Competing with the other two releases over the week, Airlift and Kya Kool Hai Hum 3, Jugni had to be something fresh to attract audience into halls. And well, this movie certainly has a little freshness to offer from the debutant Director. I would define this movie as a musical journey which unties many knots as it progresses.
The movie starts with the Jugni, Vibhawari or Vibs, as you will hear it more often (played by Sugandha Garg) getting a ticket for a destination in Punjab and you don’t need to be an Einstein to guess that the movie will showcase the vibrancy and energy of the state. But the screenplay adds much more to it. It takes you in the narrow lanes of rural Punjab, a life that is still much unseen on the silver screen.
Vibhawari visits Punjab in search of a local Sufi artist, Bibi Saroop (played by Sadhana Singh) and as the destiny has it in store, she meets her son first, Mastana (played by Siddhanth Behl) who is a raw talent in himself. A music director by profession, Vibhawari is all ears for the talent she came looking for and the talent that came across her. While she is recording them, the increasing fondness Mastana showcases irritates his love in the village, Preeto. On the other hand, Vibs is having her share of complications in life with his love in Mumbai, Sid (played by Samir Sharma).
The movie displays a clear contrast between the lives of a Mumbai Girl, Vibhawari and the village boy, Mastana. With their lives being so apart, still it’s the music that gets them together.
All the characters seem well-defined and you can’t really get confused over who’s who in the movie. Keeping the backdrop of a Punjab village in mind, the dialogues have been kept quite simple and raw, just illustrating with one such dialogue, when Bibi Saroop tends to resist Mastana from day-dreaming about all the dreams shown to her by Vibhawari, she says “Pardesi Yaar Kiske, Mauz Kari aur Khiske”. The dialogs do convey the intentions they were written to convey and hence, a thumbs up for it. The story writer seems to have done her homework well which shows into the detailing done with the characters, just like a character, one of the persons in Mastana’s singing group, ‘Jeeta Jazbaati’, much like the names singers associate with in the state.
One nice point the movie tends to touch upon is about the raw and rich talent that is going unnoticed in different parts of the country. And even if it gets noticed, it is not weighed on fair scales. There is a scene in the movie, when Bibi Saroop asks for little money from Vibhawari for the song she recorded, and when Mastana visits Mumbai and his song is ignored by the party guests.
Jugni’s music touches the heart and soul alike. Since the story revolves all around music, or more specifically Sufi music, this aspect had to be taken care well and Clinton Cerejo does a good job. Well, just to get you craving more, there’s one song by A.R. Rahman too. Bulle Shah’s lyrical verses have been used quite often in the movie and hence, they add to the Sufi flavour of the movie.
Having said all that, there is always a scope for improvement. There were few moments in the movie, which I felt should have been carried on. The second half of the movie is better paced in the movie as the story moves towards untying the complicated knots in life. Also, as a viewer, as I start craving to see a little more of Jugni, the movie ends just then. May be, it has been left so intentionally for a sequel. Still, kudos to the debutant Shefali Bhushan, she has brought together a musical movie that tends to blend and at the same time, differentiate the modern and traditional worlds.
Watch Jugni this weekend for the simplicity and soul it offers.