Successful bhangra singer Harbhajan Mann makes his third appearance as lead actor in Manmohan Singh's Dil Apna Punjabi, a light-hearted look at the psychology of disengaged youth in rural India. Sticking to what he knows best, Mann plays an idle young graduate with a passion for music, who is forced to reassess his directionless life after his girlfriend's family reject his marriage proposal. An obvious excuse to showcase Mann's vocal talent on screen, this is little more than a series of music videos thinly disguised as a movie.
Set in the lively village of modern day Punjab, Hardam Singh (Dara Singh) heads a joint family spanning four generations. While the family is miraculously united despite living under one roof, cupid strikes at its heart when Kanwal (Mann) falls in love with college mate Ladi (Neeru Bajwa). But their budding romance is cut short when their families meet and are discouraged by Kanwal's unambitious approach to life. Lucky, then, that a talent scout (Gurpreet Ghuggi) happens to spot him singing at a friend's wedding and decides he has the X-factor, promptly jetting him off to London and transforming his destiny.
"THE MUSIC KEEPS THE MOMENTUM GOING"
Falling into the Bollywood trap of using the UK as a scenic prop to bolster a weak plot, writer/director Singh fails to engage interest in the protagonist's fate. Whether Kanwal returns to his true love in India or stays in Blighty with his sexy new singing partner Lisa (Mahek Chahal), is inconsequential thanks to the booming soundtrack by British music maestro Sukshinder Shinda. For it is the music, and not the actors that keep the momentum going till the climax. If you are a fan of bhangra beats and crude Punjabi comedy this one is for you. If not, steer clear.
In Punjabi with English subtitles.