Qissa Panjab Review by Punjabi Mania
Star cast: Preet Bhullar, Aman Dhaliwal, Dheeraj Kumar, Kul Sidhu, Jagjeet Sandhu, Harshjot Kaur, Gurinder Makna & others
Director: Jatinder Mauhar
Producer: Annu Bains (Pukhraj Production House)
Censor Details: A (99 Minutes)
Synopsis: Qissa Panjab is a multi narrative contemporary film set in Punjab. It explores the lives of six young people, their hopes, aspirations and dreams. Arjun (Preet) is a rich young boy into substance abuse and his only ambition is getting his next fix. Deep (Aman) is a basketball player whose life suddenly puts him on a completely different path. Kismet (Kul) is a struggling dancer who aspires to be a great actress one day. Speed (Jasjeet) is a petty thief who nurses a dream to migrate to Italy. Sukhjeet (Harsjot) is a young orphan struggling to finish her studies. Heera (Dheeraj) is a singer who wants to make it big in the world of music. The lives of these six people cross each others in myriad twists and turns to an unexpected ending.
Review: Jatinder Mauhar, known for making films which are youth centric and are associated with characters who exist in reality within the roots of Punjab is back again with his 3rd film aptly titled Qissa Panjab. His earlier work although appreciated by the youth but couldn’t meet with commercial success due to whatever reasons. But this film, has all those elements of gaining appreciation as well as finding commercial success. Let’s analyse.
Story-Screenplay-Dialogues have been penned by debutante Uday Pratap Singh. Uday seemed pretty clearer in his mind regarding what he wanted to write and his screenplay is pretty crisp and doesn’t have any margin for errors whatsoever. His story is set in a village in near Ropar. It tells a tale of 6 characters and how the events which occur in their lives connect those lives to each other. Also I would like to mention the dialogues of the film. They language used here is a kind of Punjabi which I haven’t heard in any film before. It is so much connected to the roots of Punjab. Thankfully, I had a friend with me who explained me the meanings of various dialogues.
Jatinder Mauhar, well this is best work so far out of the 3 films which he’s made. I remember walking into Sikander with tons of expectations but I was let down but here I had the same expectations and it was surpassed making up for the last time’s dissapointment. He has very cleverly used the mystic climate of January-February as a character. You don’t realise it until you have been in the film for some 20-30 minutes. Right from the very 1st scene to the very last scene you are glued to the film. Also the length of the film has been kept close to 99 minutes giving it another reason to watch this short and crisp film. It’s not like Hero Naam Yadd Rakhi where you had 25 minutes of songs, 25 minutes of story and some other silly things in a 100 minutes narrative. Mauhar is out to tell a story and he succeeds in doing that in 99 minutes itself.
Coming to the performances, this is a character driven film. The film relies more on the expressions. emotions and dialogue delivery of the artists rather than songs and background score. Preet Bhullar as the druggie impresses this time around in his second outing. Aman Dhaliwal makes a confident on-screen debut as Deep. I am quite impressed by Jagjeet Sandhu. After RGTG, he’s out there in a months time to impress again. Long road ahead if he keeps performing like this. Harsh jot also makes a confident debut. Dheeraj Kumar too impresses with his acting as well as singing abilities. Kul Sidhu is a very fine actress. However, till now she hadn’t got many roles to show her acting talent on a mass scale. This film surely shows how talented she is. Rest of the star cast pretty unknown but is impressive. Speed’s jail mates, Deep’s brother, Sukhjeet’s family, Kul’s parents were all impressive.
Coming to the music of the film, Gurmoh has composed the music here. The lad from Jalandhar came into limelight in 2012 with Pure Panjabi and now finally has his redemption. Easily a complete package album which has just 5 tracks but all 5 have a meaningful story to tell if you go deep into finding the meaning of the lyrics. Be it Jinde Meriye by Nooran Sisters or Rog by the legend himself, Gurdas Maan or even Manna Mand’s Rutt Pyaar Di. All these tracks are marvellous.
And this film is not about drugs as it is being written in the media. It’s the journey of 6 characters.
Final Say: Qissa Panjab is one such type of a film which will force you to think and you would want to question your inner self that are we going on the right path especially if you are from my age group (20-25). Jatinder Mauhar’s visionary direction has been backed by powerful performances. Each and every character has their own story to tell. Clever use of realistic storyline makes it a must watch!