Duration: 130 minutes
Director: Rupinder Chahal
Cast: Ammy Virk, Sonam Bajwa, Anita Devgan, Hardeep Gill, Seema Kaushal, Sukhwinder Singh Chahal, Nisha Bano, Gurpreet Bhangu, Prakash Gadhu, Sukhwinder Raj, Mintu Kappa and Honey Mattu
By Troy Ribeiro
After an initial lacklustre start, the rustic Punjabi rom-com ‘Puaada’ takes off and manages to hook the viewer unfailingly with its humour, situational comedy and good performances.
As the title suggests, ‘Puaada’, which denotes problems, come in hordes, uninvited in the life of Jaggi (Ammy Virk), a wealthy but uneducated village lad who runs a dairy business. He is perceived just as a mere milkman by everyone.
Much to Jaggi’s dismay, the father of the girl Ronak (Sonam Bajwa), whom he loves, looks at him with disdain. Being an Air Force Officer himself, the prospective father-in-law wants an appropriate match for his daughter, a budding MBA.
How Jaggi manages to win over his prospective in-laws, proving his worthiness, forms the crux of the story with humour inextricably woven into the plot.
The narrative is simple, sans complexities and high-octane drama. The plot does not meander, but takes a slight deviation, if only to propel the love story forward, thereby adding some heft to it.
Ammy Virk as the simpleton Jaggi wins over the viewer with his honest and endearing performance. Unwittingly, he reminds you of Diljit Dosanjh. Sonam Bajwa as Ronak, Jaggi’s love interest, is equally competent and essays her character with conviction.
All the other actors lend able support through their comic timing, dialogue delivery and spontaneity. Particularly noteworthy is Jaggi’s mother Jeete and the gossip-mongering aunty in the neighbourhood.
The film is well-shot and boasts of good production values. Music, bursting with the flavours of Punjab, is used fittingly. The song ‘Aaye hai jattiye kamaal’ is strongly reminiscent of the yesteryear’s popular number, ‘Kali teri gut te paranda tera laal ni’.
The dialogues by Rakesh Dhawan, who has also written the screenplay, are witty, fast-paced and capture the essence of the scenes with aplomb. The handling of the comic scenes may seem amateurish at times, and perhaps trite, but the resultant laughs these evoke are unmistakable.
The characters are over-the-top at times, but befitting of the setting Punjab, in this case. The climax is particularly rib-tickling and though a bit stretched, ends the film on a high dose of humour.
Overall, ‘Puaada’ is a complete entertainer that transports you to Punjab and Jaggi’s life for the entire duration and keeps you involved.
(Troy Ribeiro can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)