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Once Upon A Time In Amritsar Review: This One Stirs Deep Inside

By: Gurleen | June 11, 2016

Off lately I have been quite disappointed by the kind of Punjabi films being made. I wasn't even too sure whether I would go and watch Once Upon A Time In Amritsar but well, call it a co-incidence, the R-Tree PR team sent us an invite for the premiere show and I must confess that the movie certainly did not disappoint me.

I left the theatre with lukewarm emotions. The film, directed by Harjit Singh Ricky and produced by Mohit Banwait, isn’t actively bad.

Though this film had initially failed to get clearance from the Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC), which was also the reason for it's delayed release, but even the censored version gave me a lot of scenes to bite my nails.

Once Upon A Time In Amritsar isn't a love story, nor is it a thriller. I wouldn't even grade it as an action film and definitely not a comedy. I'd like to categorize it as a thought provoking film which doesn't have a fixed motive but does manage to stir one's deepest emotions. The message in the end, in Pawan's high intensity dialogues, was worth an ear.

amritsar review

This film is the story of two rural Punjabi boys who study and finally get fed up because they don't get hired for a job. Things happen and Dilpreet Dhillon gets unintentionally involved in a grave terrorist activity that is being planned - to blow up the Golden Temple. He seeks help from the police officials who in return, shoo him off by blaming him of hoax information.

Ultimately, the duo starts exploring things with their own sane mind and in the end lose their lives for saving the Gurughar and many present there.

Let's talk about the good things in the film:

The introductory song sung by Nachhattar Gill sets the mood for what is coming next.

The starcast is promising and being Dilpreet Dhillon's first film, he doesn't disappoint. Gurjind Mann, on the other hand, is a good actor who has carried off the film well. Dilpreet is one example that not all singer turned actors are a bad experiment. Rather I feel that he does have the potential for me to go and watch his next, whenever he plans to do one.

The suspense made me watch the film with a lot of concentration. Some of the thrills that this one gave me were quite unexpected.

Pawan Raj Malhotra, Ashish Duggal, Shivender Mahal, B.N. Sharma, Dolly Minhas and the actress who played Gurjind's sister, have all done a good job in the film.

The Direction is average and the songs were okay.

Speaking of the disappointments in this film, I feel that a lot of disconnect at places made the film lose credibility. The opening scene of the film showed a murder investigation happening and Pawan, the inspector, finds some evidence which, he commands his subordinate,to dispatch for forensic examination. What was the relevance of this scene??

amritsar review

Why does Gurjind's father suddenly decide to commit suicide? What was the point of even introducing this character's suicidal story in the film?

An amazing actor such as B.N Sharma was completely wasted in this film. Yet again have the film makers proved that the credibility of such great actors isn't respected and the characters are mere add-ons to inculcate unwanted humour at places.

The actresses had not much to do in this film. Rather, I am surprised at Tanvi Nagi, how in the world is she attending so many press conferences and promotions when she's only being seen in two scenes in the film and a song?? Is that what a lead actress does?? I remember her saying during an interaction with us that her character was very close to her real self but....aaaah Tanvi...I couldn't really understand what exactly was your part in the film? What was upsetting was that the second scene where Tanvi had to cry was the most horrendous crying scene unnatural!

Gurjind has also been the dialogue writer of this film, besides being the brain behind the story. Well, I wasn't really happy with the dialogues, most of them were too old and repetitive. I remember a few like Mera Tractor legae ta ehda lagreha hai ke mera puttar legae or the one which went like main koi bandar aa jo kitaban faarh daunga, etc. These weren't the best of words which could have stayed with me till long because I have heard them in many other movies before.

The bombs looked like bluetooth speakers! How could these two suddenly become such bravehearts that they start carrying these dangerous bombs tucked in their jeans like a baton?? No fear?

How does the shooter know in the end that these guys have vispotak in their hands?? What happens to the bombs when they are thrown in water?? What happens to the final bomb which they are unsuccessful in getting, the one placed at the Akal Takht??

The most important question - Ashish Duggal and his gang had no guns?? They fought with swords but the biker in the first half had a gun. So, where did the guns disappear that they had to fight with the swords? Also, the constant calling and death by falling off the roof was merely for a black and white drawing of Harimandir Sahib? Couldn't these guys just get another map and make markings on that rather than giving calls to Dilpreet for that god forsaken piece of blank paper which got washed with some chemical and ultimately revealed a drawing, which could have been found anywhere in the local map?

amritsar review

The last 15 minutes of the movie were unwanted and stretchy but I did like the song in the end and was even humming it on my way back.

Once Upon A Time In Amritsar Review : ***/***** 3/5 (Especially for a story that was different than the rest)

It should be watched this weekend!


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