Bhai Baldeep Previews ‘Son Of Manjeet Singh’

It was a pleasure to watch the premiere of ‘Son Of Manjeet Singh’ at #PVRPlaza with #JasbirJassi, #GurpreetGhuggi, #KapilSharma, #KanchanJha, Maurizia Singh, #JapjiKhaira and a house all full. I am not exactly a film critic but as someone who understands the space within a single frame, the idea of light and not-light, and story-telling and listening, here is my twopence.
 
You would have heard and seen Gurpreet Ghuggi crack your guts open with his silly sense of humour, making you laugh at will — well, he has now conspired with the one and only Kapil Sharma to make you cringe and cry in addition. Gurpreet’s solo act was a revelation for me — I have known him for years but he, acting as #Manjeet, finally had me in awe with his long I-never-wanted-it-to-end shot dancing like a monkey, meowing, woofing, miming, sobbing and joking in trying to wake up his comatose son, and everyone in the PVR Plaza weeping along.
 
There are many catchy topics flying all around but I was particularly touched with his choice of focussing on two things — one, the ridiculous burden of expectation that parents place on their young children leading to unacceptable numbers of student suicides, and two, lack thereof, of focus on sports and wellbeing. #GurpreetGhuggi, as Manjeet, wants you to buddy up with your child, expand your parental horizons and to dance and play with your children. Manjeet wishes for your child to be adept in studies but simultaneously be a good sportsperson, a poet, an artist or a musician. He wants your child to have a fine sense of humour, wit and intelligence and to be able to see your love, compassion and prayer even through your parental reprimand and sanction. From physical appearance, Gurpreet is no Ranbir Kapur or the likes of Diljit Dosanjh or those who can rely on sex-o-macho alia to sell their tickets. Gurpreet‘s is an ordinary body frame nothing much to speak about. Gurpreet is a master-artist who relies on his honed talent. Gurpreet glues you to your seat. Gurpreet personally holds your eyelids wide open. Gurpreet does not allow for monotony to settle. Gurpreet is now a puppeteer incarnate – his audience, his puppets. Gurpreet can now dare and even defy logic – he can tell a joke, to make you cry. Like a dancer attempts to, Ghuggi was waking up all rasas from the graveyards of Natyashashtra. And yes, I witnessed him regulate his audience’s blood flow. This movie is, if I may, a responsible contribution to Punjabi Cinema, honouring it with some fresh air.
 
The movie is a must watch. It is about a low-income widower struggling to come to terms with life as a single parent, a ‘ghainṭ puttar’ and a ‘bībī-dhī’. Gurpreet sarcastically highlights the Punjabi preference of a #malechild over the girl child who is supposed to be docile in comparison — and who should be able to, as the film shows, make wonderful ‘cups of tea’, serve food on time, and study well, that is, train prospectively to be a ‘capable housewife’. Gurpreet successfully exposes Punjabi society’s overemphasis on a male progeny and low or zero emphasis on the #girlchild.
 
I urge you all to take time out with your family and friends and jump in Son of Manjeet Singh‘s whirlwind of emotions and drown yourself in each others’ tears, and laughter. Please do spare a few seconds to share this post in order to spread the word around.
 
I had a few technical issues too —with some of the camera angles, (handheld) movement especially the stadium shot —the handheld movement seemed overdone, and editing. I think film gains strength in the collective (of the colony where Manjeet lives) but loses some lustre at the ending where he seems a little too alone basking in the glory of his cricketer son. The #SonOfManjeetSingh cast though is fantastic. I was so glad to see many a comedian live their roles. BN Sharma was fabulous, as the moneylender, once again. His checking with his assistant if Sachin Tendulkar too was his client, when Sachin gets out, was ridiculously well done. The two young actors too, in the roles of Jaivīr Singh and Simran Kaur, were natural and excellent. I thought the talented Japji Khaira’s role could’ve been better woven —there was space. Having said that, I admire the courage of the film producers for they chose not to depend on cheap romantics in order to earn a quick buck. Gurpreet Ghuggi knows that it is not necessary to use all seven notes to form a rāga —all seven colours to make a masterpiece.
— kahani āve agar
bāt bhalī to ēk svar sē hī ho jātī hai
— ghaḍanī je āvē
tasvīra bhī to ik raṅg sē bhar jātī hai
 
By the way, Kanchan Jha, you finally got cast in a frame, eh, and you were in tears at one time. Was it upon watching Ghuggi’s on-screen antics, or seeing your ‘dead’ self on the wall?!! 😂
 
I thought Kapil Sharma’s aunt (Bhuā Ji) blessing Gurpreet Ghuggi with a 100 Rupee note after the show, and showering him with her prayers was particularly moving. I hope, the movie does well and attracts lots of audience around the globe.
 
Here are a few selfies and a photo from last evening.

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