Jugni: a shared passion for music

Mumbai: Vishal Bhardwaj, AR Rahman, Music director Clinton Cerejo and lyricist Shellee at the music launch of Jugni in Mumbai on Tuesday. PTI Photo (PTI12_15_2015_000327A)   | Photo Credit: PTI

Jugni is a fabulous idea, but only on paper. A mercurial, tempestuous, free bird of a talented young musician Vibhavari (Sugandha Garg) leaves her mechanical urban bearings to search for fresh, organic, folk sounds in the narrow lanes of a Punjab village. A cue to music composer Sneha Khanwalkar and MTV’s Sound Trippin? Seems like. Vibs goes looking for singer Bibi Saroop in Hassanpur and discovers her son Mastana (Siddhant Behl) as well.

A shared passion for music brings her close to the young rural singer and an indefinable relationship grows. However, what could have been a compelling story of two distinct worlds clashing yet coming together fails to come alive with any passion on screen largely because the execution lacks the fire which this film and its subject so deserve. There could have been interesting layers to the story-telling but the film turns out way too straight, flat and insipid.

Director: Shefali Bhushan

Starring: Sugandha Garg, Siddhant Behl, Sadhana Singh, Samir Sharma, Anuritta K Jha

Run time: 113 minutes

A likeable set of performers gets awkwardly handled. Take the self-conscious, knit eyebrows expression of Sugandha which is used to communicate her going into a trance in the sufi song at the remote dargah. The essential fervour and feeling just doesn’t come across. Siddhant is great when singing/performing but inconsistent in the dramatic sequences.

The casual sex, the separation, the party scenes, the fight and makeup with the boyfriend feel too gawky. The soundtrack is the backbone of the film. Call me a purist but even here an unadulterated Bulle Shah works magic than the attempt at fusion with English pop.

The most effective and affecting thing about the film is, it’s glimpse of the fecund and fertile Punjabi pop/folk industry and how the unassuming kings of that world (who are offered seats by fans in crowded local buses) could lose their identity and get exploited when they head to the city. That story deserves a standalone film.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 8:55:28 PM |

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