Finally, I watched Punjab 1984. And here is what I think of it. This is an intense movie. The performances were good. There is a triangular conflict in the movie; Diljit shows great potential as an actor in the new generation. Pawan Malhotra, who is main antagonist in the movie, fits the role like a glove; his grins, smiles and expressions makes you hate the character, which shows how good job he is doing with the role. And the third apex of the triangle is played by Kiron Kher as a mother; she pretty much carries the movie on her shoulders. She is relatable as a mother, and portrays a very complex role with ease of an experienced actress (which she is). Diljit and Kiron’s scenes of a other-son bond are a treat to watch. The dialogues are very well written – they work at the surface level and also at a deeper emotional level. I also loved how the writers treated the story; the topic is extremely sensitive, and the treatment is excellent – instead of targeting a group, religion, or pointing fingers, it is a human story – rising above the limits and boundaries. It is a story of a mother looking for her son, who because of circumstances ends up at odds with the then prevalent law of the land. The story moves back and forth in time with flashback, which are very well edited. It is a coming of age story of a son, who makes some choices under circumstances, and traces his path to redemption. It is the story of a man cornered, and how he stand against the ones who cornered him. If you are one of those folks who do not like the fact that Indian movies have music where the whole casts stops and start lip syncing to the song and dance to the tune, then you are in for a treat. Music of this movie adds layers to this movie. The songs are playing in the background, and they take the story forward. They are all situational, and most of the time, you will not even realize that you a song just started. They are essential and compliment the progression of the story. Watch out the lyrics for Swaah Ban ke, Lori and Ammi Udeek Di – they bring the sensitivity of poetry to this movie. they will bring a year or two to your eyes. The lighter songs Channo, Rangrut keep the happier parts of the story happy. Kudos to the music directors; yes there are few. And then there is Anurag Singh, the director. I have to say, I am impressed. He has proven to be one of the better directors in Punjabi Film Industry and deserves all the laurels to get the kind of performances he got out of the actors, and to keep the heart of the movie alive throughout on such a subject. With this movie he proves his range from being able to handle movies like Jatt & Juliet series (which were OK, I think) to a serious drama like Punjab 1984; and he does not misses a beat. This is his crowning glory so far. The movie is intense, emotional, and a tear jerker. Get ready with those tissues, and think about the questions raised by this movie, which are many. Lastly, story, scenes, and cinematography reminded me of Maachis (another well rounded director Gulzar) throughout the movie. It feels like either a homage in style or deeply inspired by it. I had to go look for the Maachis DVD after watching Punjab 1984. All in all it is good movie. I would call it 9/10 on the scale of good dramas. Go watch it ! JPS Nagi July 2, 2014
K.Asif’s Magnum Opus … Mughal-e-Azam. The movie that took more than 20 years in making.
A milestone for Indian Film Industry, with production costs Rs 15 million (this was when a normal film would cost around Rs 1-1.5 million), it broke all records. The tickets sold for 100 rupees, back when the cost of a single ticket was 1.50 rupees. Today, the movie of this value will cost more than Rs 150 Crores ($33M).
The music, the story, the cast, the dialogues – every aspect of the movie was giant. Bollywood’s biggest period extravaganza. Although the orginal movie was black & white (with some colored parts), the movie was colorized recently with the sound converted and re-recorded in Dolby Digital. The new producers brought together the new crew who worked to make it happen, with some of the original cast and crew.
It brought back memories for many movie-goers, and they flocked back to theaters. Also introduced the next generation to the movie that was, and the movie that is.
Recently, NDTV did a special on the movie as it completed 50 years on August 5, 2010. Here is the special (you would need Adobe Flash to play).
August 14. 2010