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Posted at: Oct 5, 2018, 5:54 PM; last updated: Oct 5, 2018, 5:54 PM (IST)MOVIE REVIEW: AFSAR

This afsar lost his plot

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Movie: Afsar

  • Star cast: Tarsem Jassar, Nimrat Khaira, Gurpreet Ghuggi, Karamjit Anmol, Phukraj Bhalla, Nirmal Rishi, Gurpreet Bhangu, Rana Jung Bahadur
  • Director: Gulshan Singh
This afsar lost his plot
A poster of Afsar

Jasmine Singh

Popularity comes with its own weight, and to maintain it, an artiste is expected to balance that weight with one up performance. This week’s Punjabi film release, Afsar, has heavy duty names starting from writer Jass Grewal, actors Tarsem Jassar, Gurpreet Ghuggi and Karamjit Anmol, and despite all this it loses balance, precisely in the second half. 

Director Gulshan Kumar does a decent job in the first half. The characters are introduced nicely and crisply. As the story, written by Jass Grewal, rolls one expects melodrama, specially as the story shows a promising opening. So far so good, but as soon as you come back after the interval, you realise that the game has changed. This is no longer the interesting story that you were watching, everything has turned into some childish school play with characters laughing and running around for no apparent reason. By this time, the story has assumed a malleable state and all the characters are beating their drums to give it a shape. 

The second half of the film shows how not maintaining a balance can cost a lot. It is in the second half that you are introduced to a villain whose villainy can’t scare even a six-year-old child, let alone Jaspal (played by Tarsem Jassar) and the entire village. In the second half you see comedy being stretched to unbearable limit, in this half, you come across songs shoved in for no rhyme or reason and in it is here you see the story shedding its weight. 

Singer-actor Tarsem Jassar with an amazing screen presence and unbeatable style cannot balance the weight. In fact, one feels sad to see a prolific actor being reduced to being just ‘funny’. Gurpreet Ghuggi and Karamjit Anmol are interesting, and so is Phukraj Bhalla who shows great potential. But together in the second half, all the three are reduced to artistes performing on a school stage. Rana Jung Bahadur is the villain of the film. The entire second half is dedicated to his on- screen buffoonery. It looks like that the director wasn’t very sure how he wanted to present the villain. Nirmal Rishi and Gurpreet Bhangu are utterly wasted. As for Nimrat Khaira, the popular singer-actor, has a good screen face, but someone needs to tell her that this isn’t a ‘oh sho sweet school performance’, this is a film and she needs to say her dialogues like an artiste and also emote. Even though Tarsem Jassar and Nimrat make for a good on-screen pair, there is hardly any chemistry between the two. She is too coy to be true and he is too quiet to be romantic!

In many scenes, the background score of the film does go with the theme. The songs, however, are romantic and sad but if the director was trying to save Afsar from losing balance by bringing in singer Gurnam Bhullar and Himanshi Khurana in a song sequence, well, sadly he couldn’t. In the end, even though this Afsar has a great start, it loses way and enters a marriage party never to return to his right place!

jasmine@tribunemail.com

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