Verdict: Ranjit Bawa’s first solo release works in parts.
Ranjit Bawa starrer Bhalwan Singh is one of the most keenly awaited films of 2017. Ever since its inception, Bhalwan Singh is being looked forward to by millions of Ranjit Bawa fans. This is the first movie that has Ranjit Bawa play the solo lead hero role.
Moreover, the productions houses backing the movie (Nadar Films, J Studio and Rhythm Boyz Entertainment) have presented only quality cinema and blockbusters in the past. The catchy promos and soulful music had raised the bar of expectations from the movie prior to its release. Does Bhalwan Singh manage to live upto those expectations? Let's analyze.
What’s Bhalwan Singh About:
Bhalwan Singh (Ranjit Bawa) is a good-for-nothing young man from a small village in Punjab. He is desperate to prove to other villagers that he too is a warrior and can stand against the British Empire. But he is not sure how to do it. Whilst he tries hard, all his efforts go in vain and he even fails to impress Veero (Navpreet Banga), the girl of his dreams. Slowly, Bhalwan Singh and his friend Dittu (Karamjit Anmol) decide to take things on their own hands and kidnap a British architect. Soon, things start to fall in place for the duo in the funniest way and Bhalwan gets the attention that he yearns for.
First and foremost, not everyday do you get to see stories like Bhalwan Singh. The makers should be lauded for supporting a novel concept. Set in the pre-independence era, the makers get almost everything perfect as far as the setting and the locations are concerned.
The promos of Bhalwan Singh suggested that it would be a hilarious take of a lean and petite man taking on an entire unit of the British East India Company. The movie succeeds on that front as it offers many laugh-out-loud moments.
Bhalwan Singh starts off on a high note as all characters are introduced. The confrontations between Ranjit Bawa and Karamjit Anmol keep the viewer hooked onto the movie. Your heart goes out to Bawa who is constantly ignored by other villagers. The proceedings in the first half keep you glued to the screen as Manav Vij and others loot the British safes. The way Ranjit Bawa manages to free his acquaintances and also single-handedly loot the entire safe is showcased wonderfully. The story has an apt ending and proves that you do not need brawn to bring down an empire; wit and intelligence will also do.
Ranjit Bawa is the heart and soul of the movie. He is perfect for the role of Bhalwan Singh. Bawa’s comic timing is impeccable. Navpreet Banga debuts with Bhalwan Singh and manages to impress. She is another example of perfect casting as her role required someone who is a female warrior. Manav Vij is superb and makes an impact. Karamjit Anmol provides adequate laughter alongwith Ranjit Bawa. His one-liners are hilarious. Mahavir Bhullar is first-rate.
Param Shiv, the director, gets most things right in his debut. His vision for the movie is visible in every frame. He gets the best out of Bawa and does complete justice to the script at hand. Editing (Manish More) is crisp. The DOP Anshul Chobey glorifies the Rajasthan villages with aplomb. The art director (Vijay Dona) does a fine job. The background music deserves a special mention as it lifts the overall impact of the movie. The music (Gurmoh) is in sync with the movie. Dil Di Dua and Aakad are the pick of the lot.
What could have been better:
Any movie that has an underdog who performs extraordinarily and achieves victory in the end must have two important aspects. First, the protagonist must be shown as someone who is discarded by all. And second, his victory in the end should make the viewer stand up and cheer for him. Whilst the first part is beautifully portrayed, its the latter that does not work for the movie. The required impact of attaining triumph in the climax is missing. The viewer takes back home the one-liners and hilarious moments from the movie, but misses the required goosebumps when Ranjit Bawa brings down the British unit. Also, love story between Bawa and Navpreet hardly works and does not generate any excitement.
Why you should watch:
Bhalwan Singh is a different film. The story, the setting, and the characters are all new for the Punjabi audience. The movie should be seen for its virgin concept and the wonderful portrayal of Bhalwan Singh by Ranjit Bawa.
— Gurlove Singh