Gippy Grewal – what do I refer to him as? The SUPERSTAR or a star who once had a super time at the box office. Well, the time has come for me to write this article which I have been wanting to write from the last 3 years. People who know me closely and discuss cinema with me, know very well that I respect Gippy Grewal a lot but I am not a big fan of his choice of films. I loved Gippy Grewal’s acting in 2012 Mirza: The Untold Story (the film wasn’t that great), his acting was average in Carry On Jatta (I love the film even today), He was at his peak in Jatt James Bond. The choice of Gippy’s films aside from these films has been besides my understanding.
I personally did not like (The films. Gippy was good to better in terms of acting) : Singh v/s Kaur, Lucky Di Unlucky Story, Best of Luck, Bhaji in Problem, Double Di Trouble and the much hyped Faraar. Also I felt that Ardaas (his directorial venture) was much below expectations and the box office figures from Week 2 are evident of that fact. Good Punjabi films always sustain well at the Box Office for a period of 3-4 weeks – Angrej being a recent example. The film ran for around 12 weeks in many cinemas worldwide.
Now let us analyse what went wrong with Gippy Grewal and where did his game plan go off-target.
1. Box Office
Box Office is the most important factor which is used to evaluate an actor/actress in terms of their performance in Punjabi Cinema. Their acting ability comes second and sometimes even third in Punjabi Cinema. Even if we talk about the Box Office performance of Gippy Grewal, there is not even 1 film of Gippy Grewal in Top 5 Opening Days and Opening Weekend at the moment. And in Top 10 there is only one that too Jatt James Bond which is right now at No. 8 or 9. Rest of the spots are all occupied by Diljit Dosanjh and Amrinder Gill, who has slowly and steadily made a place for him at the Box Office.
Also in terms of biggest days at the Box office, Gippy barely has April 27 (Day 3 of Jatt James Bond) against his name where a film of his touched Rs 1 Crores plus at the Box Office, all India (Not East Punjab) whereas Diljit Dosanjh has these days in double digits and even Amrinder has 5+ Rs 1 Crores days at the Box Office. Diljit even has 6-7 days where he’s touched Rs 2 Crores + at the Box Office. So in terms of Box Office openings and popularity, Gippy doesn’t enjoy it among the movie going audiences.
He may have more Facebook following than Diljit and Amrinder but not certainly the audience who go to watch films in cinemas. Gippy’s films at one point of time, used to get openings which were in the range of Rs 50-70 lacs and then Bhaji In Problem failed to even cross Rs 50 lacs at the Box Office. Then came Jatt James Bond which delivered on its promise but then again after JJB Gippy’s films flattered to deceive the audience yet again.
2. Similar Plots
Once Carry On Jatta worked for Gippy Grewal, the creative minds in the team of GG thought that they had discovered the formula to make a successful film. But even the Most Brilliant of film makers would agree to my point that there is no formula to make successful film. You need to have the right content with equally strong technical execution and performances to make good film. Success is in nobody’s hands except the God and audience.
So coming to our point, Team GG heavily depended on the Carry On Jatta formula:
(Multiple Supporting Actors + Overdose of Comedy + Brainless confusions + A fully loaded comic caper climax + Situation less songs = SUCCESS)
But it worked once in Carry On Jatta and to some extent in Lucky Di Unlucky Story which got the opening but did not have long legs at the Box Office. But when the audience realised it, they rejected the forthcoming content in the form of Best of Luck, Bhaji In Problem and Double Di Trouble which forced the team to re-think their strategy and adopt to doing things the different way which they did. Here’s what some of the principle characters of Team GG did after these debacles.
Gippy Grewal – Acted in Faraar and Directed Ardaas
Smeep Kang – Made Vaisakhi List (without Gippy Grewal)
Naresh Kathooria – Wrote a film which was not a comedy: Channo Kamli Yaar Di
Binnu Dhillon – Took the role in Channo Kamli Yaar Di which wasn’t a comedy
Gurpreet Ghuggi – Did Ardaas and wait for his next production with Vikram Grover (as Director). He will surprise you all.
3. Choice of Directors
So far in his long career, Gippy has worked with only 4-5 directors: Navaniat Singh, Mandeep Kumar, Baljit Singh Deo, Smeep Kang, Rohit Jugraj. Good thing is that he has done more than 1 films with all these directors. But the other side of this is that in working with these directors, Gippy missed an opportunity to do something out of his comfort zone and did not experiment much with other film makers. There is abundant talent outside these directors as well.
4. Choice of Actresses
When it comes to Gippy Grewal films, his actresses never have much to do except dance around him on his songs and crack senseless dialogues. They don’t even have enough punches in a comedy film. Probably that is why, an actress never chooses another film opposite Gippy after they’ve worked with him once. Be it Neeru Bajwa, Surveen Chawla (she did 2 films with GG), Mandy Takhar, Mahie Gill or even for that matter Kainaat Arora, Zareen Khan, Ragini Khanna (she left Double Di Trouble midway), Minissha Lamba, Kulraj Randhawa, Sonam Bajwa, etc.
