When cinema ran parallel
When on one hand, similar prototypes of commercial Punjabi films — with jaded content as the common factor — made us leave halls midway, a handful of films shone bright as the silver lining. Take, for instance, director Anup Singh’s Indo-German film Qissa, starring Irfaan and Tisca Chopra; Indo-Canadian film Surkhaab, featuring Barkha Madaan; Jeet Matharu’s Woman from the East — these movies, brought to us by new filmmakers, provided some relief. They might not have hit the big screens yet, but they did do the rounds at international and national film festivals. Experimentation was the in-thing
Director, producer, actor Kuljinder Sidhu won hearts and respect for his film, Sadda Haq, which narrates the misery and tragedy of the ’80s. Thought the film was engulfed in controversy before its official release – and was released on May 11 instead of April 5 – it saw jam-packed cinema halls. Another experiment that worked with the audience was Rajeev Sharma’s Nabar, made on the budget of Rs 50 lakh. The movie won a National Award in March and hit cinema halls in September 2013.
Kapil Sharma and Sunil Grover: They weren’t part of any Punjabi film, but they made every Punjabi household laugh to their antics. Kapil Sharma (AKA Bittu) and Sunil Grover (AKA Gutthi) wooed us by tickling our funny bone on Color’s Comedy Nights with Kapil. Year of comedians
Love them or hate them, you can’t ignore them. Not like it’s possible! Comedians Binnu Dhillon, Jaswinder Bhalla, Gurpreet Ghuggi, BN Sharma, Rana Ranbir and Karamjit Anmol gained the most out of films; whether the film was a hit or a flop didn’t really matter.
Anurag Singh, Diljit Dosanjh, Neeru Bajwa: After Jatt & Juliet’s release in 2012, Punjabis and NRIs alike awaited its sequel with bated breath. Bollywood may have gone wrong with sequels, but this powerful trio of Pollywood broke the sequel jinx by giving us the smashing hit of 2013, Jatt & Juliet 2, though in the director’s words, ‘it’s not exactly a sequel’. The team that consisted of Pollywood’s topmost director Anurag Singh, unsurpassed actor Diljit Dosanjh and the queen of Pollywood Neeru Bajwa, the film, made on a budget of Rs 8 crore, did business of Rs 35 crore (overall gross).
Gippy Grewal/Smeep Kang: By now we know that Gippy Grewal does films with other directors, but director Smeep Kang remains loyal to his actor friend, thanks to whom he got his first hit, Carry On Jatta, in 2012. While Gippy was seen in films Singh Vs Kaur (by Navaniat Singh) and Best of Luck (by Manmord Sidhu), both of Smeep’s films this year — Lucky Di Unlucky Story and Bhaji in Problem – had Gippy in the lead. In fact, Smeep’s upcoming film, Double Di Trouble, which also marks Dharmender’s debut in Pollywood, also stars Gippy. Beginners’ luck
The year saw many upcoming singers top the charts, unexpectedly. From Amber Vashist’s Akhiyan (Jatt & Juliet 2) and Jassi Gill and Kaur B’s Classmate (Daddy Cool Munde Fool) and both of Bilal Saeed’s songs in Daddy Cool Munde Fool to Hardik Trehan’s (left) Mohabatan from Sikander — new singers made their presence felt. MISSES
We learn from our mistakes; Pollywood directors don’t. When their first attempt failed drastically, they repeated the same blunder with the second. The list includes directors Dheeraj Rattan (Ishq Garaari), Jatinder Mahaur (Sikander) and Harjit Ricky (Jatt Airways).
Hype, hype & more hype!
There was a time when Jimmy Shergill was THE face of Punjabi films. But, after Rangeelay (as an actor) and Saadi Love Story (as a producer), Jimmy should seriously reconsider getting involved in Punjabi cinema. It’s surprising more so because we loved the same Jimmy in Bollywood film Special 26; Similarly, actor Harish Verma garnerd popularity for Jat Tinka’s character in Yaar Anmulle (2011). But, despite doing three films — Daddy Cool Munde Fool, Viah 70km and RSVP – he couldn’t shed the image of Jat Tinka. On the same lines, when Sikander’s trailer released, Punjab thought another male star was going to emerge. Now, do we need to list the reasons behind actor Kartar Cheema’s unsuccessful year? A miss there, a flop here
Anyone and everyone who got imported from Bollywood or the television industry to Pollywood, failed miserably. The never-ending list includes names such as Minissha Lamba, Neha Dhupia, Arya Babbar, Ashmit Patel, Karanvir Bohra, Teejay Sidhu, Tulip Joshi, Taran Khanna, Aarti Chabbaria, Preeti Jhangiana, Gul Panag… pheww! Action inaction
Let’s stop copying Dabangg, please! Exaggerated action sequences in films such as Bikkar Bai Sentimental, Singh Vs Kaur and Rangeelay managed to give us nothing but laughs. Thanks anyway!
It’s good to know your forte, always. Just because Gippy Grewal, Diljit Dosanjh and Roshan Prince did it, doesn’t mean everyone can! The list of singer-turned actors who failed big time this year included Sharry Mann (Oye Hoye Pyaar Ho Gaya), KS Makhan (Sajjan: The Friend), Inderjeet Nikku (Dil Pardesi Ho Gaya) to Sarabjit Cheema (Punjab Bolda) and Alfaaz (Jatt Airways). They might be trying to add variety to their flamboyant life. Please understand, sometimes plain vanilla works better.
What is she wearing?
It’s time producers start investing in stylists for their leading ladies. Take, for instance, Neetu Singh’s bizarre style statement during promotions, Preeti Jhangiani’s ill-fitted, ‘behen ji’ suits in Bikkar Bai Sentimental, Miss Pooja’s clothes in Pooja Kiven Aa and Neeru Bajwa’s copy-paste costumes from Rani Mukherjee’s 2005 film Bunty Aur Babli in Naughty Jatts.