precious time and money spent in the multiplexes.
However, if you are among those true fans of the actor, who want him to grow, who want him to emerge as a path-breaking flag bearer of Punjabi cinema breaking this set pattern of comedy played like a funny clown, taking extra care about the subject, the writing and the execution of his carefully chosen projects, then AMBARSARIYA would be nothing more than an average-ordinary film, purposefully made to encash the current craze around the name without any polished, skillful direction, based on a script taking its inspirations from more than one sources.
Giving the film its deserving due, it progresses well with a worth praising cinematography and background score enhancing the opening sequences. The ‘official assassin’ twist successfully surprises the viewers without wasting much time and then the investigation of three Manpreet’s keeps them all engaged like a light comic entertainer having some thrilling elements. But sadly it’s the second half that yet again goes back to the same old routine formulas focusing on some unimpressive romantic moments, leading to a badly written and conceived climax that simply ruins the whole impact made by its entertaining first half.
The climax has a sequence of a stage show involving a 10 years old kid holding a real loaded gun, ready to press the trigger. And our hero instead of running and snatching it from his hands, goes on provoking him to fire with some spirited historical references as if the boy is well trained in fire-arms and has done it several times before shooting the people without killing them hitting at the safe spots. Here it seems the scene was specifically written to infuse some cliched patriotism mentioning few historical names, but I honestly couldn’t feel the same, stunned by such amateurish irresponsible implementation on screen involving ‘the star’ himself.
Unlike his earlier films, AMBARSARIYA has Diljit doing everything from 1 to 10 with no great support coming from the rest of the cast, particularly the three girls who sincerely keep trying to act and catch his unmatchable comic timing putting in all they have got. In other words, the film can easily be termed as a lame venture saved by ‘the one man army’ alone that neither has that polished visual appeal nor some competitive writing by the team, utilizing a highly capable subject revolving around an undercover agent. In fact throughout it’s more than two hours of duration AMBARSARIYA literally remains a childish ‘wannabe’ thriller that cannot afford to leave its parallel path of comedy deeply associated with its lead star.
Here would like to mention another serious contradiction I felt while watching a particular scene in the film where a family is eating cakes like some mad, eccentric people and an elderly Sikh person is also there sitting at the back portrayed as a silent-funny character in repeated shots. Now it’s really strange that the Punjabi community really feels offended and insulted, when a similar scene is found in a mainstream Hindi film featuring a big star, but nobody feels the same kind of shame or disgust laughing at such ridiculous comical scenes included in their own Punjabi films for exactly the same purpose. Certainly a point that first needs to be accepted and then deeply contemplated upon, before raising objections and strongly opposing to how others portray Sikh characters on screen in an unacceptable comic manner.
Anyway, coming back to the critique, let me share my own vision, how this project must have been conceived in its initial stages keeping in mind an unusual central character inspired from a successful and well appreciated Hindi film featuring Vidya Balan.
Yes, the film is KAHAANI and you must be remembering the most famous supporting character in it known as BOB BISWAS so subtly played by Saswata Chatterjee, who became so popular post the film that people started calling him Bob instead of his original name.
Now writers often get influenced by a particular famous character of a film or a novel and can intelligently weave a complete script around the same if given a free hand. AMBARSARIYA seems to be a perfect example of the same as its character of Diljit is almost exactly similar to Bob Biswas with a pinch of legitimacy added to it being the lead hero. So here too we have an ‘Insurance Agent’ with a given responsibility to complete his policy targets in the office, who in reality is a secret Raw agent silently eliminating (killing) the terrorists in their hideouts as per the tips given. Just like Bob, he also visits their homes ringing the door bells and then smilingly greets them all with a gun, completing his assigned deadly task like a thorough professional. The only difference being, that here he is not a criminal but an official assassin appointed by Raw (being the Hero of course!)
So writing a whole script around this fascinating character alone (taking some foreign inspirations for the ‘non-disclosure’ of name in the end) we have AMBARSARIYA focusing on a Chief Minister assassination targeted by a terrorist, who is one of the three key suspects (with identical names) being investigated by the Raw agent. Since the film keeps revolving around this secret agent alone right from its first frame to the last, so here we neither have any established actress playing the female lead nor much footage given to the cameos played by three major names of the industry including Gurpreet Ghuggi, Rana Ranbir and Binnu Dhillon along with Karamjit Anmol (the four big names without whom you possibly cannot make a Punjabi comedy film in the present scenario).  But surprisingly both Gurpreet and Rana get only a single individual scene with Diljit followed by another cheaply written sequence around a yoga session.
Among the girls, both Navneet Kaur Dhillion and Monica Gill are just there to add some glamour, whereas the vocally struggling Laureen Gottlieb fails to provide any extra edge to the project playing a ‘badly written’ character. Binnu Dhillon, Gul Panag and Rana Jung Bahadur remain utterly wasted, whereas the child actor tries too hard rendering his thoroughly revised lines stressing at each and every word quite forcibly.  
With only a couple of songs (included in the final edit) composed by Jatinder Shah, AMBARSARIYA also doesn’t have any of those killer tracks that could lift up the film substantially. Plus its visually unpolished look and execution doesn’t deliver a product, as it appeared to be in its appealingly designed poster and a catchy title. In fact, the film has nothing much to do with the city of Amritsar in particular except the beautiful aerial shots showcasing Harmandar Sahib (wrongly or more popularly known as The Golden Temple).
Overall, AMBARSARIYA is yet another typical Diljit Dosanjh film where he doesn’t even take a single step ahead as an actor or a performing artist. He once again does the same without offering anything fresh or novel coming out of his own comfort zone making a deliberate effort and the film fails to rise above those typical Punjabi comedies trying to sell themselves as some well written taut thrillers in disguise.
In straight words, if only witty one liner jokes, repeated taunts and cleverly rendered dialogues is all what you wish to see in a Diljit Dosanjh film, then the choice is all yours. But I am not interested in supporting the same acts again and again like some irresponsible, careless viewer ignoring the known capabilities of the star. So where you might enjoy watching AMBARSARIYA due to your own preferences, I would like to wait, till they deliver something that Punjabi Cinema can be proud of in terms of content and not in terms of some quick crores earned in their initial weekend proudly announced at all social networks.
Rating : 2 / 5
Note : Keeping the spirit of INDIA alive, I loved noticing a Punjabi film titled AMBARSARIYA beginning with the image of MA SARASWATI and the divine symbol of OM in its first few frames………..truly representing the actual spirit of our country, the real INDIA celebrating the equal existence of all……….. with HIS BLESSINGS!

Tags : Ambarsariya (Punjabi) Review by Bobby Sing, Ambarsariya Film Review by Bobby Sing, Punjabi Films Reviews by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema, New Punjabi Films Reviewed by Bobby Sing, Inspired Films.
02 Apr 2016 / Comment ( 0 )
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