Sunday, January 24, 2016

Movie Review: Jugni

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The Story Frame:

Jugni is Shefali Bhushan's debut movie as a director. Prior to this Shefali was hosting and running a website 'Beat Of India". The website made many lesser known and obscure musicians from small towns and villages reach  a larger audience. Jugni is inspired from her innumerable interactions and musical experiences she drew from those musical talents she met for 'Beat Of India'.

Vibhavari the protogonist of this movie is a music director who is working on her first break in Bollywood. She reaches a village in Punjab in search of a sufi singer Bibi Saroop and her interactions with Bibi Saroop and her singer son Mastana changes her life course leading to dramatic twists and turns to all related to her life. The music is composed by Clinton Cerejo and also have contributions from Vishal Bhardwaj and A.R. Rahman.

Cast: Vibhavari (Sugandha Garg), Bibi Saroop (Sadhana Singh), Mastana (Siddhant Behl), Preeto (Aniruta Jha), Siddharth (Samir Sharma), Jeeta Jazbaati Chandan Gill

Genre: Musical Romance

Direction: Shefali Bhushan

Produced by: Karan Grover, Manas Malhotra, Shefali Bhushan

Production Company: Dhun Productions

Distributor: PVR Pictures

Written by: Shefali Bhushan

Cinematographer: Divakar Mani

Music: Clinton Cerejo

Film Editing by: Navnita Sen

Theatre Release: 22nd January, 2016

Language: Hindi

Duration: 114 minutes

Image Courtesy: (L -R) Shefali Bhushan, Sadhana Singh, Siddhant Behl, Sugandha Garg, Anurita Jha
Reviewer's Thumb Mark

Jugni is riveting! It brings in a freshness that is unpredictable. It is a musical love story where the city lights finds in roads to reach the mundane life of a village  singer. Vibhavari (Sugandha Garg), a struggling music director who is looking for a big break in Bollywood is creatively stuck because she is not able to meet the creative expectations of her movie director whose movie is underproduction. Vibhavari is also in a live-in relationship with her boyfriend Sid (Samir Sharma) shouldering the load of the EMI of their newly bought apartment. It seems that Sid is financially stable as a Television Serial Actor than Vibhavari and therefore, she appears to be dependent on him financially to some extent.

Vibhavari's creative block and the stress related to it seeps into their live-in relationship and disturbs the equations slowly. Her hunt for a unique voice and fresh music turns her into a sojourner. She reaches one fine morning in Hassanpur a nondescript village in Punjab in search of Bibi Saroop (Sadhana Singh) a sufi singer with an earthy voice that she believes will set her career soar high in Bollywood.

Her interactions with Mastana (Siddhant Behl) the equally talented son of Bibi Saroop and following their friendship based on music being the common interest alters their life beyond their imaginations. Mastana who silently cherishes the desire to move out of the shadow of his much talented mother and make his own mark finds Vibhavari's visit to his home as a blessing in disguise. Watching Bibi Saroop and Mastana live and breathe music and sufi songs, prolongs Vibhavari's stay in their village. And one fine day Mastana and Vibhavari's visit to listen to Sufi songs at a Dargah and their stay in an old dilapidated house binging on Gulabo (a locally made alcohol) takes them to a trance.

What happens to Sid and Preeto (Anurita Jha) the village girl who is blindly in love with Mastana. How do they manage to disentangle from the web of guilt? Jugni the movie under production makes Vibhavari a known entity? What happens to Mastana? Does he accept Sid and continue with Preeto? What happens to Sid and Vibhavari's live-in relationship? There are so many interesting twists and turns which I would love you to watch on screen.

Sugandha Garg as Vibs is outstanding and has given an awesome performance convincingly. Siddhant Behl as a chatterbox is unflinching as an actor. He is successful in making his presence felt and has undoubtedly made a mark on screen through Jugni. Clinton Cerejo's music is a blend of Punjabi folk, Sufi and mainstream ballad. He has played it so well that it makes one swoon with musical joy. The tilte song and Dillan De Saudey by Javed Bashir, Lakhon Salaam by AR. RahmanZarre Zarre mein noor bt Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and the super 'Hatt Mullah' western-Sufi fusion are some of the high moments of Jugni one would experience while watching it.

Jugni is unapologetic, it is meant for all those free-spirited souls who love to live life on their own terms. Who believe that their passion is their career and one day that will make them reach their promised land. Is Jugni is the making of music and the unmaking of relationships? Go and watch this little firefly (Jugni) illuminating your life with Bulleshah inspired Sufi-western musical freshness.

Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 3.5/5