Going balle balle
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Yaara Naal Baahar was one of my most successful film. It was a youthful film that created a rage all across the state. After many years, a 1,200 seat theatre was packed with 3,500
– Jimmy Sheirgill
Yashji says he makes Punjabi films in Hindi. If you see closely, you will notice that his movies have a Punjabi sensibility. He has sensitised the general audience to Punjabi films
– Gul Panag
Status: The very image of Punjab is smeared with a long list of cinematic images for the average cine-goer. From verdant fields of sarson to Punjabi masculinity (aided by Sunny Deol and his famous dhaai kilo ka haath), their ability to laugh at themselves and dialogues and songs peppered with words like Soniye and Kudiye, the influence of one state on the collective imagination of the nation is immense. So much so that Ajay Devgn's upcoming Diwali release Son Of Sardaar is an ode to all things Punjabi.
However, the cheerful community did not have much to smile about when it came to their own films. "It has been quite a journey for Punjabi cinema. We enjoyed glory many decades ago but the industry reached its demise during the 90s. But fortunately, after 2001, a new life was blown into the industry thanks to likes of veteran film-makers Manmohan Singh and late Manoj Punj who started making quality Punjabi cinema and tried to cater to the audience in Punjab as well as NRIs, especially in Canada, UK, Australia and USA," says Punjabi director Mandeep Kumar, who debuted in Bollywood this year with Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya.
Background: Punjabi films were once popular all over North India and they were all about male masculinity and family values. However, the same cliched stories were repeated with the same actors so many times that regional films began losing their allure. The apathetic audience moved on to Hindi films that offered Punjabi-isms with gloss and glamour. One-off films, such as Waaris starring Raj Babbar that released in 1988 created a stir amongst local audiences for a while before the situation went back to normal.
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