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Busan International Film Festival opens with Punjabi Song and Dance.

By InCinemas  /  02 Oct 2015 (Friday)


Opening Asia’s top film festival with your very first film may sound scary, but Mozez Singh’s Zubaan takes it all in stride and does India proud in the process.

Zubaan is the first Indian film to open or close the Busan International Film Festival in the last 15 years, but evokes a sense of déjà vu with its similarity to Run Milka Run that screened here to a massive outdoor audience two years ago.

Both films shine a spotlight on India’s turbaned Punjabi minority who punch above their weight in politics, the military and many other fields. Like Run Milka Run, Zubaan is a boy’s coming-of-age tale which romanticises rural Indian life and the legendary lion-hearted Punjabi people. Predictably, it features a pretty lady, plenty of random singing and dancing, and a happy-ever-after romance.

Where Zubaan really sets itself apart are the breathtakingly rich visuals that paint scenes of Sikh temples, dance halls and a starry desert sky. In particular, the drug-fuelled hallucinogenic episodes are reminiscent of Ang Lee’s Life of Pi and the Beatles-inspired Across the Universe.


The film has also succeeded with a fusion of traditional and modern music, with some epic tracks that deserve an album of their own. In the process, it pays homage to the 1958 Satyajit Ray classic The Music Room with shots of a still pond in front of a Sikh temple.

If Zubaan has any flaws, it would be the lack of cohesiveness of the storyline. But then again, that could be the characteristic randomness of Bollywood in general.

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