Jai Mummy Di Review: A Dated, Unfunny Film that Makes Punjabis the Punchline

Bollywood

Jai Mummy Di Review: A Dated, Unfunny Film that Makes Punjabis the Punchline

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

Navjot Gulati’s Jai Mummy Di runs for a brisk 108 minutes and yet watching it feels like an unending test of patience. It pushes one to the brink of insanity with its caricaturish characters, that feel as if they are borrowed from some rejected comedy sketch.

The story revolves around Saanjh Bhalla (Sonnalli Seygall) and Puneet Khanna (Sunny Singh), two neighbourhood love-birds trying to convince their warring mothers, Pinky (Poonam Dhillon) and Laali (Supriya Pathak) to call truce so that they can marry each other. What follows is a long Punjabi music video that shouldn’t have been a film. You could predict everything that happens in Jai Mummy Di in your sleep.

The first half of Jai Mummy Di is almost bearable: a few one-liners land and the characters are not too on the nose, but that’s a brief interlude. It doesn’t take long for it to go all downhill for this banally written and equally sluggishly directed comedy of errors. Gulati seems too taken by the idea of theatrics doubling up as comedy, which gets exhausting beyond a point. It’s that kind of a Hindi film that is stuck in 2012 and vehemently believes that it has a strong female lead because she speaks fluent one-liners, alcoholism, and smokes slims.

Jai Mummy Di is a long Punjabi music video that shouldn’t have been a film.

Yet, the chief letdown of Jai Mummy Di is the fact that it thinks that something as simple as convincing two mothers to get their children married is an irresolvable issue without exactly dwelling on the reason behind it. Instead, the film keeps going round and round in a tiring, boring, humourless circle instead of leaping forward with a sense of fun and urgency.

Gulati lacks the smarts to dig deep. The result is a film where people fight, resent each other, and yell at each other because they have nothing else to do. Even worse is how the director substitutes a wafer-thin plot by completely wallowing the proceedings in the worst stereotypes possible. The last thing Bollywood needs is yet another film that treats Punjabis as a punchline.

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