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SAJJAN SINGH RANGROOT (Punjabi) - The first War Movie of Punjabi Cinema is largely a winner but needs to be seen with controlled expectations. (Review by Bobby Sing)

25 Mar, 2018 | Movie Reviews / 2018 Releases / ALL ABOUT INSPIRED MOVIES / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / S

Taking you back in the times of pre-independence era of World War I, when Indian soldiers were taken abroad for assisting the British forces, SAJJAN SINGH RANGROOT directed by Pankaj Batra has its visible limitations, but it doesn’t disappoint and turns out be a mostly impressive film satisfying its target audience.
Stating the merits first, it has many wonderful moments of clashes between the Indian and British soldiers in the first half, subtly addressing the crucial ‘religion factor’. Forming the better part of the film, these sequences truly raise the expectations providing the heroic entertainment. The second half begins on a promising note and the war sequences turn out to be fine considering the limited settings. However the crescendo never arises and the performances remain the major highlight of the film with Diljit underplaying it brilliantly and Yograj Singh emoting ‘in control’ not displaying his loud histrionics. The supporting cast assists them both well (introducing another singer-turned-actor Sunanda Sharma) and their collective effort thankfully raises the bar in the final hour.
Technically, the overall look and feel of the film, its locations, art-direction, action and graphics all seem to be more than fine keeping in mind the first attempt being made in Punjab cinema tackling its various constraints. The camerawork and background score delivers, whereas the soundtrack doesn’t come up with any ‘outstanding’ track having a few avoidable songs.
Revealing the downers, the initial sequences move at a slower pace with nothing new and relevant to offer in terms of content, calmly moving towards the main war plot. The proceedings are just fine but the edge of the seat excitement or the promised war-field shocks remain missing. May be the real events fall short of what’s essentially required as drama in an exceptional war film. And that is the reason no goose bumps are felt and you don’t leave the theater with any inflated patriotism or pumped up veins. Moreover inserting a song or going back to a romantic flashback right in between the attack sequences is not what one wishes to see in a war-film.
Returning back to its strengths, it insightfully opens with a sequence showcasing Khalsa-Aid helping the victims in Syria and then a volunteer recalling the various chapters of Sikh history. But if this was included, then it had to be more descriptive (may be towards the end) introducing Ravi Singh and the organization conveying the important message of peace, which strangely remains missing in the film itself.
Anyway, SAJJAN SINGH RANGROOT largely remains a winner and needs to be appreciated as the first mega effort made in Punjabi Cinema. At least it sets a more than decent benchmark and the journey from here onwards has to be better.
(Note : The above review was first posted at UC News Mobile App on 24th March 2018)

Moving further from the review, SAJJAN SINGH RANGROOT is no doubt a worth appreciating first attempt in Punjabi Cinema, but it doesn’t really charge you up with a feeling of patriotism as the group is actually not fighting representing their own country. The fact that the Indian soldiers assisted the British army in their war becoming a decisive force certainly makes you proud, but probably a lot more drama was needed to make it a cinematically engaging script, particularly in the war sequences beginning in the film’s second half. Plus its really sad that our writers and directors still find it tough to make a War Movie without going into the individual backdrops of soldiers, their romances and the ‘so unrequired, foolish’ songs (added right in between the bloody war sequences). 

Besides, a WAR MOVIE cannot and should not remain focused on only one HERO alone, as a war is never fought by any individual. A war film has to give respectable mileage to the team, which more or less remains missing in the film solely focusing on only Diljit Dosanjh.
However, would like to shower my praises for not taking up a ‘too loud, over the top’ path, keeping it subtle and not playing the obvious ‘RELIGION’ card making a typical religious film as many were expecting it to be. The ‘religion-angle’ in the first half is rightly incorporated as per the requirement and it was a relief to see it not being deliberately repeated in the latter part of the film.
In all, this is a brave and an appreciable start setting a benchmark and the next upcoming Punjabi war movies will have to deliver something better in order to get any similar or more encouraging response.
Rating : 3 + 0.5 / 5 (with the additional 0.5 for the makers taking a big appreciable risk)

Tags : Sajjan Singh Rangroot Beyond The Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Sajjan Singh Rangroot Review by Bobby Sing, First War Movie in Punjabi Cinema, Diljit Dosanjh in a War Film
25 Mar 2018 / Comment ( 0 )
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