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JATT & JULIET (Punjabi) - Punjabi Cinema at last gets mature & breaks its decades old shell with this enjoyable romantic comedy. (Review By Bobby Sing)

10 Jul, 2012 | Movie Reviews / 2012 Releases / Indian Regional language Gems (Other Than Hindi)

Before writing about this pleasant surprise, I would first like to mention a few details about the history of Punjabi Cinema and why I had lost my interest in their products in the last few decades.

If we take into account the years before the arrival of new millennium (before 2000) then Punjabi Cinema more or less revolved around only 4 major plots as given below.
1. Devotional Films talking about the Guru’s grace.
2. Historical stories based on Folk Tales & Famous Characters.
3. Films made around the plot of family rivalry, caste divisions and Revenge.
4. Love Stories written around the same ages plot of rivalry between families, villages or misconceptions created by some negative characters along with some comedy subjects.
So whatever may be the title of the project, it had to move towards one of the above mentioned plots sooner or later which resulted in the fall of Punjabi Cinema in the last few decades of the 20th century. Only once in a while there used to be a film which could manage to come out of this normal pattern of film-making followed by the small Industry like Chann Pardesi (1980), Jeeja Saali (1985), Marhi Da Deeva (1989), Mahaul Theek Hai (1999) & Shaheed-e-Mohabbat Boota Singh (1999).
With the country’s progress in the 90s, things started to move towards the better in technical terms (post 2000)but then again two fresh subjects got discovered to become the new fixed pattern of film making in Punjab which actually hindered the progress of Punjabi Cinema once again.
1. Firstly almost everyone started making films made on the subject of Passion for the Foreign Land, moving abroad, marriages abroad, love couple caught between countries and differences in the cultures of East & West.
2. And Secondly, a new wave of Sikhism was seen all over which was just interested in saying “Proud to be a Punjabi or Sikh” loudly in their films and nothing else. (which was eventually also followed by the Hindi Cinema with “Singh Is King”)
Along with this a new trend of Singers turning into Actors took over the complete Punjabi Cinema in an unstoppable manner which even got appreciated by the masses in a big way. Now obviously every singer cannot be an equally talented actor like the veteran Gurdas Mann, hence the quality of films specially written and made around these singer-turned-actors gave rise to many below average movies which repeatedly hampered the image of Punjabi Cinema. And that was the reason Why I simply lost interest in the movies made in my mother language?
However, last two years saw a significant change in this section of Indian Regional Cinema when the makers started adapting some new subjects for their Punjabi movies, as an attempt to break the ages old pattern. One of the key films representing this welcome change was Jimmy Shergil’s Dharti (2011), which certainly became an inspiration for the Industry to make a real breakthrough. Hence with few noticeable successes at the box office, it became evident that the same questionable generation of “Singer turned Actors” has now eventually learned the art from their earlier amateurish performances and have become serious to put up a good show on the screen too. Following the new trend, a technically brilliant film titled Mirza got released in 2012, which had a great initial at the box office but still had the avoidable traces of the same old rotten patterns of Punjabi movies. In other words, various attempts were being made from all corners to break this decades old self created shell of Punjabi Cinema but no particular film was able to make a Final Crossover into the new horizon.
Thankfully JATT & JULIET is here to be the first flag bearer of this new entertaining path proudly discovered for all the film-makers of Punjab. The movie is here to teach them that Punjabi Movies can also be made rising above or leaving behind all the old repeated patterns, finally breaking the shell which was really becoming unbearable now for the viewers.
And here are my reasons why JATT & JULIET successfully manages to jump out of this shell, surpassing all the previous hurdles experienced by the Punjabi film-makers:
1. The film never makes you realize that it’s a Punjabi or regional project at all. There is no loud villain bashing or forced in fight sequences to show some body power in the film. It straight away starts off with its subject and comes to the point right away without any un-necessary build-ups of Punjab or its culture.
2. J&J is never interested to go in the avoidable area of REGION & RELIGION. It is simply not interested in shouting “Proud to be Punjabi or Singh” or showcasing the supremacy of Punjabi’s in the usual repeated manner and thus comes out to be a pure CINEMA interested in its storytelling and nothing else.
3. The script never tries to take help from any Bhangra or Giddha number showing the Cultural Heritage of Punjab which has now started to lose the actual enigma due to its repeated usage on screen. And that was really a great relief honestly.
4. The comedy tracks in the film are not something running parallel to the actual plot as usually done in Punjabi Cinema. But they are beautifully merged with the storyline written around its main characters which enhances their overall impact hugely.
5. There is no over the top projection of the Sikh Hero in the film as normally followed by the Punjabi directors to encash the Popular Singer image of their Hero. Instead here, there is not a single scene emphasizing on the On-Stage Singer Image of its hero Diljit Singh Dosanjh, which in my opinion was the most intelligent step taken by the director. In the film, Diljit starts off as a common man and ends it also being the same with no excessive gimmicks to give him a larger than life image.
6. JATT & JULIET has probably got the most focused script of Punjabi Cinema till date with no unwanted additional tracks running along the basic storyline (which is a norm in Punjab), no extra characters to pull in some more crowds and no bonus songs to ruin its engrossing pace.
7. It also has got the best dialogues written in the recent decade, which don’t become abusive at all, do not make any objectionable comments on any person or section of the society and yet remain highly entertaining with some superb one liners delivered terrifically by the entire cast.
8. Together it’s a fantastic show put by the team wherein they are only interested in entertaining the audience with a continuous quality flow which never drops anywhere in its narration, never gets too emotional and never gets dragged rasing its standard much above the routine stuff.
Coming to the most important merit of the film, its execution by director Anurag Singh, I would like to reveal that JATT & JULIET is based on a completely predictable and one line story plot which we have earlier seen several times in many Hindi films like HUM TUM. In short, the story is just about a boy and a girl who meet in a foreign country, start hating each other, then fall in love and that’s it. Now how Anurag & his writer (Dheeraj Rattan) handle this one line story is simply exceptional and they both deserve all the praises being received undoubtedly.
Though post intermission one does feel a little repetitive but even then the film doesn’t put you off and keeps you entertained right till the end with the big house climax sequence which again has been handled really well. The whole project works just because of its script, direction and fantastic performances from the lead pair who are surely going to surprise many, both in the viewers as well as in the Industry. Diljit in his new comic avatar is not only charming and entertaining but with J&J he loudly declares that yes he has learned the art of acting too along with music. He single handedly leads the film from the first frame to the last and one cannot stop falling in love with his screen presence which simply has been the best so far in this new millennium.
Neeru Bajwa, as the beautiful leading lady can also easily rate this movie as her best till date without any doubts. She perfectly supports and compliments Diljit in all the lighter moments and they both form a great entertaining couple together on the screen. The comedy tracks again are well enacted by B. N. Sharma, Rana Ranbir, Jaswinder Bhalla and Upasana Singh. Talking realistically, its not easy to keep the viewers smiling & laughing throughout 2 hours of a film without any break. Now the fact that Diljit, his director and their team successfully manage this with such an ease is nothing less than a milestone achievement made in Punjabi Cinema.
Along with a fine Cinematography & Background score, the pace of the film remains steady and consistent due to its crisp editing which surely deserves an appreciable mention here. And so does its well composed hit tracks such as “Pooja Kiven Aen”, “Fatto”, “Hi-Fi Juliet”, “Bachaa Ho Gaya" and “Challi Vangran Judai” wonderfully sung by Sukhwinder Singh. In all, with JATT & JULIET, Punjabi Cinema at last gets mature, breaks its decades old shell and enters a new phase which hopefully would give us many such enjoyable gems in the coming future.
But it still has to shed off its one old shameful topping which continues in this latest venture too and that’s practicing racism on the screen targeting within the community itself. Sadly JATT & JULIET also features a comedy track once again revealing the almost century old tussle between the JATT & BHAAPA community which as I see, remains a Big Black Spot on the rich culture of Punjab & Punjabi Cinema.
Had this one unfortunate track not been there in the film, it was an almost perfect film for me and a must see for every movie lover (understanding the language) living in cities, villages or abroad. But lets hope that with time and coming generation supporting the new age thought, the community will soon get over this one curse too both in its life and in its cinema.
Rating : 3.5 / 5  (It mainly loses points only due to its predictable, repetitive plot and that one avoidable track supporting racism within the community itself)

