Channa Mereya Review
Channa Mereya is one film which you take back with you and the film remains in your thoughts for a long long time.
Review of Punjabi Film Channa Mereya, starring Ninja, Payal Rajput, Yograj Singh, Amrit Maan and Karamjit Anmol. Directed by Pankaj Batra.
Star cast: Ninja, Payal Rajput, Amrit Maan, Yograj Singh, Karamjit Anmol, Anita Devgan, B N Sharma, Shilpa Dhar
Director: Pankaj Batra
Producer: Gunbir Singh Sidhu, Manmord Sidhu, Zee Studios
Music: Goldboy, Jaidev Kumar, Sonu Ramgarhia
Running Time: 133 Minutes
Synopsis: Channa Mereya is the story about love and romance of Kainat (Payal Rajput) and Jagta (Ninja). Kainat, a girl belonging to an affluent family, who falls for her classmate Jagat (Ninja), a good looking guy who comes from a poor background. Initially they start seeing each other secretly, but when their relationship gets revealed they end up facing rebellion from Kainat’s brother Balli (Amrit Mann) and her father (Yograj Singh) which only makes them stronger and bolder with time. What follows next is an epic saga of love never seen before in Punjabi Cinema.
Review: After a wonderful and award winning Bambukat, Director Pankaj Batra is back again with his epic tale of love & romance, the official remake of the Blockbuster Marathi Film – Sairat, Channa Mereya. Channa Mereya was one of the most awaited releases of the year, ever since the film went on floors in late December last year. The film brings back the successful White Hill Studios back again with their summer release which has been a highlight of Punjabi Cinema each year ever since the glorious Jatt & Juliet.
The original story of the film, has been penned by Nagraj Manjule who happens to be the writer and director of the original film, Sairat. It has been adapted for screen in Punjabi by Pankaj Batra & Jatinder Lall with Jatinder Lall also doing the dialogues of the film. To begin with, Channa Mereya is one film which will stay with you for a lon long time. I saw the film in a 10 AM show and it took me some time to compose myself and write about it. What makes Channa Mereya unique is it’s storyline. It is something which we hear in news on a regular basis, many films have been made on similar issues like Ishaqzaade, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, Heer Ranjha, Goliyon Ki Rasleela – Ram Leela but Channa Mereya stands on it’s own feet and delivers a power packed punch for the audience.
The main characters are all introduced in the opening scenes of the film which are set in the backdrop of a cricket match. The introduction of each character gives us a window view of the range of personalities that will eventually change the course of the film moving forward. We have a farmer’s son Jagat Singh aka Jagta who is head-over-heels in love with the local MLA’s daughter Kainat. And then there are 2 loyalist friends of Jagta, Karma and Damru.
The screenplay and dialogues have been written by Pankaj Batra and Jatinder Lall and they have done a fine job at adapting the film for Punjabi audiences by fitting in the things according to the Punjabi culture and they have succeeded at doing it. Those who have seen Sairat, will know what things are done differently and they have been done for the betterment of the film. The best thing which the director has done is that he has kept the issue of caste system out of the way and focused on the film being a love story and not a film based on caste and religion.
Directed by Pankaj Batra, Channa Mereya carries a trademark stamp of the director who leaves no stone unturned in adapting Channa Mereya. Usually, in remakes there is very little scope for creativity especially when the original film has worked very well with the audiences as well as the juries at awards. But Pankaj Batra does a great job at making Channa Mereya. Be it the performances, be it the setup, be it the camera angles or music and background score, it is all upto the mark and marvelous.
Ninja and Payal Rajput mark their debut with Channa Mereya in Punjabi Cinema. Ninja is an established singer whereas Payal has worked in may Daily Soaps and this is her 1st film. Ninja and Payal share a sparkling chemistry and bring a feel of freshness into Punjabi Cinema. It was wonderful to see 2 fresh faces delivering stand out performances on their debut. It is hard to believe that the 2 lead faces – Ninja & Payal are making their debut. It seems like they have adopted acting like fish adapts to water. Jagta’s character has that innocence which stays with you till the end whereas Kainat is intelligent, strong-willed and resourceful. She rides her wealthy father’s tractor and has a Royal Enfield Bullet on which she goes to college and can even fire a Dunnali.
Lyricist & Singer turned actor, Amrit Maan also does a good job on his debut. Amrit is promising and assures of a bright future ahead in acting as well. We didn’t get to see much of him here but I am sure in future we will get to see him in lead roles very soon. Yograj Singh was natural. He has been essaying such roles from a long time and this one was no different. Yograj delivers a good performance. Stand out in the supporting cast was Karamjit Anmol as Damru. He is what we call a true friend. Karamjit Anmol is slowly creating a niche for himself in this industry and we like him for that. B N Sharma was effective in a small role towards the end. Rest of the supporting cast did a good job as well.
Music of Channa Mereya is a chartbuster. All 6 tracks have found listeners and my favourites from the album are Tutda Hi Jaave followed by Door & Hawa De Warke. Cinematography by Vineet Malhotra stands out, especially the Drone shots which he used effectively in Bambukat as well but here it was a level ahead. Also Dalhousie covered in snow looked like heaven.
Overall, Channa Mereya is one film which you take back with you and the film remains in your thoughts for a long long time. Great performances, powerful storyline, good direction and soothing music make this film a must watch.