Sunday, 2 December 2007

Sajna Ve Sajna (2007)

Director Hartinder Dhami makes his directorial debut in Punjabi family drama Sajna Ve Sajna, a film that launches renowned musician Bally Sagoo upon celluloid.

Punjabi cinema has seldom been innovative and so if you are walking into the cinema halls of Sajna Ve Sajna expecting path breaking cognitions, you will highly bemused. Instead, Sajna Ve Sajna stays in the zone of wholesome family entertainment and in doing so appears as a crumb of comfort for those willing to indulge.

The story unfolds in Pakistan where the marriage of Manjeet (Preeti Jhangiani) a humble girl working in Nankana Sahib Gurdwara is broken off due to her future in-laws stating she is too educated for their son. Much to the dismay of Manjeet’s adopted family which consists of Fatima Begum (Madhumathi) and her brother Jibran (Asif Shaikh) who desperately want to see Manjeet wed, whilst Manjeet believes that God has written her destiny with another and thus accepts circumstances as they unravel.
Cut to England where Bali (Bally Sagoo) spends his time composing music with his struggling band Desi Fever which consists of his English girlfriend Charlene (Zoe Szypillo) whilst relishing the wealth of his wealthy grandfather Kartar Singh (Dalip Tahil) who has become accustomed to his grandsons spoilt ways.

In a twist of events, Bali becomes hospitalized after a car accident and is reduced to a coma, much to the distress of his family, so much so that Kartar Singh pays a visit to Nankana Sahib to seek blessings for his family. It is here in Pakistan he comes to meet Manjeet and aware of the fact that she wishes to continue her work in temples across England, takes her back with him and honors her a place in his family home.

As Balis health begins to blossom, so does a friendship between him and Manjeet and it is not long before Manjeet and Bali’s family begin to dream of marriage plans between the couple. However, Bali is in love with Charlene, a girl he knows his family will never accept yet a truth he can not hide from. Upon her dreams shattering, Manjeet vows to unite Bali and Charlene before returning to Pakistan forming a routine crux of love, sacrifice and honor.

Sajna Ve Sajna is saccharine cinema in its full glory which you will either love or hate. The director relies upon cliché upon cliché to present what could have been a novel concept of clash of cultures in a mundane fashion. In fact, the film deals a striking resemblance to the earlier released Namastey London only presenting its screenplay in a more simplistic manner.
Family audiences and those who are still in favor of vintage cinema will certainly shower laudation upon Hartinder Dhami for his reaffirmation of traditional family values as the film stays faithful to the idea of arranged marriages and abiding youngsters, perhaps a concept hard to digest for the modern sector of today’s times.

The biggest downside of Sajna Ve Sajna comes in the form of one of the key elements of a satisfying film, performances.

Bally Sagoo in his acting debut seriously needs to re-evaluate his decision to grace the silver screen for he lacks the ability to even deliver his dialogues in a convincing manner, yet alone emote. He appears nervous, bored and extremely uncomfortable throughout the entire film making one of the poorest male leads to be seen in a while. The fact that whenever he spoke evoked unintentional laughter from the audience means it is suffice to say that Sagoo delivered a performance which can be deemed to be as blank as bricks.

On the other end of the spectrum, Preeti Jhangiani is the saving grace of the film. An actress who has not found much success in the world of Hindi cinema, in Sajna Ve Sajna she makes one sit up and take note of her ability and carries the film on her shoulders entirely. It was a refreshing change to see Preeti in a wholesome role and one hopes that her venture into Punjabi cinema will not be short-lived.

Zoe Szypillo is painful to watch. She looks attractive but again delivers a torturous performance, topped with extremely corny dialogues. Her facial expressions are extremely loud making her appear more like a clown as she pouts and beams coyly throughout the film.
Dalip Tahil is excellent as the traditional grandfather and ditto for Madhumati, both play characters that surely a lot of people will identify with.

The biggest assets of Sajna Ve Sajna come in two forms…the pictorial visuals of Scotland which have been captured in uttermost glory and the soul stirring music. “Pyar Pehli Vari” resonates throughout the film and is melodic the ears whilst “Yaar Di Zulf Udoondi” boasts of fabulous picturisation and equally enticing lyrics.

Hartinder Dhami shows promise as a director with Sajna Ve Sajna, not once allowing the pace to slacken or deviating from the original plot. The only problem is that it is a case of old wine in an even older bottle making for cliché upon cliché, offering a story as foreseeable as ABC.

Contrary to impression, I unashamedly enjoyed Sajna Ve Sajna for its predictability and at times corny concoction of a tale. If you can get past the bad acting from the male lead and the sporadic cringe factor, then Sajna Ve Sajna merits at least one watch on a rainy afternoon.


MissBoll said...

what a happy reading article!! nothing nice or positive to say, people like you do bore me. I would much rather go and watch this film and put up with the "corny" lines than waste my time reading another one of your articles.. Sagoo and Zoe are both trying something different, this is all very new to them... It's not that bad and you should appreciate the music as it's fantastic. Who produced the Music? Sagoo.. He is a very gifted man. I really enjoyed the film.

Sunny said...

Hi Missboll...Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment

As we all know each to their own and everyone is entitled to an opinion...I do suggest you read the review again as you say there is nothing nice to say...when I have praised both Preeti and the director...

As for the music yes it's excellent, no doubt about it and Bally has done a great job with it but as an actor I'm afraid he just doesnt cut it!

harjindera said...
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harjindera said...
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