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BHALWAN SINGH (Punjabi) - An unconvincing and convenient period drama with decent lead performances. (Review by Bobby Sing)

31 Oct, 2017 | Movie Reviews / 2017 Releases

A plot revolving around an underdog transforming into a completely different persona always has a little more chances of winning over the audience establishing an instant connect. However just a well-chosen plot alone isn’t capable of resulting in any great entertaining film, lacking an equally important script and a polished execution.
Perfectly representing the case, BHALWAN SINGH is the latest Punjabi release wherein writer-director Param Shiv rightly chooses his subject but remains unable to present it as an entertaining underdog film exploiting the potential plot. Shiv extracts good performances from his cast but falters in his onscreen presentation and narration, especially as a period drama film made in a limited budget not exactly justifying its conceptual requirements.
Moreover whether it was a confused vision or some kind of external pressure, the film constantly keeps trying to be both a comedy as well as an intense period drama together, satisfying none of the two genres in any appreciable manner.

The posters of the film suggested a complete laugh riot focusing on a man having a weak physique or body ironically known as Bhalwan Singh. But that element never gets highlighted in any entertaining or engaging manner in the entire film. The humour works occasionally in its first half but also looks like all forced, severely affecting the drama too, which doesn’t turn out to be as powerful as it should have been dealing with the Britishers.

Having said that, one cannot complaint about the performers here, since they do well in their assigned roles, particularly Ranjit Bawa playing the lead and Navpreet Bangaas the bold, fighter girl as Bhalwan’s love interest. But at the same time, it’s awful to see Manav Vij given nothing to do post his grand entry and Karamjit Anmol simply added to generate some timely laughter as 'the friend' following the typical routine. In fact that is how a trend literally kills such exceptionally outstanding actors trapped in all similar roles.

A conveniently made period film set in the pre-independence era, BHALWAN SINGH hasn’t got any exceptional song in its soundtrack despite the presence of a leading singer in the cast. Plus here too we have the same issue of our present Hindi cinema, of having great lyrics but not so great melodies rightly complimenting the meaningful poetry.
In all BHALWAN SINGH is an unconvincing film that was probably made blindly following the present trend in Punjabi Cinema of making ‘Period Films’. The project would have been a lot better if the same plot of an underdog was presented in the present times without going into the pre-independence era unnecessary just for the sake of it.
Besides the biggest problem of a period drama dealing with the Britishers is the actors enacting those roles, as most of the times they turn out to be terribly fake both in their appearances and accent, turning an otherwise decent film into a poor, laughable one. Unfortunately that’s exactly what we get to experience in this film too, in its key sequences featuring the Englishmen.
Overall, BHALWAN SINGH can easily be rated as a casually made pre-independence period drama that keeps trying to be a comedy ruining its own potential.
Rating : 2 / 5
(The article also got featured in UC-News Mobile App in October 2017)


Shared below are views - Beyond the initial write-up with more interesting insights.
Punjabi cinema has been struggling in terms of limited choice of genres since many years. But now the latest obstacle in its progress is the blind trend of making ‘Period Dramas’, when the budget happens to be the most crucial element in Punjabi filmmaking in the present. 
So they first decide to make a period drama solely for the sake of encashing the trend and then hugely compromise in its onscreen presentation resulting in a visibly mediocre film, not capable of doing any kind of justice to its otherwise interesting plot or subject. In addition, forcibly incorporating comedy into all kind of scripts remains another fearful feature of Punjabi films which can clearly be seen in the latest BHALWAN SINGH throughout its 2 hours of duration ruining a potential plot.
In short, BHALWAN SINGH is another of those casually made (low-budget) period dramas that have the actors portraying the Englishmen as their most disappointing component hampering the entire film.

Tags : Bhalwan Singh (Punjabi) Review By Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Punjabi Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, Punjabi Cinema Articles by Bobby Sing
31 Oct 2017 / Comment ( 0 )
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