Jugni (Firefly) is the beat of the soul, the free-flying spirit. Jugni is Vibhavari or Vibs (Sugandha Garg). Vibs is a music director, working on her first big break in the Hindi film industry. When work and home affairs, with her live-in boyfriend Sid (Samir Sharma) hit a high tide, Vibs hits the road with a glint of hope; t...more
Jugni (Firefly) is the beat of the soul, the free-flying spirit. Jugni is Vibhavari or Vibs (Sugandha Garg). Vibs is a music director, working on her first big break in the Hindi film industry. When work and home affairs, with her live-in boyfriend Sid (Samir Sharma) hit a high tide, Vibs hits the road with a glint of hope; to find music. The journey takes her to a village in Punjab in the search of a Bibi Saroop (Sadhana Singh), whose voice holds the promise that Vibs is searching for. But as the twist of fate would have it, Mastana (Siddhant Behl), Bibi's son and a proficient singer himself, is the voice and man who winds his way into Vibs' heart. From here on, Jugni is about striking balances, making tough decisions while trying to soften the blows and dealing with the studied dramatic turns and unpredictabilities of life and finding the place which one can call home; home of the heart, where the firefly is at her brightest. less
“Jugni is easily likable for its rooted narration and calming music.”
Jugni is a movie with an unusual concept for a story that makes you curious when the movie begins. Jugni is an age-old narrative device used in Punjabi folk music The word means Firefly and in folk music it stands in for the poet-writer who uses Jugni as an innocent observer to make touching observations about life in a funny or incisive manner ( Thank you, Wikipedia).
A young composer, Vibhavari or Vibs goes to Punjab seeking the voice of a Sufi singer Bibi Saroop who she has heard on a tape. She meets the singer's son Mastana who is also very talented. He prefers to sing modern compositions that are more popular with the audience. So mother and son don't see eye to eye. The son keeps Vibs away from his mother asking her to focus on him instead. The story could have gone from here into one about musical conflict but instead goes the way of a romance. Vibs is out to look for the mother but her excitement on listening to her is not palpable. She happily shifts her attention to the son. That to me was a disappointment. It would have been very interesting to see how artistic conflicts play out instead of pouring everything into the conventional mould of a love story.
The first half of the movie is quite interesting as Vibs gets into the groove of the music and tries to extract the best from the singers. The second half is all very confused and lets go of the main thread of the story. There are way too many things going on. The Vibs' relationship with her boyfriend, her new romance, Mastana's romance with his girlfriend; all this make the story lose focus and pace.
There is an interesting bit where Vibs creates a song with the recording she has made in the village. I wish there had been more of this creative process for us to enjoy and get a glimpse into how the creative mindworks. Unfortunately that does not happen.
The acting is competent enough. Sugandha Garg as Vibs gives a practical no nonsense city girl vibe easily. It's the artist- at work feeling that she tries too hard for but doesn't quite manage to pull off. Siddhant Behl as Mastana is far more convincing, bringing an intensity and simplicity to his role that is appealing. Sashana Singh as Bibi Saroop could have had a far more challenging and interesting role as the singer Vibs come looking for. Unfortunately that thread never gets explored and she is wasted.
The music, which is core to the movie, is beautiful. Clinton Cerejo gives us an excellent soundtrack based on Punjabi music with some fusion added in. The songs are soulful, melodious and are the heart of the movie. The music keeps the movie on track even if the story doesn't. This is an album that you can hear many times over and find new joys in it.
Jugni had an interesting idea that it failed to capture and light up like its namesake, the firefly. However, there is a spark in the music and that will light up your day for sure.