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Movie Review:Jugni is a winner all the way

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Sugandha Garg and Siddhant Behl perform a wonderful duet on screen, to ring in the applause for this delightfully crafted and delicately woven film JUGNI by first-time director Shefali Bhushan.

The two actors bring in such passion on screen in their performance that it is difficult to detect a flaw in their rhapsody. Be it the music they are creating on screen or the subtle romance that is brewing as they hit the right notes on the music sheet, or the pained separation of their own accord [maybe to meet again], the two simply mesmerize with their longing for music, life and love.

This definitely does not look like an on-screen romance but a real-life tragedy unfolding before your very eyes. And Shefali hits the very high notes with a flourish as she ends the movie leaving you with a longing that the two should meet again. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t, that is for you to decipher. It’s an open-ended film.

JUGNI (meaning firefly) is a winner all the way, for its super music, classy acting and wonderful adaptation of music meeting love. Of late, Bollywood music has turned tragic. Dhinchak sound with staccato rhythm wrung out of synthesizers which were meant for kids to play with. There is no melody, no texture, no feeling. There is not even a pause of a dotted minim! Full marks to Clinton Cerejo (there’s also Vishal Bharadwaj) for bringing to life on screen all these very delicate aspects of music.

The duets, the ballads, the solos and the jugalbandi, all bring out a yearning and applause from a true music lover’s heart. For those who like their cooking just right, JUGNI is a delicate dish and a feast for the eyes and ears.

By the time the awards mela begin next year, this film will be forgotten for its performances and music. Bollywood is prone to applauding the mediocre. But take heart Sugandha, Siddhanth and Clinton, you guys have laid your emotions bare on screen.

With JUGNI, Shefali takes us on a journey of the soul and search for that authentic, ethnic sound that creates magic in music. Vibhari (Sugandha Garg) has bagged a film project as a music director and is in search of that passion in a voice that will lift up her music. Her journey takes her to the interiors of Punjab in search of Bibi Saroop (Sadhana Singh), a local folk singer. Instead, she bumps into her son Mastana (Siddhant Behl), a singer of quality in his own right, who literally hijacks the project.

An innocent smile, a clean heart and a desire to excel in his singing is what brings the two on their recording journey with his mother. It is during the course of making music that Vibhari, already in a live-in relationship in Mumbai, finds true love.

Sugandha endears like she did in JAANE TU… YA JAANE NA and the recent COFFEE BLOOM. The girl is a powerhouse of talent. Subtle emotions, raw passion and a tsunami of energy in her music; she is a delight. Siddhant immediately has you hooked with his disarming charm and simple village attitude with a heart of gold. The two ignite and how. He brings to life the character he plays and the emotions in his singing is so authentic that only a true genius could have performed it.

JUGNI also touches on the ‘hollow system in this industry’ where talent is not recognized, thanks to those who are in a position of power who themselves know not the subtleties of film-making or the making of music.

The beginning of the first half does drag a tad too long, but Shefali soon makes amends to take you on an unforgettable ride.

JUGNI is for those who love everything right in their cinema: performance, music and direction.

Rating: 4/5

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