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SON OF MANJEET SINGH (Punjabi) - A brave, meaningful remake conceived in a vague, defensive mode. (Review by Bobby Sing)

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

Beginning with the much deserving appreciation, SON OF MANJEET SINGH is indeed a brave project in the present dicey scenario of Punjabi Cinema where the audience is not known to support such meaningful films in the theaters. So the producers (including the famous Kapil Sharma) still backing the project as an official remake of an acclaimed Marathi film certainly needs to be supported and praised as a valuable effort.

However, just noble intentions alone cannot result in a well-made worthy movie since it actually more depends upon how the creative team conceives it in its writing as well as execution focusing on the crucial things. Unfortunately in the case of SON OF MANJEET SINGH, where the attempt remains appreciable, the film doesn’t turn out to be the same remaining just average in its conception, made in a quite vague and defensive mode. Would like to explain the thought in two sections ahead, as a standalone film and as a remake, giving you the exact picture.

As A Standalone Film

Directed by the debutant Vikram Grover, focusing on one of the most decisive conflict in our new-age families, SON OF MANJEET SINGH rightly questions our present education system, the functioning of private schools and the confusing parenting at homes, resulting in a big chaos for the youngsters willing to follow their inner passion. 
The direction mostly remains confident along with some well-written dialogues and an emotional track, but the film honestly gets rescued by its talented performers led by the dependable Gurpreet Ghuggi (as the father) and the young Damanpreet Singh (as the son) together excelling in the film’s major heart-touching moments. The supporting cast also makes a valuable contribution led by Tania, Karamjit Anmol and B. N. Sharma, whereas the rest more or less look like caricatures doing the same seen before things in a routine manner.
In clear words, SON OF MANJEET SINGH falters the most in its writing and story progression which is completely vague as well as defensive lacking the desired impact. As I see it, this is a film made with a scared and indecisive mindset wherein at one end the makers wished to make a meaningful, path-breaking film for the Punjabi cinema. But on the other, couldn’t find the courage to make it in a highly realistic manner fearing a box office rejection.
As a result, we even get to see a typical, suggestive Item Dance number with lyrics as “Bujha Do Battiyan, Ghund Billo Ne Chakk Ta” in a film that is supposed to be made for the school students and their parents, watching it together. Now what kind of mindset can include such a song in this film is frankly out of my understanding.
Further, the writing portrays the school as a den of demons/villains and teachers as mere jokers with not a single sensible one among them all behaving like creeps. Yes the problem is evidently there in the functioning of these institutions and their teachers too, but the way the film projects them as completely negative characters reveals the casual attitude with which it was written and conceived.
The other major problem in the execution is that it doesn’t come up with any solid reasoning and logic in the father’s revolt and his talks with the Chief Minister again written in a laid-back, unconcerned manner. Being specific, neither the complainant gives any kind of solution or ideas from his side nor the minister offers any and they both conclude the talks just like that. Hence the issue of education system in its script gets presented in a very unbalanced and illogical way just for the sake of it. 
Besides, the film is full of many seen before clichéd sequences that remain completely predictable till the end, casually bringing in the World Cup telecast of 2011, ending in a simplistic, monotonous manner.
Lastly, I couldn’t get the title as SON OF MANJEET SINGH when the film was all about MANJEET SINGH and not his son, who is not even there in the film post the initial 40 minutes. The narration remains entirely focused on Manjeet Singh till the climax pointing towards a deceiving title, more or less led by the condemnable Star-System.
In fact the title clearly conveys the huge difference between the vision of the original Marathi film and its remake in Punjabi. To give you the fact, the Marathi film’s title neither talks about the father nor the son. It is kept as SHIKSHANACHA AAICHA GHO which loosely means “Damn The Education System” including words that were also objected as abusive by the authorities. 
In short, SON OF MANJEET SINGH thankfully works in terms of the effort made, subject chosen and the performances rightly establishing an emotional connect. But the film majorly falters in the writing, reducing it to just an average project with a message, missing a great opportunity.

As A Remake of The Much Focused Marathi film
An official remake of SHIKSHANACHA AAICHA GHO (Marathi/2010) (have already explained the meaning of its title), the film directed by Mahesh Manjrekar was well appreciated by both the critics as well as the viewers supporting the thoughtful attempt. 
However, here the interesting point is that despite being an official remake, SON OF MANJEET SINGH does not follow the exact scene progression of the original and goes on making many major ‘not so thoughtful insertions’ of its own in the script, resulting in a comparatively different film far less impactful than the Marathi hit.

(*Spoilers Ahead)
Revealing the major deviations which actually make a huge difference to the overall concern raised for the present education system, the Marathi film surprisingly begins with the father buying new Sports shoes for his son reaching the cricket ground. So the father here is not completely against the sport, but is more worried about the school studies of his son and his future ahead. Indeed more realistic and relatable than the father in the Punjabi remake.
Yes, the Marathi film too has its minor issues in the sequence of visiting the Chief Minister, but it truly remains more real in its conception, as the father here does have his suggestions to improve the system conveyed in his TV interviews. And further here we neither have any road side agitations nor any Cricket World Cup in the end avoiding the obvious clichés.
More importantly the original does not portray the school teachers as any demons and presents all the sequences related to the school, the principal and the teachers in a decent respectable way.
Lastly SHIKSHANACHA AAICHA GHO also doesn’t have any item song ridiculing the entire effort of the team, questioning the vision itself (as seen in the Punjabi remake).
The film features Sachin Khedekar, Bharat Jadhav, Saksham Kulkarni, Siddharth Jadhav, Gauri Vaidya and Kranti Redkar in the lead and remains focused on the subject right till the end, without any fear of its box office performance.
For friends willing to see the original film, it is available at Netflix and essentially should be seen to know the difference between the two, especially by the students of cinema.
Ratings of SON OF MANJEET SINGH : 2.5 + 0.5 / 5 (including additional 0.5 for the worth applauding courage of attempting the subject in Punjabi Cinema)

Tags : SON OF MANJEET SINGH (Punjabi) Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Punjabi Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Pollywood Movies Reviews By Bobby Sing, Punjabi Remake of a Marathi film, SHIKSHANACHA AAICHA GHO remake in Punjabi.
15 Oct 2018 / Comment ( 0 )
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