Movie Review: Jogi JOGI feature a moving tale in a sensitive yet mainstream manner and rests on brilliant performances

<a href=”https://www.bollywoodhungama.com/movie/jogi-2/”><strong>JOGI</strong> </a>is the story of an ordinary man who becomes a hero. The year is 1984. Joginder Singh aka Jogi (<a href=”https://www.bollywoodhungama.com/celebrity/diljit-dosanjh/”><strong>Dijit Dosanjh</strong></a>) lives with his parents in Lane no 6, Trilokpuri, Delhi. His sister Heer (Charu Kumar) is married to Tajinder (K P Singh) and they, along with their son Prab (Samarjit Singh Mahajan) also stay in the same locality. On October 31, 1984, the Prime Minister of India is assassinated by her Sikh guards. As a result, members of the Sikh community start getting attacked in the National Capital, mostly on the orders of the higher authorities in the government. Tejpal Arora (Kumud Mishra), the MLA of Trilokpuri, realizes that his chances of getting a ticket in the Lok Sabha elections would be more if he massacres Sikhs in his constituency. He orders Inspector Kuldeep and Inspector Chautala (<a href=”https://www.bollywoodhungama.com/celebrity/mohammed-zeeshan-ayyub/”><strong>Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub</strong></a>) to help the rioters with the massacre. The attacks begin in Trilokpuri. Tajinder is burned alive along with his shop. Jogi, his family, Heer and other Sikh residents of Lane no 6 take refuge in a nearby Gurudwara. Chautala is an old friend of Jogi and he doesn’t agree with the idea of killing innocent people. He meets Jogi in the Gurudwara and advises him that he should run away with his family to Punjab, where he’ll be the safest. Jogi refuses and makes it clear that he’ll escape with everyone present in the shrine. Chautala understands his point of view. He devises an escape plan. Jogi cuts his hair short with a heavy heart and puts down his turban so that he doesn’t look like a Sikh. Both then approach their friend, Kaleem Ansari (Paresh Pahuja), who runs a truck business. Kaleem gets a truck ready and the trio fills a portion of the vehicle with weapons and other items. The truck is taken to the Gurudwara and Jogi orders the senior citizens and the kids to hop on the truck. He then drives it towards Mohali, located at the Punjab border. Chautala escorts the truck with his police vehicle so that he doesn’t get stopped or frisked. Meanwhile, Inspector Katiyal aka Lali (Hiten Tejwani), an old enemy of Jogi, learns about the latter’s plan. He complains about it to Tejpal. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

<img class=”aligncenter wp-image-1460813 size-full” title=”Jogi” src=”https://www.bollywoodhungama.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Jogi-10.jpg” alt=”Jogi” width=”720″ height=”450″ />

Ali Abbas Zafar and Sukhmani Sadana’s story is moving and yet, has commercial trappings. There have been several films in Hindi and Punjabi cinema on the anti-Sikh riots but JOGI stands out. Ali Abbas Zafar and Sukhmani Sadana’s screenplay is simple and engaging. However, the flashback portion in the second half hampers the impact. Ali Abbas Zafar and Sukhmani Sadana’s dialogues pack a punch.

Ali Abbas Zafar’s direction is neat. The subject is a bit niche but he handles it in a commercial manner. He also doesn’t go overboard while making it mainstream. The riot scenes are well executed and the same goes for the emotional moments. He also nicely adds to the thrill element. The message of religious identity comes across convincingly. On the flipside, the first half moves at a slow pace. Also, Ali falters majorly in the second half. When the tension is at an all-time high, he suddenly goes off-track with the flashback portion involving Kammo (<a href=”https://www.bollywoodhungama.com/celebrity/amyra-dastur/”><strong>Amyra Dastur</strong></a>). There’s no doubt that this track was important to show what went wrong between Jogi and Lali. But ideally, the director should have started this film with the love track. It would have helped in understanding the equation between the characters. It would have also made sense to the viewers why Lali is exposing Jogi in front of the MLA.

JOGI starts with a quick introduction of the protagonist and his family. In no time, the focus shifts to the assassination followed by the riots. A few scenes that stand out in the first half are Heer being in denial about her hubby’s death, Jogi cutting off his hair and Jogi apologizing to his mother. The scene where Jogi, in order to escape from the MLA’s goons, is compelled to enter his supply farm, with the Sikhs hidden in his truck, is a nail-biting one. The madness at the Karnal Toll Booth is thrilling. The scene at the Mohali Police check post is moving and yet applause-worthy. Another clap-worthy sequence is when Chautala smartly gets the whole force to raid the Gurudwara. The flashback portion is nice, but as said before, it comes too late in the day. Also, Lali’s change of heart is not easy to digest. The finale is moving.
<h3 class=”title name”><span style=”text-decoration: underline;”><strong><a title=”Jogi | Official Trailer | Diljit Dosanjh, Hiten Tejwani, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub | Netflix India” href=”https://www.bollywoodhungama.com/videos/ott/jogi-official-trailer-diljit-dosanjh-hiten-tejwani-mohammed-zeeshan-ayyub-netflix-india/”>Jogi | Official Trailer | Diljit Dosanjh, Hiten Tejwani, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub | Netflix India</a></strong></span></h3>
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Diljit Dosanjh is mostly known for light-hearted roles. In JOGI, there’s no scope for him to be in a light mood and delivers a power-packed performance. His persona and acting are such that he looks convincing while he’s vulnerable and also when he decides to fight back. Kumud Mishra is great as the antagonist. Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub, as expected, delivers a bravura performance. Hiten Tejwani is decent. Amyra Dastur looks lovely and is fine in a cameo. Paresh Pahuja lends able support. Neelu Kohli (Jogi’s mother) leaves a mark. Arvinder Singh Gill (Jogi’s father), Charu Kumar, Samarjit Singh Mahajan, K P Singh, Apinderdeep Singh (Sukhi; Jogi’s brother), Harnoor Babbar (Tejpal’s daughter) and Noyrika (Shehnaaz; Kaleem’s wife) are fair.

Music works well with the film’s narrative. <em>’Saiyyaan Ve'</em> is the best of the lot and comes at an important juncture. The rock feel is catchy. <em>’Tarfreeyan'</em> is forgettable while <em>’Mittar Pyaare Nu'</em> is moving. Julius Packiam’s background score is one of the USPs of the film as it adds to the thrill. Marcin Laskawiec’s cinematography is appropriate. Paramjeet Dhillon’s action is effective and is not disturbing. Rajnish Hedao, Snigdha Basu and Sumit Basu’s production design is reminiscent of the bygone era. Red Chillies VFX and Netfx Mumbai’s VFX is rich. Loveleen Bains’ costumes are realistic. Steven Bernard’s editing could have been sharper.

On the whole, JOGI tells a moving tale in a sensitive and yet mainstream manner and rests on the brilliant performance of Diljit Dosanjh. However, the weak second half dilutes the impact to an extent.

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