Movie Review: Bhangra Paa Le

Bollywood is already drooling over the elder Kaushal brother. Vicky Kaushal, from a humble debut with MASAAN, is now the dark horse that filmmakers look up to. In that light, here’s Sunny Kaushal, who hasn’t exactly made it big yet, but looks consistent with his efforts. After his debut stint SUNSHINE MUSIC TOURS AND TRAVELS which didn’t quite hit the gold spot and a brief appearance in GOLD, here’s he, with his third outing, a dance drama. Does BHANGRA PAA LE turn out to be the game-changer, or does it not?

BHANGRA PAA LE revolves around Jaggi (Sunny Kaushal), a Punjabi lad and a vehement Bhangra enthusiast. He gets through to an international competitive platform and needs to win it over other contestants to exhibit the dance form to a larger audience. However, Jaggi isn’t your regular Bhangra guy. He is also trying to transcend beyond a set dance form and bring flavours of fusion by merging Bhangra with several Western dance forms. Parallel to this runs a story of Jaggi's grandfather Kaptaan Singh (Sunny Kaushal), a warrior fighting the World War II. As it sounds, it is also about how different generations are bound together in the essence of evergreen music and dance. Then comes Simi (Rukshar Dhillon), not as Sunny’s dreamy romantic companion but as his rival. A feisty Punjabi girl with a strong grip of Punjabi folk steps, she is the daughter of a single mother. Will Jaggi manage to win the competition, will his passion for bhangra rub off on the audience is what the rest of the film is?

The story (Dheeraj Rattan) shuttles between two different time periods, trying to strike a chord with similar kinds of love, loss and agony. However, the depiction is rather forced. As a soldier who wants to come back home to his ladylove, Sunny is relatably nice. As a college guy who is unable to accept his defeat, he doesn’t impact us much. While the idea of an enthusiastic dancer upholding his art sounds good, the script, in reality, is entangled. It slips off its pace at times, and seems to focus too much on the dance part, therefore not maintaining its compactness. Also, if you are someone who has watched LOVE AAJ KAL, you will probably end up finding a gallon of similarities!

BHANGRA PAA LE marks the directorial debut for Sneha Taurani, who has earlier assisted filmmakers such as Ayan Mukerji and Mohit Suri. Her approach towards the story is fresh, but the product turns out to be mundane in many parts. It’s one thing that BHANGRA PAA LE has no extraordinary plots to offer you, but Sneha’s attempt of spinning a predictable story could result in better things.

Coming to performances, while the box office wasn’t kind to him in his first film SUNSHINE MUSIC TOURS AND TRAVEL, Sunny Kaushal's got the mettle. You can say that, looking at how he assimilates the energy, passion and determination that his character demands him to show. Adding to that, he has certainly put in noticeable efforts to master his steps. Rukshar is great to look at when she grooves, but she yet has a long way to go in terms of acting. Rukshar and Sunny’s chemistry doesn’t cook up either. Shriya Pilgaonkar has a brief part to play, and with her sober self.

The music has been worked upon, by young, off beat and talented composers such as A Bazz, Rishi Rich and Yash Narvekar. But, 10 songs in 2 hours felt like an overdose, and none of the songs really stay with you. Rather, the background score is neat and situational, and complements the moods. The cinematography (Jitan Harmeet Singh) is clean but adds no special value to the film. However, editing (Antara Lahiri) has saved the film to a large extent. If the time lapses went wrong, we’d probably be left confused as to who was doing what.

On the whole, BHANGRA PAA LE is strictly average one-time watch with no remarkable performances. At the box office, it will go largely unrecognised.