Review of “Dear Jassi”: A true story of “Romeo and Juliet”
Entertainment Desk : For his first film in eight years, the director of ‘The Cell’ and ‘Mirror Mirror’ tells the tragic, real-life story of two Indians from different socioeconomic backgrounds who fall in love
After beginning his career in music videos as Tarsem, the director expanded to Tarsem Singh for his feature debut The Cell, returned to using his first name for his sophomore effort The Fall, listed himself as Tarsem Singh Dhandwar for his following two movies, Tarsem Singh for a third, and went back to using his full name for the newest romance Dear Jassi. His passionate, if overblown, portrayal of a real-life Romeo and Juliet adds an intriguing twist to the subject if the frequent brand changes indicate an ongoing struggle with his Indian identity and Tinseltown assimilation.
The film’s framing mechanism, in which renowned Punjabi singer and composer Kanwar Grewal introduces and narrates the story, reinforces that impression by giving it the appearance of being passed down through generations through the music it features. The tragic tale that served as the inspiration for the movie actually started in the 1990s, which is also when the majority of the subtitled Punjabi dialogue in the movie.
19-year-old Jassi (Pavia Sidhu), an affluent Indian woman whose family has moved from Punjab, India, to Canada, and Mithu (Yugam Sood), a charming but impoverished rickshaw driver whom she meets while back in India visiting her relatives, are the young protagonists. Jassi and Mithu fall in love the moment they set eyes on each other while watching him play a nearby game. Even though they are in extremely different social and financial situations, the two are unable to stop staring at one another. At first, they merely exchange quiet looks before a hesitant courting starts. Jassi doesn’t take long to say, “I want to stay here forever.”