Direction: Shefali Bhushan
Star cast: Sugandha Garg, Siddhant Behl, Samir Sharma, Anuritta Jha, Sadhana Singh
First time writer-director Shefali Bhushan’s debut film ‘Jugni’ promises soulful music, the film which is largely set in the mustard fields and scenic locations of Hassanpur, Punjab, is visually appealing.
The music and performances of Vibhavari (Sugandha Garg), Mastana (Siddhant Behl), Sid (Samir Sharma), Preeto (Anuritta Jha), Sadhana Singh (Bibi Swaroop) in the film soar high.
Throughout the film, Vibhavari beautifully shows a mix of emotions. Debutant director Shefali Bhushan has shown a perfect contrast of small town boy who wants to make it big as a singer, and how he lets his heart rule all his decisions. The film also conveys out a very important message that women can make choices and should do it unabashedly.
The story of how Mastana falls for the ambitious and urban girl Vibhavari, who is a music director, is interesting to watch. Vibhavari takes an impromptu trip to Punjab in search of a folk singer Bibi Swaroop but ends up meeting her son Mastana first and they get close.
Mastana is left confused after spending a passionate night with Vibhavari but that moment makes Vibhavari's character emerge stronger where she talks about not feeling guilty about it.
The film is packed with well-formed characters. Vibhavari wins the film with her appealing character, which has streaks of confusion and sensitivity at the same time, whereas Preeto, who plays the role of Mastana's girl friend, deserves a special mention. Actor Samir Sharma portrays the role of Vibhavari’s live-in boyfriend in the film with ease. The film lacked few things, one of them being more emotional scenes between Sid and Vibhavari, which would have made the screenplay better.
Jugni's soulful music will capture your heart. The soul-stirring sequences of Vibhavari with Sid and later with Mastana hits the emotional chord. However, there are few glitches in the film; like the climax, that ends on an abrupt note which makes the viewer long for more clarity. Bulle Shah's lyrical verses are one of the high points of the film.
The film needed more crisp editing and the story seems to be loosely knit. Shefali Bhushan has shot in beautiful locales but the direction is weak, especially in the second half of the film. The film has a fresh idea but the story draft seems confusing.
‘Jugni’ is romantic but not in the quintessential way and that's what makes it stand out. Go watch this one for a surreal musical journey that will touch your heart.