Friday, 22 April 2016

Vaisakhi List :: Movie Review





Vaisakhi List helmed by Smeep Kang is a light, breezy entertainer laden with drama, emotions, romance and above all good amount of situational comedy making it a descent watch. Smeep Kang is a name to reckon with when it comes to helming comedies and one of his directed Punjabi flick 'Carry On Jatta' has attained cult status in comedy genre. Most of Smeep's films have featured singer turned actor Gippy Grewal in the main lead and it is for the very first time that he has made a movie featuring Jimmy Sheirgill in the main lead. Another first is that while most of Smeep's earlier flicks have been slapstick comedies, Vaisakhi List is amalgamation of romance, drama, comedy with strong undercurrents of emotional turbulence. Vaisakhi List is embellished with taut screenplay and some great performances especially by Jimmy Sheirgill and Sunil Grover well aided by Jaswinder Bhalla. On top of it, the movie is laden with genuine wit, humor and laughter which comes naturally as the screenplay progresses. On surface, this might seem like an uncomplicated story, but scratch the exterior and there's a strong undercurrent of comic elements ready to explore and engulf you. That is probably why Vaisakhi List appears to exude much greater energy and exuberance than it intrinsically possesses.   This movie, with its comic plot and wickedly spot-on characterizations is the kind of apt, witty comedy which with several moments will surely bring smile to your faces. It's not that movie is picture perfect as it has its share of glitches too. Some unwanted as well as extended scenes spoil the fun and add to the length of the movie. More crisp editing would have hugely worked in favor of the movie as its run-time of 145 minutes seems a tad too long for movie of this genre. Vaisakhi List, wickedly moves at its own volition with a crazy pattern of comic chaos that stops short of being anarchic due to finely tuned situational satire simulated. 

The story as well as screenplay of the movie has been penned down by Vaibhav Suman along with Shreya Srivastava where as the dialogues have been written by Naresh Kathooria. The writers must be given due credit as many of its punch lines are quite funny, and some of the desperate measures that the protagonists are compelled to take recourse in order to wriggle out of sticky situations border on the uproarious. What makes it watchable is that most of the humor quotient comes from the funny situations finely simulated in the movie which catapults the movie into a finely tuned situational comedy. The sheer daftness and goofiness of the script makes it a likeable smartly paced wild ride. The basic premise of the movie where two convicts who have escaped from prison are now trying to break in back into the prison is quite interesting. The best part is that the script breezes past without any major breakdowns primarily because it doesn't get too adventurous and sticks to its chosen line. And to top it all, the script delivers some emotional detours like Sunil Grover's doting affection for his son which hits the right chords with the audience. The writers managed to weave a interesting premise, add some real quirky one liners but somehow lost the way, towards the climax of the movie. I personally feel that the ending of the movie could have been better. The movie begins inside the jail premises of town Bassi Bathana whose jailor ( Jaswinder Bhalla) shares a great rapport with the prisoners. Aman (Shruti Sodhi) comes to meet a prisoner Jarnail (Jimmy Sheirgill) and tells him that she is getting married the next day. Flashback ensues and we are subjected to the story of Jarnail and Aman who were to get married until one day Jarnail is implicated in the case of opium smuggling. A visibly distressed Jarnail is sitting in the jail premises when he is approached by Tarsem (Sunil Grover). Tarsem tells him that has dug a tunnel in the jail and Jarnail can escape along with him to save the love of his life. Both of them escape from the prison but fate plays a cruel joke on them as they learn that Government has decided to pardon their remaining jail term on Vaisakhi which falls on the same day. Now, instead of running from the law, they decide to get back into the prison so that they can come of the jail legally. What will happen to Jarnail and Tarsem after escaping from jail, Will Jarnail be able to stop Aman's marriage, Will Jarnail and Tarsem be able to sneak back into the prison is what forms the rest of the story. 

Jimmy Sheirgill is like picture-perfect in Vaisakhi List and has looked every inch the character he has portrayed in the movie. Jimmy is so apt as Jarnail that it is hard to imagine anyone else who could have essayed this character of being charming, witty and strong willed too. Jimmy is simply outstanding and delivers a performance that certainly deserves an ovation. I've always held the view that Jimmy is one of the under utilized actors who can set the screen ablaze, if given a well etched out character and Vaisakhi List offered him that opportunity which Jimmy has utilized to the optimum. While conveying his heroic side he also gives a comic interpretation to the chaos around in a charismatic way. For sure, Jimmy Sheirgill is having a blast while working in Punjabi flicks and is entertaining audience to the core. 

Sunil Grover shows the audience the actor he can be with his impeccable performance in Vaisakhi List. We have all seen and cherished his comical side as Gutthi in CNWK but this movie gives him a chance to showcase his emotional deftness and Oh Boy ! Sunil hits all the right notes. He simply nails the character of Tarsem who is a single father and loves his son to the core. Leaving his comical scenes aside which is his forte, Sunil has come out exceptionally well in the emotional scenes. His concerns and wishes for his son have been so well portrayed that we could walk in his shoes. Hallmarks of a fine actor. 

Shruti Sodhi has given earnest and natural performance as Aman in the movie. Shruti has done complete justice to her character of being a confident girl who doesn't want to for arranged marriage and instead wants to fall in love with the guy, she marries. Shruti understood the tropes of her character well and has managed to portray them effectively on-screen. 

Jaswinder Bhalla once again manages to tickle your funny bones with his impeccable comic timing and quirky one liners. Amongst others, B N Sharma, Binnu Dhillon, Rana Ranbir have delivered commendable acts. 

The musical soundtrack of the movie that has been composed by Jaidev Kumar comprises of some good tracks. The cinematographer of the movie is Binendra Menon who has done a fine job behind the lens and has done a swell job at capturing the visuals. The movie has been edited by Ajay Sharma who has kept the run-time of the movie to 145 minutes. I feel he needed to be precise at the editing table by toning down or doing away with some scenes to keep the duration more crisp. As a director, Smeep Kang  has successfully managed to helm a film which offers plenty of comic respite despite strong emotional undercurrents running in. Till date comedy has been the forte of Smeep Kang but with Vaisakhi List, he has dished out a wholesome family entertainer which is a blend of romance, drama, emotions and comedy. 

Vaisakhi List is a wholesome family entertainer which makes you laugh, cry and is embellished with some brilliant performances.       

ROHIT SHARMA. 
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