Story & Screenplay: Dheeraj Rattan Dialogue: Balraj Syal & Amarjit Singh
Big Names and Big Promotion - Jindua carry every tag required for a good opening. Add to that quality production value and dependable storyline. But do big things work for Jindua? Let’s get straight into the review.
Karamjit aka Karma (Jimmy Sheirgill) goes to Calgary, Canada, illegally for a greener pasture and bumps into student visa holder Saggi (Sargun Mehta). Instantly, both of them fall in love with each other. Further, to get PR in Canada, Karma agrees to a contract marriage with Eesh (Neeru Bajwa), a Canadian Punjabi dreamy girl who lives at her own terms. There is a sub-plot portraying Karma’s friend Debu (Rajiv Thakur) who gets caught by Canadian police in retention center for being an illegal immigrent. Will Karma succeed in getting PR and her first love Saggi? Will Eesh fall in love with Karma? How Karma will handle this love triangle and his personal aspirations all together, forms the rest of the story.
Some good situational comedy, romantic moments, subtle commentary on contemporary social issues - Dheeraj Rattan has mixed many ingredients into this run of the mill story. Director Navaniat Singh also proves his mettle translating it for the silver screen. Still, what Jindua lacks is spark. It lacks that Punjabi undercurrent and feel, which makes this story unengaging, lethargic and deadly slow.
Jindua’s best part lies in its subtlety. The story softly touches upon relationships like the father-daughter (BK Rakhra-Neeru Bajwa), brother-sister (Vikky Suvinder-Sargun Mehta) and human-pet (Rajiv Thakur-Duffy-Sargun Mehta). The film tries to highlight the consequences of illegal immigration, generation gap, childhood nostalgia and importance of love in a materialistic world. Most impacting scene is the one in which Eesh confesses her love for Karma in front of Saggi. Another commendable scene is Karma’s monologue with Duffy. I think it is the first ever monologue used in Punjabi cinema, which is subtle, entertaining and depicts the psychology of the character perfectly. Other scenes which could be listed in this category are - Eesh’s reunion with her father in the grocery store and Sargun’s reconnection with his brother, in the climax. First half (romantic comedy) is pacy, fun-filled and romantic, while the second half (romantic drama) is emotional, serious and lazy.
Another good thing about Jindua is its supporting cast. Supporting characters like Lahori Girl (Punit Riar), Debu (Rajiv Thakur) and Duffy (Dog) are meaty; they not only contribute to the advancement of the narrative, but also support the protagonists at the right time with much needed wisdom or help. For bringing to life such meaningful characters Dheeraj Rattan, along with all the three supporting actors, deserves a special applause. Dialogue by Balraj Syal & Amarjit Singh are run of the mill but I do find a few lines worth mentioning. 1. ‘Qatal karan waley bande nu vi pta hunda ke ohne bari kado hona, kache bande nu ni pta hunda ohne pakka kado hona’ (Even a murderer knows when he will be aquitted, but an illegal immigrant doesn’t know when would he become a permanent resident) 2. ‘Sat samudar paar aa ke vi saddi kismet ni badladi’ (Our fate doesn’t change even after travelling across the globe) and 3. ‘Rishtey vi guitar wang hunde ne, galat taar chhed do ta sab kharab ho jandai’ (A relationship is like a guitar, if you touch the wrong cords, it spoils everything). Such lines form the essence of the film.
No doubt Jimmy Sheirgill is an ace actor, but even in a Punjabi film he acts as if it's a Bollywood film. His expression, body language and style all go hand in hand with character, but he lacks rustic Punjabi feel in his delivery and expression. Thus, audience fails to connect with this superficial character despite his best efforts. This is true for Navaniat Singh’s film making. He is a Punjabi by inheritance, but his disconnect with the ethnic Punjabism shows clearly through the characters in his movies. Navaniat-Jimmy duo is trying to make better quality, productions wise, Punjabi cinema but all their films have that basic downside including Dharti and Shareek. No doubt, Jimmy has carried all these films alone on his shoulders and Jindua is no exception. Neeru Bajwa looks stunning though her hairdo with plates looks shabby. Sargun Mehta and Rajiv Thakur add charming Punjabi essence to their characters. Duffy is bonus, kudos to the director for using a pet with creativity.
*Spoiler ahead.* It's not clear why Karma refuses to accept his PR status when it is almost landed in his lap. He could have gone to get his real love immediately after accepting the PR. It was matter of a few minutes only. This dilutes the intensity of his compromise and seems completely illogical.
Cinematography (Harmeet Singh) is excellent; Calgary looks stunning and sets the mood perfectly. Jaidev Kumar, Arjunaa Harjai & PropheC’s music is a big letdown for this romantic film. The songs were just there. Manish More could have edited almost fifteen minutes in the second half. To sum up, Jindua has got a few powerful emotional scenes and some inspiring dialogue and is a one-time-watch for the romantics.
Deep Jagdeep Singh
Deep Jagdeep Singh is a freelance journalist, Screenwriter and a Lyricist..