Saadey CM Saab written, produced by Sumeet Singh and helmed by Vipin Parashar which talks about the murkier world of politics is a potboiler laden with all ingredients to satiate your yearning for a message induced commercial film. It's heartening to see Punjabi filmmakers breaking away from the set pattern of making Rom-Coms or mindless comedies and trying to tread fresh grounds. The highlight of the movie is the bromance between its three main protagonists that has been effectively portrayed on-screen by Harbhajan Maan, Rahul Singh, Gurpreet Ghuggi and an equally strong antagonist act by Dev Gill. The movie showcases how plotting and scheming has become an integral part of politics with politicians stooping down to any level just to grab power. There is a dearth of politicians who used to connect with common man with a strong will to solve their problems. The movie takes a deep insight into the today's political world and ably tracks down its demons. The movie states that where as the political leaders should be working on the ground level for welfare of the people but instead they are busy plotting to usurp the power. On surface, this might look like an uncomplicated story, but scratch the exterior and there's strong current of elements ready to explode and engulf you. That is probably why Saadey CM Saab appears to exude much greater energy and exuberance than it intrinsically possesses. This movie with its able plot and spot-on characterizations is the kind of political thriller that will make you think about the kind of politics that we are subjected to these days. While the first half is thoroughly entertaining and keeps you engrossed in the proceedings, it is the second half that takes its toll on the movie. Excessively long second half especially with deliberately inserted tracks slows down the tempo of the movie. Had the second half of the movie been toned down, it would have done much favor to the movie. Though, the movie ends on a positive note by stating that however scheming or plotting one might do but it is always the truth which prevails and wins in the end.
The story of the movie has been penned down by Sumeet Singh Manchanda and the screenplay has been written by Rajan Khera, Shekhar Gupta and Sumeet Mavi. I'll say that one of the biggest strengths of the movie has turned out to be its clever writing as erudition sits easily, spontaneously and unobtrusively on Sumeet Singh's narration. The most recognizable elements of Punjabiyat are in full florid display, hence making it a full on entertainer. The best part is that the script breezes past without any major breakdowns primarily because it sticks to its chosen line and to top it all, it offers some quirky detours that are made all the more engaging due to the consistent quality of acting by most of its artistes. Sumeet Singh has ably exposed the underbelly of politicians through couple of well written scenes. Politicians try to malign the image of their opponents by getting them implicated in fraudulent cases and if that doesn't work, they can even go down to the extent of getting them eliminated. The movie highlights that a true politician is the one who works on the ground level listening to the grievances of common people with a resolve to solve them. The story of the movie becomes all the more valuable as elections are due in Punjab next year. It gives a strong message to the people that they should and must vote for the leaders who have worked for their welfare and not just on the basis of political party or face value. The movie begins with an assassination attempt on CM aspirant, Yudhveer (Harbhajan Mann) who gets hit by a bullet. He is taken to hospital by his bosom pals i.e. Inder (Rahul Singh) and Dimpy (Gurpreet Ghuggi). Flashback ensues and we are told how Yudhveer has risen the ranks in his political party with his smart thinking and manipulative skills. Yudhveer has set his sight on CM's chair in the upcoming election but he has political rival in the form of Daman (Dev Gill) who also aspires to be next CM of the state. Present CM dies in a car accident and the party proposes name of Yudhveer for the candidature of CM in the forthcoming elections much to the disliking of Daman. Flashback ends and cut to present, Yudhveer after being discharged from hospital looses his memory and returns to his native village. Inder and Dimpy being Yudhveer's best buddies follow him to the village as they want to ensure that Yudhveer becomes next CM and not Daman. Will Yudhveer becomes the next CM of the state, Was the accident of late CM an accident or political murder, Will Daman allow Yudhveer to become next CM, Will Inder & Dimpy be successful in their attempt to make Yudhveer regain his lost memory is for you to go and watch at a theater near you.
Harbhajan Mann has truly evolved as an actor and his fine performance in the movie proves it. We have seen him portraying sweet characters but in this movie we get to see him playing a character of a shrewd politician. It was kind of a litmus test for Harbhajan Mann to move away from his sweet, charming image n instead portray a character having manipulative grey shades and Harbhajan has passed the test with flying colors. What is more surprising is that Harbhajan looks more confident while enacting the character of a shrewd politician as compared to his simpleton character when he looses his memory. This is perhaps one of the finest performance of Harbhajan Mann till date.
Rahul Singh who makes his foray into Punjabi films with this movie looks totally at ease while portraying the character of Inder. His body language, dancing as a Punjabi is so appropriate that not even an iota of doubt comes into your mind about him being Non Punjabi. He has made a perfect debut in Punjabi film fraternity and his confident look in the film speaks of itself. He along with Ghuggi act as support system of Mann in the film and their camaraderie has to be seen to be believed. Rahul is a complete package as an actor and wish to see him more frequently on Punjabi Celluloid.
Gurpreet Ghuggi has shed the tag of a being a just comedian and started to do mature characters. Though, he tickles your funny bones with his witty one liners and frequent banters with Rahul Singh but he also portrays his matured side of a able friend in the movie.
Dev Singh Gill who has appeared in S.S.Rajamouli's telugu hit Magadheera gets to play the main antagonist in this film. He has perfectly fitted the bill as the devilish and cunning politician Daman who can go to any lengths to become CM of the state. The best part about Dev is his intimidating screen presence which he has utilized to the optimum in the movie.
Kashish Singh who portrays the character of Manvi makes her presence felt in the movie with her charming act. She looks totally cool while driving mobike and playing the love interest of Harbhajan.
The musical soundtrack of the film that has been composed by Avishek Majumder, Goldkartz, Rishi Siddharth has all the en-trappings of becoming a chart buster with its varied tracks. The title song "Saadey CM Saab" and "Chup Kar Jaa" are the pick of the lot. A special mention of Raashid Rangrez (Production Designer) and Shabana Khanam (Art Director) for their effective contribution in their respective fields as they both have created the perfect milieu for the characters to play around. Plenty of credit for the tonal correctness of the movie goes to its cinematographer i.e. Sunita Radia. Sunita's camera has ably captured some stunning vistas. The movie has been edited by Protim who has kept the run-time of the movie to 143 minutes. I feel had the movie been more crisper say about at least 10-15 minutes especially in the second half, it would have been much better. As a producer, Sumeet Singh Manchanda has left no stone upturned to make this movie on a lavish scale which is visible during on-screen proceedings. Coming to the captain of the ship i.e. director Vipin Parashar, he has succeeded in making a political thriller whose basic premise is woven around bonds of friendship. Though, there are several messages imbibed in the movie but Vipin has crafted the movie in such a way that it comes across as entertaining and not preachy. Notably, Vipin has captured the exuberance of Punjabi youth through his characters especially Rahul's and Ghuggi's that we can relate to having or seen friends like them. The way Vipin has shot the song "Chup Kar Jaa" is worth applauding.
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