This week has witnessed the release of the film Aate di Chidi and this film is the story of the pain of separation from loved ones, the pain of not being able to go back to your land, and the pain of watching the younger generation lose its touch with the roots. Aate di Chidi is the story of Dilip Singh, played by Sardar Sohi, the eldest member of the family who is always in a constant argument with his daughter-in-law Eliza, played by Neeru Bajwa, who has accepted Canada has her country and none of the traditions of Punjab interest her. To add to the anguish of her father-in-law is Eliza wanting her son to forget his Punjabi roots because well, they live in Canada now. We are sure this is the story of thousands of Punjabis who have moved abroad and at one point or another, they have definitely experienced this situation of diaspora.
The first half of the film revolves around this brawl and the second half of the film is the solution to it. The family moves back to Punjab for a few days in order to see whether or not Punjab has gone Gandla from Rangla or not. Whether or not Dilip Singh wins the bet of Punjab being the ever beautiful land of five rivers or not will be known only once you watch the film.
In terms of acting, Sardar Sohi deserves a huge round of applause for depicting in himself all those Punjabi men who shift to Canada in order to achieve their dreams and in that pursuit, they tend to lose a lot of other things. Neeru Bajwa and Amrit Maan are good with their natural acting skills but there certainly could have been more they could have done. And had they been able to do that, the film would have had reached another level. The comedy sequences in the first half of the film seem to have been dragged and that kind of takes away the essence of the comedy. The direction and dialogue writing could have been given more emphasis in that area.
The supporting star-cast of Gurpreet Ghuggi, Karamjit Anmol, Nisha Bano, BN Sharma, Anmol Verma, Harby Sangha, Nirmal Rishi, and Anshu Sawhney add to the diversity of this film. Anshu Sawhney, in the role of a Bihari woman wins our hearts. Writer Raju Verma has very effectively written all the characters in this film and Harry Bhatti’s direction, barring certain scenes, is good too.
Aate di Chidi certainly ends on a very special message for everyone. The film is closely knit with the Punjabi culture and traditions and that has also been made evident from a few songs of the film. This is one of those films that will take you back to the belief that ones’s roots are one’s own and no matter what, we should always find ways to make ourselves connected with our rich culture and heritage.