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Times of India
Vibhavari, a music producer, is suffering from a creative limbo. In her attempt to revive her curious taste and ear for beats, she takes an impromptu trip to Punjab in search of rustic beats. When she meets Bibi Saroop and her son Mastana, the artiste in her comes alive.
: Jugni must have been a terrific thought on paper. Bubbling with fresh ideas, with the advantage of its novel perspective, it clearly had potential. But, the film is run down by its weak storyline. The musical romance that brings two people together from different worlds, who bond over music, falls flat when neither the performances nor its music soar high enough.
A music producer from erstwhile Mumbai, Vibhavari (Sugandha Garg) embarks on a soul-searching journey. The film is romantic but not in the quintessential way. Its soul draws from romance but not in the sense that we understand. Quite early in the film, we get a hint of Vibhavari's empty life. Her trip to Punjab to find a folk singer named Bibi Saroop, plays a significant role in helping her character evolve. There is a clear lack of maturity in the film's writing. The lead characters are half-baked and their supposed love story is left to your imagination. While on one hand, you are compelled to appreciate the subtlety of the screenplay, it is infuriating to see the tempo run out by the final scene.
Vibhavari's love story with Mastana (Sidhant Behl) is confusing. What transpires between them through the film is left on an abrupt note in the last scene.
Shefali Bhushan does a novice's job at helming the project and uses music and beautiful locales to salvage the scene. Bulle Shah's lyrical verses come alive with Vishal Bhardwaj and AR Rahman's rendering. But even in the music department, it isn't path breaking.
Despite its freshness, the film fails to create an impact. It is hard to be affected by it due to its lack of depth.
Only scores for the score
Given the other two releases this week, Jugni has to be a cracker of a film to find its feet at the box-office or even manage enough screens. While familiarity is said to breed contempt, unfamiliar faces rarely encourage Hindi film-goers; and this one has many. But director Shefali Bhushan's debut production is honest, unadulterated and perhaps, a bit indulgent. While the story is severely simplistic, it packs in internal conflicts and subtly touches upon on how casual sex doesn't always amount to more than just that or leave any emotional scars either.
This is a linear story of a creatively-blocked music composer, Vibhawari (Sugandha Garg) who decides to break her slump by heading to comb the hinterlands of Punjab for inspiration and in search of a certain Bibi Swaroop (Sadhana Singh), a local Sufi singer, known for her Bulleh Shah covers. In her quest, she also encounters Swaroop's son and local singing sensation Mastana (Siddhanth Behl), best-known for his superhit single which rhymes 'kidney' and 'Sydney'. Sprightly and jovial, Mastana strikes Vibhawari as a talented find and she records the mother-son crooning renditions of some of the foremost exponents of the form. Complications surface when Vibhawari gets entangled between her feelings for Mastana and her boyfriend Sid (back home in Mumbai).
For a film that revolves around music, Clinton Cerejo puts together a fine collection of traditional Sufi, soul and folk numbers that flow into the ear canals to envelope one in musical ecstasy. Despite being dominated by classical numbers, the soulstirring "Dugg Duggi Dugg" sung by Vishal Bhardwaj, is a mood number that occupies the mind and heart instantly.
Cinematographer Divakar Mani captures the many hues of Punjab like few have. Ditching the state's standard establishing shot: manicured mustard fields, Mani takes us through paths — lined by trees devoid of leaves, fog-dusted fields and turquoise blue lakes, some of which almost resemble Tolkien's world.
For a debut, director Shefali Bhushan makes a brave attempt. A wafer-thin storyline, no recognisable actors and the prospect of getting to listen to some great Sufi music (which one can also access through YouTube), you'd imagine, there's very little going for this film. But Bhushan manages to hold your attention and interest through most of the 113 minutes of this film's runtime.
For Sugandha Garg, playing the lead in a film largely centered around her character's journey was an opportunity that came with significant responsibility. As an actor, she doesn't impress or particularly disappoint. Appearing 'casual' onscreen could denote confidence and also lack of effort. This ambiguity in perception could work against Garg, whose performance sways between fluid and indifferent. Newcomer Siddhanth Behl is promising and while a bigger launch vehicle could've catapulted his career, those who watch this film, will leave the screens convinced that they will see Behl again on the big screen.
If you need a reason to watch this film, it would be for the music and to take in rural Punjab like you've never seen in films before.
The film is Shefali Bhushan's directorial debut.
The film is a traditional musical with music by Clinton Cerejo. Several acclaimed musicians including Vishal Bharadwaj and AR Rahman have also contributed to the film's music.
How majority of people rate this movie, let''s not even worry about it.<br/>This is a great movie that actually portrays reality in cinematic genius. How it says it fails to score in terms of music might have been said by people who don''t understand music. <br/>As a humble Indian living abroad who enjoys good cinema,this is a great effort. I have enjoyed watching it three times already. Please watch it and give it an honest rating that doesn''t have to coincide with the ratings of people who enjoy movies that lack everything but established stars. Watch it once. Thanks. <br/>I love music and I loved watching this movie.<br/>It leaves things to your imagination in the end but then why should someone else narrate your story, you are given an opportunity to imagine it go various ways.