One - Give them something entirely fresh with an unusual plot line never heard or seen before presented innovatively (which is extremely difficult).
Two – Transport them to a highly relatable, mesmerizing world with all lovable characters winning hearts right away through their individual mannerisms, looks and dialogues (despite having a predictable storyline).
Three –Come up with a hypnotic musical soundtrack with 6-7 spellbinding songs coming one after another at every 10-12 minutes creating some kind of 'romantic chemical locha' in their bodies reminding them of their own beloveds.
Thankfully after a painfully long wait moving ahead than the subjects of Comedy, Religion and 84, Punjabi cinema finds its lost musical soul back with ANGREJ, scoring the maximum on the second and third point mentioned above.
In short, despite having a routine, predictable storyline and budget constraints visible in the period film taking you back in the 40s before Indian independence, ANGREJ effortlessly wins your heart with its innocence, simplicity and honesty just like the people of those times living life through their 'hearts' and not 'minds' in comparison to the present era.
The film brings smiles on your faces within the first five minutes only and then that smile stays right till the end with all delightful characters getting introduced at regular intervals. In fact the most adorable one comes post intermission only making a sweeping impact right away with her charming presence and a charismatic smile. She is Sargun Mehta, the girl known for her TV appearances making her debut in Punjabi cinema with a bang. To give her the deserving credit, ANGREJ makes an instant connect with the young hearts due to her highly appealing performance and I can bet, 8 out of 10 boys would be feeling a crush for her coming out of the theatre (may be all the 10).
Getting valuable contribution from everyone in the cast including the talented singer–actor Amrinder Gill (as the innocent young boy caught in a love dilemma), Binnu Dhillon (as the funny but concerning friend in an unexpectedly short role), Anita Devgan (the cute mother) and the couple Sardar Sohi-Nirmal Rishi (providing the good old humour of the 80s), ANGREJ comes as a big pleasant relief for the audience who were being served the same usual content again and again by the Punjabi filmmakers irresponsibly.
However apart from Sargun Mehta and Amrinder Gill as the lead pair, the film gets a huge support from another debutant Aditi Sharma (playing the complex character of a confused girl) and Ammy Virk who simply bowls you over with his impressive screen presence and highly likable performance despite playing a negative character.
Having praised everyone in the cast above, the actual backbone of ANGREJ remains its heartwarming, nostalgic execution and fabulous writing with exceptional dialogues from the team of Simerjit Singh (director) and Amberdeep (story/screenplay/dialogues) reminding you of those pleasant times of the last century. The ethnic feel, the lost lingo, the heartfelt teasing and the cheerful interaction with everyone around by the young ones fills you with a different kind of positive energy not seen in the recent Punjabi films to be precise. It keeps progressing with all uplifting sequences without any drag hindering the overall pace. And there always exists a controlled comic feel throughout the movie that keeps the smiles coming along with the timely laughter.
Above all a peppy, melodious as well as meaningful soundtrack gives ANGREJ (Punjabi) a superior edge that was missing in a Punjabi film since many years. In other words, a soundtrack with each and every song bringing forward many traditional elements of Punjab's culture was not found in any of the recent hits or super hits to give you the exact picture. And when you have all exceptionally melodious tracks with highly lovable performers enacting them so wonderfully, then that itself becomes a reason enough to visit it in the theaters as soon as possible.
Talking about the people more interested in business point of view, ANGREJ should teach the makers, directors, composers and producers of Punjab that what a melodious score actually is and what a well- made incomparable soundtrack can do to a film in terms of its opening figures at the box office. And for this big musical achievement, the entire team led by Jatinder Shah and Amrinder Gill needs a special appreciable mention. Especially Amrinder, who always displayed a keen understanding of the melody, right from his early days of "Chann Da Tukda".
Coming to the downers, the biggest one remains a routine, seen before love-triangle plot that becomes entirely predictable post interval and offers nothing new in terms of story content. Plus I strongly felt the traditional ladies singing in the second half going into a bit longer length than required.
Other than that ANGREJ deservingly calls for a higher rating for the merits mentioned above. But here I personally would like to congratulate the person who did the casting of the two brilliant girls playing the key roles, especially Sargun Mehta.
So for all Punjabi film viewers and friends interested in taking a sweet, feel good cultural ride back in time to the mid 40s, buy a bunch of tickets for the entire family and visit your nearest cinemas at the earliest to celebrate love and music together in a pure cinematic form like never before with ANGREJ and have a great time.