Some of these actresses were struggling with their careers in Bollywood and gave a nod to Punjabi films because they were big projects due to the presence of Gippy Grewal in it but once they got released, their values came even down because they didn’t have much to do in the film. Most of the plot in these films revolved around the supporting characters, mostly Binnu Dhillon, Gurpreet Ghuggi, B.N. Sharma, Karamjit Anmol, Jaswinder Bhalla, Rana Ranbir, etc.
Whereas if I talk about Gippy Grewal’s contemporaries, Diljit and Neeru have worked in 4 films together. Amrinder and Sargun have worked in 2 films. So have Amrinder, Diljit and Jimmy Sheirgill worked with Surveen Chawla in 2 films each. Diljit and Sonam Bajwa have also worked twice and so have Jimmy and Kulraj Randhawa. To count even more, Jimmy has worked with Neeru in 3 films. Neeru and Amrinder have also worked together on multiple occasions.
5. Sub-standard Music
When we talk about music, please tell me a blockbuster song of Gippy Grewal from one of his films in the last 3 years (Barring Faraar. That film had some good music). The last time a Gippy Grewal film had some excellent music, it was in 2012 with Mirza or a little bit with Jatt James Bond in 2014 and Ardaas in 2016. Barring that 1 or 2 songs here and there but not something which you remember after 3-4 years in his film’s music. One of the reasons here is lack of flexibility and maybe unwillingness to try something new on the part of the team. At one point, when Pind Nanke song from 2012 Mirza worked for Gippy Grewal big time, his composer used the same tune for the composition of 2 more songs in a span of 365 days – Massi (Singh v/s Kaur) and Desi Gaana (Lucky Di Unlucky Story).
Most of the songs in his films are sung by Gippy himself, where a Diljit film would always have songs sung by various singers like Sharry Mann, Sukhwinder Singh, Veet Baljit, Nooran Sisters, Amber Vashisht, Kaur B. Whereas in recent times singerslike Jazzy B, Ranjit Bawa, Arif Lohar have lent voices for his films. But one difference worth noting is that Diljit has lip synced the songs of other singers in the films whereas Gippy hasn’t. All his lip synced songs have been sung by Gippy himself.
6. Over dependence on supporting cast
In a Gippy Grewal film, the audience was more used to watch comedy of other supporting actors along with Gippy. This is evident from his last few debacles like Faraar and Double Di Trouble where the plots were more hero driven rather that being driven by the supporting cast which was the case in some earlier films like Carry On Jatta, Lucky Di Unlucky Story where the support cast had more established screen presence than the star himself.
7. Uninspiring Bollywood Debut
Gippy has also tried his hands in Bollywood but that was an attempt I am sure he would like to forget very very soon. Gippy could have waited for something interesting to come his way patiently rather than rushing towards things and making a mess out of everything. There also what the thinking was that supporting cast would be roped in huge numbers and a confusing plot would be laid with full of comedy punches. But did someone never told them that the audience of Bollywood films has grown up big time. The lifetime collections of that film were around Rs. 2.79 crores which are very low when compared to some of Gippy’s films in Punjabi Cinema. Even films like 2012 Mirza managed better collections than that film inspite of releasing on a Crowded April 5, 2012 weekend where Housefull 2 and Titanic 3D opened simultaneously and that film managed to hold very well but still people call that film as a Flop. If Mirza is called a Flop then I think SHH should be called as an ‘All Time DISASTER’.
What Future holds for Gippy Grewal?
Gippy Grewal may have gone wrong in choosing his films in the last 2-3 years but still the audiences have not stopped loving him. He promised to deliver something very new with Ardaas and audience trusted him and went to watch the film. It was somewhat an okay-okay film. The amount of success GG can get with an okay okay film, imagine what he can do if he actually makes a good film one day!!!
Well let’s not go far ahead, Gippy’s Kaptaan releases in mere 4 days time (May 20) and the film hasn’t been able to create the buzz which can open the film to a Rs 1 Crore + Opening day. The film should open below Rs 1 Crore in East Punjab territory and what I am guessing right now is that it can open to around Rs 65-80 lakhs on Day 1. The music of the film is moderate. Oscar is a Blockbuster and Redua is just about par.
* Fact – (Kaptaan and Ambarsariya are both made by the same director and same production house and the trailers are on the same YouTube channel. Ambarsariya Trailer had gotten around 3.5 million views till March 25 and Kaptaan just 4 days away from release has just touched 2 million merely.)
After Kaptaan, Gippy has Lock (with Smeep Kang) ready and in an Interview to Ghaint Punjab he said that he’s got 2 films in pipeline after this – a Romantic film with Smeep Kang and another one with Rohit Jugraj. Now where does that leave Carry On Jatta 2. Have they not announced the film twice (Once in 2013 and once in 2015). Will that film ever get made? Well I am not the right person to comment on that.
I just being a lover of Punjabi Cinema want Gippy Grewal to do films which take the Cinema forward and with this note I rest my case.
P.S. – This article is over 2000 words and if you’ve been patient enough to read it till the end, then a very big T H A N K Y O U from my side.