"Take movies, music, poetry out of life & its gone!"
 
PAL PAL DIL KE PAAS - Wish the father had let another director direct his son choosing a better theme and content for his debut film. (An honest heartfelt expression by Bobby Sing)
21 Sep, 2019 | Movie Reviews / 2019 Releases / Articles on Cinema

When BETAAB got released in 1983, people thronged the theater to watch Dharmendra’s son on screen as he was one of the first few star-sons to debut in those times after Kumar Gaurav and Sanjay Dutt. Plus Dharmendra had his own charm (still going strong in the ‘80s) and a humongous fan-following much more than both Rajendra Kumar and Sunil Dutt in that particular era. Moreover, those were the days when a hit soundtrack of a film released months before, actually used to build a solid ground for the new release forcing the people to go for it irrespective of the cast including the debutants. 
 
However nothing remains the same after three decades of BETAAB when Sunny’s son joins the industry debuting with a love story directed by his father. The star-kids are now facing the backlash of nepotism, footfall has drastically gone down in the theaters/multiplexes and music has lost its soul with the makers no longer considering it with any similar importance.
 
Hence it wasn’t surprising watching Karan Deol’s debut film with just 20 odd people in the theater remembering the fortunate times when I had witnessed BETAAB in its first show, making my way through the mad crowd rushing in the theater, holding my patka with both hands as an 11 years old kid. My uncle left outside, joined me later finding me in the hall and till then the film had already started beginning with the horse being brought in for getting trained by Sunny Baba making an impressive entry.
 
To put it honestly, the grand entry of a hero once used to be the USP of our Hindi films, which somehow has got lost in the confusion of making realistic-cum-commercial cinema. The hero entering the scene with the camera slowly panning on his face with an energetic background score resulting in goose bumps was once awaited by the crowd as an expected requisite. But sadly that all has been lost, still there in some measure in films of a few directors like Rohit Shetty.
 
While watching PAL PAL DIL KE PAAS in complete silence, I frankly could hear all that noise, shouts and whistles experienced during the first show of BETAAB in a single screen theater in Patiala (was in Punjab those day, may be in holidays). The cheering at every scene by the enthusiastic Dharmendra fans was simply unforgettable as one of my early experiences of a theater. And the public was obviously cheering for Sunny being Dharmendra’s son because it was still the first show and they didn’t even know Sunny Deol as a hero.
 
Sadly nothing of that sort happened in the opening show of PAL PAL DIL KE PAAS. Neither the people felt excited watching its lazy story progression nor did the film have that execution which could force them to sit straight watching the onscreen proceedings. As the only saving grace of the film, the well shot sequences of mountaineering do manage to provide some engaging moments in the beginning but then, that too becomes repetitive with the entire first half offering you nothing else taking too long to begin the love story.
 
Taking its title from a song in Dharmendra’s BLACKMAIL, Sunny’s PAL PAL DIL KE PAAS has a second half that further disappoints you pretty badly, walking on the same familiar path showcasing a family of politicians, their son being the villain and a video in circulation hampering their reputation. Interestingly, many similar things were also there in Sunny’s second directorial venture GHAYAL ONCE AGAIN. Besides the present love story also doesn’t feature even a noteworthy soundtrack, becoming one of its major downer.
 
The problematic choice of a stale, repetitive storyline and no likable songs not only points towards a weaker understanding of the medium, but also raises fingers on a stubborn 'Zid' of directing the film by a father, who had never tasted any big success in his first two attempts as a director and that too made in the long time span of 17 years. A whole generation goes through a change in that period of time.
 
Unfortunately he once again fails to succeed following the same old clichéd formula and that’s the reason I feel the director Sunny Deol much more responsible for the failure of PAL PAL DIL KE PAAS than the newcomers Karan or Saher Bambba. More so, as here he happens to be the producer too having everything under his control and command right from the first day of conception to the execution.
 
Adding further, the director actually is the only one responsible for both the success and the failure of a film introducing two new faces in the lead, as the debutants are only there following the given instructions, having no knowledge, experience or input of their own in the overall conceptualization. So even if Karan and Saher lacked a lot, it was the job of the director to accept and overcome their shortcomings on screen finding some innovative trick of his own reaching out to the eager viewers. 
 
Explaining it with an example of Sunny himself, wasn’t he too raw and innocent in his first film BETAAB along with Amrita Singh? But they both still clicked due the way of presentation followed by their director Rahul Rawail, who decided to place a loud-spoken girl in front of a much silent Sunny justifying both the debutants. In addition, Rahul along with his writer Javed Akhtar very intelligently plotted the additional characters of a dog/horse in the script, in order to gain the love and sympathy of their audience. On the other hand, it was no doubt the songs by R.D. Burman and Anand Bakshi, that played a major undeniable role in establishing the new faces. 
 
