As one of the first few original Punjabi movies to be released on the OTT platform, Seep (a card game) defies the typical format followed in Punjabi cinema and tries something fresh by focusing on the local settings, ambience, and village politics.
Written and directed by Gurpreet Gill and Jeet Zahoor, it doesn’t heavily rely upon comedy or songs and has been made as a social drama pointing towards a grave issue faced by the state for the last decade. Another positive and novel feature of the film remains its focus on the heroes, representing unusual age groups as the two grandfathers and their grandsons, redefining friendship on the screen as rarely seen before.
The film has good performances by veterans Mahabir Bhullar and Sardar Sohi along with the talented kid, the National Award winner Sameep Singh. But the rest of the cast has the usual mix of fine and loud acts affecting the overall impact.
A sincere attempt to present something fresh, Seep yet again takes its basic idea from Hindi films such as Naya Daur and Lagaan wherein competition is arranged between two parties on a particular condition. Here, the village elders agree to have a game of seep between the two teams to decide whether Panchayat elections will be held in the village or not.
The basic idea focusing on the card game is sure going to be exciting for the regional audience, especially the people living in similar surroundings. However, the film has some major shortcomings limiting its reach and appeal. The narrative has a slower pace that takes too long to come to the point with no thrilling build-up of the plot, resulting in an emotional yet lacklustre climax.
Besides, the background score is overdone that constantly keeps trying to lift every scene, often giving it a forced comical touch. But above all, Seep has a long sub-plot of a drug-addict and his days spent in the rehab centre, which otherwise has no relation with its core subject. Though written with a noble intention, the parallel narrative only adds to the length, making it a two-hour film.
Overall, Seep can surely be seen as a sincere attempt with a novel plot trying to break the set pattern. But Punjabi cinema seriously needs to move over its obsession with theatrical acts, forced sub-plots, comic characters, and social messages deliberately added into the scripts.
Title: Seep (Punjabi)
Directors: Gurpreet Gill and Jeet Zahoor
Cast: Mahabir Bhullar, Sardar Sohi, Gurpreet Kaur Bhangu, Sonpreet Jawanda, Sameep Ranaut, Naginder Gakhar
Rating: 2.5 stars
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