Tags : Jatt & Juliet Movie Review By Bobby Sing, Jatt & Juliet Review, J&J Review By Bobby Sing, Punjabi Film Reviews by Bobby Sing, Jatt & Juliet Diljit Singh Dosanjh, Neeru Bajwa, Punjabi Cinema breaks its decades old shell, Punjabi Movies Reviews, New Punjabi Movies Released Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Punjabi Cinema Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com
10 Jul 2012 / Comment ( 2 )
sandeep pawar

Hiiii Bobby,
Aapke article follow karta hoon. mujhe aapse ye kehna hai ki plz parllel cinema of 80\'s era par ek article likhe...like mirnal sen,shyam benegal,sai paranjpe,govind nihlani,saeed akhter mirza, gautam ghosh...yahan tak ki main basu da aur hrishikesh mukherjee ko bhi is category ka manta hoon kyunki in dono ne hi middle class society ko bahut khoobsurat way mein dikhaya hai jaise bbm,golmaal,choti si baat...i like that kind of cinema...

Bobby Sing

Hi Sandeep,,
Thanks for reading and following my works here.
I will sure try to write something about this soon but frankly I cannot write deliberately so cant promise the time.
However till then you can read all about these movies as short paras written in the "Movies To See Before You Die" section as most of the movies are rightly featured there.

Once again Thanks for writing in and keep visiting,

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