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MANJE BISTRE (Punjabi) - It seems Punjabi Cinema is now stuck with period dramas focusing on a 'Vyah Wala Ghar' as their latest repetitive obsession. (Review By Bobby Sing)

15 Apr, 2017 | Movie Reviews / 2017 Releases

Post the thought provoking, experimental debut as a writer-director in ARDAAS (2016), I was really interested to see what would be the second venture of the team Gippy Grewal, Baljit Singh Deo, Gurpreet Ghuggi and Rana Ranbir together, since ARDAAS showed the glimpses of a rare courage in Punjabi Cinema to present something different and meaningful taking a big risk.

Unfortunately, shattering all expectations of watching something novel and better from the talented team, MANJE BISTRE sadly displays the typical routine mindset of ‘blindly going with the trend’, taking the minimum risk possible in commercial terms.
So forgetting all the courage and spirit shown in their first project, the team chooses the safest, tried and tested path of a light comic film woven around traditional wedding celebrations taking you back in time (in the 90s), following the latest trend in Punjabi Cinema post the success of ANGREJ, BAMBUKAAT and also NIKKA ZAILDAAR.
In other words, avoiding the risk of rejection and playing it pretty safe, Gipyy Grewal (as writer-actor-producer), Baljit Singh Deo (as cinematographer-director) and Rana Ranbir (penning the dialogues) together deliver a product which is nothing but a bunch of light hearted comic sequences, double meaning dialogues, a few over-the-top funny characters, a couple of catchy songs and the usual romantic drama without any basic storyline or plot giving you the exact picture. In fact it’s exactly how Karan Johar productions keep on making shallow romantic products with two young STAR FACES in the lead and one or two good songs having the minimum chances of failure in the first 5 days of its release (who cares about the rest?).
Beginning with a forced and annoying comic background score in its very first scenes, the film goes on and on for 30 minutes, then interval and even 100 minutes before a wafer thin twist is there which cannot even be called as a story-plot. Further concluding on a predictable happy note missing any solid punch, the only merit of the film is that it doesn’t bore you and keeps moving at a constant pace revolving around a group of characters staying in the same spacious home for a wedding, with Sonam Bajwa shining bright in her traditional attires having the most pleasant screen presence of them all.
Apart from a fine lead act by Gippy and strictly typecast acts of Rana Ranbir, Sardar Sohi, Anita Devgan, Hobby Dhaliwal and more, MANJE BISTRE wastes the veterans Gurpreet Ghuggi and B.N. Sharma in their short cameos, whereas Karmajit Anmol thankfully delivers as an old mischievous halwai teasing everyone around.
For friends looking at it as a Punjabi version of Rajshri films like HUM AAPKE HAIN KAUN, the film is not even close to that, as HAHK had a rock solid emotional plot revealed in its second half. Whereas in MANJE BISTRE you keep on waiting for the plot and it soon reaches the climax without even caring about the same in a weird manner.
Overall, I would not call MANJE BISTRE a bad film, as for many it might provide a simple time pass entertainment during their weekend outings. But I would personally like to call it a highly disappointing film……. as such strictly clichéd, routine and flat kind of project was certainly not expected from the team behind the impressive and respectable ARDAAS.
Putting it bluntly, if a successful and capable team also fearfully comes up with a MANJE BISTRE post a film like ARDAAS……….., then its certainly worrying for Punjabi language and its cinema in progressive terms.
Rating : 2 / 5
An important afterthought on portrayal of SIKH on screen in the present.
The scenario in Punjabi Cinema has completely changed in the last couple of years post the success achieved by Diljit Dosanjh in particular, taking ‘the turban’ to Bollywood camps gaining much respect and praise breaking the demoralizing norm. As a result, the turban is now being followed as a trend, lot more than a cultural or religious identity to be straight.
If truth be told, had this film been made some 3-4 years back then you would have seen Gippy in his original look of a clean shaven hero for sure enacting the same role (similar to his pop songs). But since ‘the turban’ is the new in-thing, so he is here with ‘a fake pagdi and beard’ just to encash the ongoing trend more than anything else.
Interestingly, the present scenario reveals another strange irony faced by Punjabi community and their cinema, when their own Punjabi icons from Punjab itself now have to wear fake turbans and beards to play Sikhs on screen, whereas earlier there used to be objections on Bollywood heroes and comedians exactly faking the same in their Hindi films.
No doubt perceptions change with the changes in time and trend for the obvious reasons.

Tags : Manje Bistre Punjabi Movie Review by Bobby Sing, Manje Bistre Film Review by Bobby Sing, New Punjabi Film Reviews by Bobby Sing, Punjabi Cinema Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com
15 Apr 2017 / Comment ( 0 )
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