Bhangra Paa Le movie review: Sunny Kaushal is yet to hit his stride, thanks to a contrived screenplay and feeble script
A musical needs catchy numbers but out of the 10 songs in Bhangra Paa Le, the only memorable ones are remixes.
In a dusty battlefield during the ongoing World War II, a soldier pulls up a dhol (drums), and starts beating out a tune. His song emboldens the deflated company to charge into battle. Sunny Kaushal plays the soldier. The next scene cuts to a modern day college in Amritsar, where girls are auditioning for a spot in a Bhangra troupe. The lead dancer of this college troupe is also Sunny Kaushal.
Dheeraj Rattan’s story-screenplay intercuts two stories of two dancers – Captaan from the 1940s and Jaggi Singh from 2019. Jaggi is a Part time DJ, and full-time interested in qualifying for a Bhangra competition in London. Because doing that will somehow celebrate his dear departed grandfather’s (Captaan) legacy.
He thinks he has found the perfect female counterpart when he spots Simi dancing up a storm at a wedding. The bubbling romance turns toxic when Jaggi realises Simi is a member of the rival college’s troupe, with equal ambition. She too wants a spot on the Bhangra Battle in London in order to put some personal ghost to rest. Simple conflict set up.
We now have another hour to endure numerous songs, repetitive choreographed dance routines, and a great deal of exposition before we get to the end of this 130-minute tedium.
The film gets a much-needed boost of energy when the action shifts to Jaggi’s hometown, where he cobbles together an earthy set of dancers, called Pendu Club. The Bhangra Battle in London is the setting for the final showdown.
Director Sneha Taurani switches between the sepia-toned past — enlivened by Shriya Pilgaonkar as Captaan’s love Nimmo waiting for his return to Malwa village, Punjab, and a vibrant present, during which Jaggi must overcome father issues, complete a rite of passage, and learn an important life lesson.
Rukshar Dhillon makes up for her stiff dance moves with a sweet act as the self-assured Simi. Sunny, more effective as Jaggi than Captaan, dances his heart out in the numerous set pieces but even after his feature third film, it seems like he is yet to hit his stride.
A musical needs catchy numbers but out of the 10 songs, the only memorable ones are remixes (‘Bhangra Paale’ from Karan Arjun and ‘Ho Ja Rangeela Re’ from Rangeela). In spite of best efforts by the actors, a feeble script, by-the-numbers direction, unimaginative choreography, and contrived drama are unable to burn up the dance floor.
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