Sadly nothing of that sort is tried by Sunny Deol and his writers in PAL PAL DIL KE PAAS except following the exactly similar pattern of placing an outspoken confident girl in front of a shy and introvert Karan Deol. To be honest, neither the upgraded concept of mountaineering nor the added sub-plot of snow-leopard works in the favour of the film due to its unengaging and lifeless direction; forget about the so casually included soundtrack. Also Sunny doesn’t include any strong supporting characters in the entire film, which actually form a very important part of every successful love story, be it characters of friends, parents, family members or the villain.
 
Besides, if Sunny can still excite the crowd with his repeated roars (which are now mostly unrequired and forced), then should his son be made to do the same too, without even having any similar physical appearance and persona? Unfortunatey, this one special insertion asking Karan to roar like Sunny turns out to be the most unconvincing part of the film, even though Karan does fine in all the action sequences, much better than his every other scene in the film. 
 
Anyway coming to my personal assessment (as a creative consultant) of what should have been an ideal launching project of Karan Deol in the present era, I would have honestly never suggested a love story. To be fair with the young man, Karan still needs to work a lot on his onscreen presence; the posture, the dialogue delivery and expressions in particular, since just innocence cannot work in the present world of cinema ruled by the content based online portals.
 
Hence keeping in mind his visible limitations, firstly a love story was never a good choice because in such a film the entire focus of camera and the audience always remains on the two lead actors emoting as lovers on screen. In a love story, each and every expression of the two lovers is carefully noted by the general audience as the entire story and almost all the scenes are completely focused on the two protagonists and no one else. 
 
Secondly, as I feel, a love story always works more because of the girl than the boy. For a moment just think of all the famous hit love stories of the past and you will never find a film where the girl didn’t click with the audience and it still became a success only because of the boy. The latest example of the same is the cult Marathi blockbuster SAIRAT, as mentioned in its detailed write-up at BTC. The girl in SAIRAT was a major attraction for even the non-marathi audience and even the reputed jury had to give her a much deserving special mention at the NATIONAL AWARDS for her adorable portrayal in the film. Again it all happened because of the vision her director had in his mind about how to portray the so young girl on screen, as she knew nothing about films or acting at the age of just 14. In case of PAL PAL DIL KE PAAS though Saher does much better with great confidence in comparison to Karan, she still isn’t able to win over the viewers establishing the much required instant connect as a young debutatnt girl. 
 
Coming back to Karan Deol, the ideal launch project for him would have been a fast paced intense thriller utilizing his innocent persona in the first half presenting him as the victim and then as an intelligent investigator in the later part performing the action. In a fast paced crime thriller, the focus is on 10 related things other than the hero and the viewer’s attention keeps shifting from one point to the other thinking about the unexpected twists and turns. That - exactly would have saved Karan from getting noticed for his every amateurish mannerism on screen to a large extent.
 
In other words, it should not be considered a traditional trend or rule that every star-son or daughter needs to be introduced through a love story. At least this misconception deserves to be broken in the present content driven era for sure.

Summing up, it’s not the characteristic of a true fan to keep praising a weak or poor project, claiming it to be a great effort made hiding the brutal truth. A true fan of The Deols will let them know the reality so that the mistakes can be duly rectified in the coming future. And the reality is that PAL PAL DIL KE PAAS is a very poor attempt that is neither going to help Karan nor Sunny in their respective careers. It however might help Saher to a limited extent for her much better portrayal.
 
But then the world of entertainment always has the LUCK factor working more than the talent and hard work of an individual. Hence, though the chances are quite grim, one cannot really predict, what might be in store for Karan as a performer in the years ahead. Giving a sincere suggestion, maybe he can prove his talent as an off-screen creative Deol instead of an onscreen hero or actor bringing a favourable change in the family for the first time. 
 
But again, who knows - as a famous quote in an advertisement said,
“You never know what you can become" 
 
Sharing a real life experience in the end,
a new comer Punjabi singer, seriously supported and pushed by another established star of Punjabi music industry was instantly called Besura and his first album flopped badly, vanishing in no time, without any trace some 15 years back. Being personally associated with the release of that album, I hadn't even thought in my dreams, that this would be coming ahead after a decade or so.
 
The singer later became the biggest singer-turned-actor as well as a critically acclaimed, hugely successful actor-writer-director of the Punjabi Film Industry enjoying a cult fan following all over the world. 

Your guess is quite right as he is the only example of his kind in the history of Punjabi film and music industry.

So you never know!
In fact no one ever knows about the undisclosed future!

With my heartiest wishes for the Deols
HIS BLESSINGS 

Tags : PAL PAL DIL KE PAAS Writeup by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Hindi Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Bollywood Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing, Sunny Deol Son, Karan Deol's Debut film
21 Sep 2019 / Comment ( 0 )
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