Manduip Singh

Nihal Purba

Movie Review
Arjan:Poorly executed con-story

Story & Direction: Manduip Singh Screenplay and Dialogue: Manduip Singh, Nihal Purba

Arjan is a Shatabadi Express train attached to a passenger train’s locomotive. A con-story, which turns out to be a love story, is enjoyable in pieces. But does Arjan hit the bull’s eye? Read on.

Nimrat Kaur aka Nimmi (Prachi Tehlan) is a spoilt brat living in Malaysia. Her guardian Gurdial Singh (Shavinder Mahal) asks her to marry a decent desi guy to fulfill her late father’s wish. To inherit her father’s huge estate, she agrees to go to Punjab and marry a local guy, but she has other hidden plans. Her aunt Amro (Nirmal Rishi) arranges her marriage with Jeet (Bunninder Singh) the son of the Sarpanch (Hobby Dhaliwal). Just a few days before tying the knot, she stumbles upon Arjan (Roshan Prince), the henchman of Sarpach and strikes a deal of contract marriage with him. Burdened with the huge loan of Sarpanch and for the want of money for the treatment of his bedridden sister, he gives his nod for a contract marriage. Will Nimmy succeed in fooling his own uncle and get her father’s estate? Will Arjan succeed in striking a balance in his life, forms the rest of the story.

Written by Manduip Singh, Arjan has all the ingredients to make it an engaging con story, but it lacks pace and falters in its execution. Screenplay and Dialogue by Manduip and Nihal Purba make for a clumsy narrative on screen. First half begins dead slow and picks up pace only when Nimmi offers a deal to Arjan. Post interval it again sinks as the narrative arc keeps going up and down. The sequence in which Arjan negotiates with Sarpanch, the selfie sequence with Renny and the twist when Arjan shows pictures on his mobile phone to Gurdial Singh, are however engaging moments. The climax is completely abrupt and unconvincing, though.

Director Manduip Singh tries to join all the loose ends but the ground for an exciting climax never gets ready in time. Even the romantic connection is not developed properly; therefore it lacks emotions and spark. Another major letdown of Arjan is its cinematography (Najeeb Khan). In most of the master shots, lighting is so poor that faces of lead actors turn out to be dark and unrecognizable. Backgrounds are sharply in focus while actors are completely out of focus.

Film after film, Roshan Prince has always landed on a team which spoils his best recipe and his valuable ingredients get wasted. Firstly Roshan Prince still needs to work hard on his acting skills; secondly, he needs a director who could fully explore his potential. He is the first singer turned actor in the new era of Punjabi cinema, but is still struggling to make his mark on the big screen. Netball player, Prachi Tehlan, debuting in Punjabi cinema with Arjan, looks confident and promising, but she too has a long way to go. Apart from improving her expressions and body language, she has to work harder on her Punjabi. B. N. Sharma, this time, breaks his caricatured image by portraying a serious character. He’s expressive in his role. Nirmal Rishi is once again lovingly cunning and shrewd. Nihal Purba as Rick is a big no no. The supporting cast has been aptly picked up.

Jassi Katyal once again, disappoints in the music department along with other music director Gurcharan Singh. Arjan could been an exciting watch for its intersteing con-story but here one only gets conned, literally, in watching a poorly executed film.

   Deep Jagdeep Singh

Deep Jagdeep Singh is a freelance journalist, Screenwriter and a Lyricist. http://www.facebook.com/deepjagdeepsingh

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