When something is a hit in the Punjabi industry everyone just starts following it blindly and it becomes the formula for the forthcoming movies or videos. Something similar is yet again happening in the Punjabi industry. After an overdose of senseless comedy movies since 2012, there have been little variations, but the base line remained the same; Hit party number + senseless punch lines + too many comedians and an actress who will only add glamour. Too many of the same kind and the audience was just done with them. The recent trending pattern of Punjabi movies is Period films.
A period film is a movie where makers attempt to faithfully depict a specific time period from the past.
In Hollywood we have seen masterpieces like Titanic, Pride and Prejudice, King’s Speech and many more. And here in Pollywood, movies that are currently doing well are period movies like Punjab 1984, Angrej which broke records in 2015 and the recently released global blockbuster Bambukat.
Period movies have been a window for us to see culture and beauty of Punjab in the pre –independence era, the dark era of 1984 and the age old romance in those times as well. Harish Verma’s Vaapsi, Anurag Singh’s Punjab 1984 gave us a glimpse of what happened with the young boys post 1984. The beauty in these movies is the work done by the creative directors who take us back in time. Another movie which showed the culture of Punjab beautifully was Harbhajan Mann’s Hanni, which was released in 2013. The movie had a wedding sequence which would show you each and every ritual which happened during those times. The phulkari, jaggo, boliyan give one a trip to real Punjab. The movie lacked the element of comedy which was probably the reason why the audience didn’t accept it well but currently it's being considered as a cult movie.
Angrej which broke records last year was the highest grosser in North America. Set in the pre-independence era, this one showcased an innocent love story with measured seasoning of drama and laughter. The movie was shot in Rajasthan and was an absolute delight for the eyes. The set up, the props, the dresses and dialect, everything reminded us of the old times, which we had always heard but never witnessed.
Navaniat Singh’s Shareek was an engaging drama about paternal properties and deadly disputes.The rivalry was displayed through different generations and yet again we saw Punjab transforming through the post-independence era till today. Director Navaniat confesses that period movies are a wonderful way to show the rich cultural background of Punjab to people who are unaware of it or to people who have forgotten about it. He also states that there are many untouched stories from the soil of Punjab which should be made, stories which our future generations should know.
While talking to Dheeraj Rattan, who has been writing super hit movies of Punjab, we got to know his take and he said that period movies are good until and unless they have a strong concept or storyline. He also pointed out that period movies have nothing very extraordinary but their unique selling point is their simplicity and the fact that whenever we watch these movies, the stories narrated by our grandparents start getting a visual shape.
Many more songs and movies such as Mitti Na Pharol Jogiya, Dulla Bhatti, Vaapsi, Once Upon A Time In Amritsar and songs like Ammy Virk’s Haan Kargi are made on the same lines. Seems like this is the new formula everyone is using and loads and loads of it is still getting heated to be served to the audiences.
But do we want to be served the same dish again and again?