• Sunday, June 23, 2024

Film

‘Dear Jassi’ review: Powerful drama inspired by real-life events packs a punch

The rugged and often lawless heart of Punjab is skilfully captured in this film of star-crossed lovers trying to overcome a class divide

By: Asjad Nazir

THIS powerful drama based on real life events had an award-winning world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and then screened at the recent London Film Festival. The story revolves around a Canadian girl from an affluent family, who, while on a trip to Punjab, falls in love with a handsome uneducated local from a poor family.

Both try desperately to be together, including across a long distance, but the girl’s family see it as deeply dishonourable and will do whatever they can to keep the young lovers apart.

The rugged and often lawless heart of Punjab is skilfully captured in this film of star-crossed lovers trying to overcome a class divide. Their budding Romeo and Juliet romance is not only believable but also filled with emotions that are relatable. There are great moments in the journey of the two protagonists. The two young leads breathe life into extremely challenging characters and have great chemistry on screen. The exuberance of Pavia Sidhu balances out the brooding laid back demeanour of Yugam Sood, in a film that is very much rooted in reality. The supporting cast are also convincing in their respective roles.

The director is able to put audiences into a comfort zone, before shocking them with a hard-hitting ending. Although he claims to have toned down more brutal elements of the real life story that took place two decades ago, it still has enough power to make a big impact. Popular singer Kanwar Grewal acts as a narrator, by starting and ending the movie on a musical note, rooted in history.

The film is around 15-20 minutes too long and the harsh ending may be disturbing to some. But that doesn’t take away from this being a brave piece of filmmaking, which has begun a potentially interesting journey, provoking a lot of debate, as more people watch it.

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