In Punjabi film industry’s illustrious history, sadly there have been only a few films that have left an indelible mark on the viewers’ conscience. But, Chann Pardesee (1981) is a huge exception. Not as far as its technically superior production is concerned, but also some towering performances matched with an intelligibly believable storyline. Never before and never after have we seen such raw talent on the silver screen with some memorable performances in the shape of Amrish Puri (Jagirdar), Kulbhushan Kharbanda (Nek), Raj Babbar (Laali), Tulsi (Om Puri), Rama Vij (Kammo).
Phew…..they simply blew the viewer away. It is also pertinent to mention here, that all these actors named above then made a huge mark in Bollywood, where they swayed the audience with their histrionics, which further translated into successful careers.
The way the director, Chitraarth Singh, treated such a delicate and bold subject is a lesson to be learnt, especially by today’s film makers, who live in a world of ‘make-believe’ and haughtily boast that the viewers will lap whatever they will show on the screen. How wrong can anybody be?
Actually, today’s film makers will do a huge service to themselves and the industry by using this film as a benchmark and case study. Besides the story, Chann Pardesee can also boast of some melodious music and exquisite cinematography despite the technical limitations of those times. This movie has been able to keep its memories fresh even after 31 years of release and over the period of time the bond is still growing even more stronger.
And by the way, Chann Pardesee was also the first Punjabi film to win a well-deserving National Film Award.
Lastly, I would like to again request the producers to remake the film and prove to the audience and other film makers as to what is the true power of cinema, which was perfectly understood and harnessed by a behemoth called Chann Pardesi.
One can easily say that what ‘Mother India’ is for Bollywood, ‘Chann Pardesee’ is for our Ballewood.
Chann Pardesee Cast and Crew:
- Cast: Raj Babbar, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Rama Vij, Amrish Puri
- Director: Chitraarth Singh
- Story: Baldev Gill, Ravinder Peepat
- Dialogue: Baldev Gill
- Screenplay: Ravinder Peepat
- Producers: Baldev Gill, JS Cheema, Mrs. Swarn Sedha
- Music: Surinder Kohli
- Background Music: Uttam Singh
- Year of release: 1981
Stills from the Movie- Chann Pardesee
Image source: Personal video snapshots and miscellenous
Film information source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0310865/