‘Mel Karade Rabba’ is a commercially successful but a socially damaging film.
The slogan of the film ‘hockey di taqat kalam di taqat nalo wadh hai’ is encouraging the youth in general and that of Punjab in particular to opt for violence instead of education; moreover, not for any social reform but just to show off their hollow egoistic tendencies, wealth, their hypocritical attitude and to win over the heart of a beautiful girl. In the beginning I would say, MKR is just like any other routine masala Bollywood film made in Punjabi with a tarka of so called Punjabi attitude. The mundeehr (ਮੁੰਡ੍ਹੀਰ-The Gang of Boys) will definitely like the movie, because they prefer this lifestyle and punjabi girls may relate to character of Seerat (Neeru Bajwa) as she depicts their own heartfelt and real emotions.
The story is just an ordinary one and very predictable. Leading male protagonists Rajbir Gill (Jimmy Shergill) and Nihal (Gippy Grewal) are students of the same college. Both have hard feelings against each other. Rajbir wants to dominate Nihaal and vice-versa. But what is the reason of wrangle between them – this question remained unanswered till the end. In the beginning, when Rajbir is beating a guy with hockey, Nihaal comes to his rescue, but neither does he take the injured guy out of Rajbir’s clutches nor even tries to move a step forward to rescue the victim. But he speaks some highly dramatic dialogues to dominate Rajbir and of course to get applause from audience. There are many scenes to which tend to develop a fight between them, but both never clash till the end. Only once do their gang members lock horns. Though this whole quarrel contributes towards the development of the main plot, yet it proves to be illogical. The movie begins with clash and takes a turn to be a love and hate story, when Rajbir has a glimpse of Seerat passing by. Rajbir falls in love with her at first sight while on the other hand; Seerat’s heart is filled with hatred for him. From here the story follows a routine course. Rajbir’s heroic efforts to win Seerat’s heart result in success, but unveiling of his wrong acts becomes an obstacle in the final fruition of their relationship.
Many blunders take the story far from the reality. Seerat is criticizing Rajbir in the scene, when he comes to her house for the first time, while his mother is sitting at her left side chair. It is impossible that a girl is criticizing a son and his mother is listening with ease without any reaction. Seerat, who hates Rajbir and could not even bear his presence, dances on his tunes during the song ‘dil wali kothi’. Amazing!!! In the scene of marriage ceremony family members and guest are already sitting in marriage hall, and Seerat and Nihal enter walking together for their own marriage ceremony and take seat on decorated chairs. It seems all the more funny because Seerat had not even cared to see Nihal’s photograph.
On the acting terms, Jimmy Shergill is again very well into the shoes of Rajbir Gill. He has not only played but lived the character on celluloid. He has potential to be the face of Punjabi Movies. Though he needs to polish his language, but still it is workable. Gippy Grewal as Nihal outshines in the grey character, which culminates into a heroic villain at the end. His dialogue delivery and acting skills proved much better than what was being expected from him – though this being his first movie, there is always a scope of improvement. Small but powerful role justifies his choice of the character for debut, but in future this grey shade tag may stick to him. Neeru Bajwa (Seerat) has improved a lot in both physique and acting skills. Her newly slim shape is an eye candy. She looks matured as an actor in emotional scenes. She portrays the emotion of a ruined beloved, when Rajbir, after the encounter with her father, turns back to hooliganism (though false it was). Only one thing, she should take in consideration is her dress up style. Though she looks nice in western dresses and acceptable as young Punjabi girl in these outfits, but when she wears tops pulled down up to her biceps, it looks deliberate and an awkward act. It seems weirdly offensive when her father had to hold her shoulder in the same scene. She looks fine in Punjabi suits. Comedy and comedians are at top notch. Jaswinder Bhalla excels in his role, especially the scene when he forces Rajbir to get married. The whole laddu sequence is entertaining and well shot. Bhotu Shah-Kake Shah did justice to their characters. Amar Noorie, though her face tells her age (that suits to her character), is tremendous in her character of Rano. Shivinder Mahal (Seerat’s Father) depicts the right attitude of a daughter’s father, in the scene across railway tracks, when he comes face to face with Rajbir. All the other ladies are strictly okay. Diljit is surprise for audience in the last scene. Any comment about his acting skills would be injustice. His sequence at the climax is a stunt for mouth publicity, but scenes like this must be avoided. It was a deliberate act of director/writer and a most destructive one. It turns to be an anti-climax against the moral of the story, which tells us that love can change any one and make him/her responsible person. Even Diljit’s character does not give any justifiable reason for giving up pen and picking up Hockey. It is an anti-youth verdict which inspires the youngsters to choose violence instead of education. Moreover, it insults the educated and peaceful youngsters of Punjab. I must add that it defames the most honored hockey players, who have contributed a lot with the hockey in positive sense.
Director Navniat Singh has put in a lot of hard work to narrate the story on screen. Though at many points various scenes are abrupt and need more elaboration, yet he is successful in giving an up-scale look to a Punjabi film equal to the Bollywood movies. He could have tighter screenplay. His chemistry with the whole team is visible on screen; especially he has established Gippy’s character with an extra effort and special effects. Only the lack of logic between the quarrels of both protagonists is unbearable. Many a times he seems to be in a rush to cut down the length. Cinematography is the real USP for this most predictable film. Harmeet Singh, many times gives the impression of handling camera and direction at the same time. Action is dramatic. Writing part is also commendable. Few dialogues are memorable ones.
Music is the major attraction, which brings audience to the theatre and it is worth listening. Song, punjabi munde, in the very beginning takes the audience on a joyful ride and Atif’s rona chhad ta, takes them to a height of emotion. Song, dil wali kothi gives the charm of romance and fun. Title song, though fits appropriately into the story, but its composition is very fast and that makes it unclear to ears and difficult to understand. Can you get the words sung by Jasbir Jassi ‘tere hath yaar nu milaan wali dor a’ All the music directors have done good job. Gippy’s song (patched at the last moment in the movie few days before release) does not satisfy his fans, because the censored track ‘sher ban ke’ is played when the end credits roll up. It ends as soon as it starts.
Final verdict, Mel Karade Rabba is a routine bollywood style predictable masala movie, which can break records at box office, but could not be remembered in long run. In the name of supporting cinema, we can not take back home destructive thoughts, when youngsters of Punjab are already, under the influence of power play, indulging in quarrels and waiting in the endless queues outside courts.
Watch it for good production quality, Gippy Grewal’s new avatar and essence of love, but avoid if you are going for some sensible cinema.