July 25, 2024

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Movie Review: Wild Wild Punjab (2024)

3 min read
Movie Review: Wild Wild Punjab (2024)

2 Stars (out of 4)
Watch Wild Wild Punjab on Netflix
TV director Simarpreet Singh makes the jump to features with the Netflix Original film Wild Wild Punjab, a road trip comedy written and produced by Luv Ranjan.
Office drone Khanna (Varun Sharma) caught his co-worker girlfriend Vaishali cheating on him with their boss, and now the new couple is getting married.
Distraught Khanna wants to end his life, but his womanizing friend Maan (Sunny Singh) has a better idea. Maan says that, while Vaishali thinks she’s traded up, if Khanna tells her that he’s over her, it’ll make her question whether she’s with the right guy.
Their friend Honey (Manjot Singh) agrees, but he thinks it’ll be most effective if Khanna tells Vaishali “I am over you” in person. Festivities are underway for her wedding in Pathankot, which is only a three hour drive from Patiala. Honey offers to drive them there in his souped-up truck.
The only friend with reservations is cowardly Jain (Jassie Gill), but that’s just because he’s terrified of his overbearing dad. Jain’s own arranged marriage is scheduled for next week, so he’s already got plenty to worry about. Still, the guys convince Jain to lie to his dad and join them since they’ll be back from Patiala by morning. What could go wrong?
Before they’ve even left town, the guys crash a wedding to get free food and drinks. When they wake up hungover the next morning at a stranger’s house, Jain discovers he’s married to the woman whose wedding they crashed. And they’re still hours away from Pathankot.
As immature as the friends are, they’re actually decent guys. Their plan isn’t borne out of vindictiveness, but out of concern for Khanna’s well-being. Taking him to his ex’s wedding to tell her he’s moved on isn’t that disruptive, and it will give him back a sense of control.
After some initial reluctance, they even welcome Jain’s accidental bride Radha (Patralekhaa) into the group. She suggests that Khanna’s declaration will be more believable if he’s accompanied by a new woman, and they head to a nearby college to find one. That’s how feisty Meera (Ishita Raj) joins the crew.
When the story focuses on the characters, it’s pretty entertaining. It helps that the acting is uniformly good, with Manjot Singh and Patralekhaa standing out among the rest. Counterintuitively, the story drags during the action scenes in the second half, when the group engages in multiple car chases and a shootout with drug dealers. Drugs and guns feel like perfunctory signifiers that the movie is set in Punjab, as if without those tropes the movie would lack a sense of place.
Simarpreet Singh’s direction is overall good, and the screenplay — co-written by Ranjan, Sandeep Jain, and Harman Wadala — is decent. But Wild Wild Punjab is a misleading title for a movie so conventional.
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