Thumbs up in Malaysia to Punjabi film `Mera Pind-My Home’

September 20th, 2008 - 3:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, Sep 20 (IANS) As Malaysian film audiences lap up Punjabi film “Mera Pind - My Home”, a newspaper here has said that Punjabi films can give Bollywood movies a run for their money.The film opened in theatres here last week, hoping to repeat the success in other countries that have a significant population of Punjabi-speaking people and the Indian diaspora.

It collected 72,000 pounds in Britain, $177,000 in the United States and Canada, Aus $42,419 in Australia and NZ$4,400 in New Zealand, the New Straits Times said Saturday.

In Malaysia, “Mera Pind - My Home” follows closely on the success of director Manmohan Singh’s and Big Pictures’ last Punjabi release, “Mitti Wajaan Mardi”.

Incidentally, the last highest grossing Punjabi film released in Britain was also Manmohan Singh’s “Dil Apna Punjabi”, which grossed 258,000 pounds.

The director’s hit films include “Asa Nu Maan Watna Da”, “Jee Aayan Nu” and “Yaaran Naal Baharaan”.

The success of the movies “shows that Punjabi films can give Bollywood flicks a run for their money”, the newspaper said.

In India, the film played in 44 cinemas while 56 prints were made available for the overseas market.

“Mera Pind - My Home” has a mix of emotions, drama and comedy. The film was released worldwide Sep 5, shortly after its soundtrack album was released Aug 8.

One of the unique things about the film is the debut of yesteryear cricketer and Indian member of parliament Navjot Singh Siddhu.

Starring Harbhajan Mann, Navjot Singh Siddhu and Kimi Verma, the family drama is set in a small village of Punjab.

Sidhu’s simple but extremely enterprising initiatives slowly change his community and their way of thinking. The village eventually becomes a model for other villages in the surrounding areas.

Manmohan Singh said: “Punj-aab Movies International is proud of its association with Big Pictures, which has been instrumental in giving the film its international release. I am very happy with the results.”

“Together, we are committed to bringing quality Punjabi cinema to audiences worldwide. `Mera Pind - My Home’ carries a message of self-empowerment, which is just as important to us as the commercial success of the film.”

Sunil Kheterpal, Big Pictures chief operating officer, said: “This is truly a landmark film for Punjabi cinema. Big Pictures believes in bringing quality cinema to viewers and we were confident that this film would appeal to Punjabi audiences everywhere.”

The film is woven around the plot and backdrop of a Punjabi village with its typical characters and their daily lives and challenges.

With music composed by Babloo Kumar and lyrics by Babu Singh Mann, the songs are a blend of Desi Bhangra and Punjabi hip-hop. All eight tracks available in the soundtrack were sung by Harbhajan Mann, Labh Janjua, Rani Randeep and Rana Ranbir.

Malaysia has an estimated 100,000 Sikhs, besides an ethnic Indian population of 2.6 million that forms eight percent of the 28 million population.

Besides the Punjabi films, Hindi films from Mumbai and the Tamil films are popular in this Southeast Asian nation.

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