Jai Mummy Di

Director: Navjot Gulati

Cast: Sunny Singh Nijjar, Sonnalli Seygall, Supriya Pathak

I know that it’s hard to feel sorry for me. I speak from a place of privilege. After all, I watch movies for a living. But sometimes the films I endure are so downright awful that I feel it’s legitimate for me to whine a little. Today is that day. And Jai Mummy Di is that film.

Jai Mummy Di’s only redeeming factor is that it’s short. Genuinely, there is nothing else I can recommend in this film – the acting is bizarre, the writing is sloppy, the plot is incoherent and the background music is so purposefully annoying that you want to weep. Example – when Poonam Dhillon playing a fiery Punjabi aunty enters the frame, the background music announces: Amma, amma. Supriya Pathak plays the other amma. These two annoyingly screechy women are neighbors. Then one family moves to Ghaziabad. Then the other family follows and they become neighbors again. Only debutant director Navjot Gulati who has also written the screenplay can tell us if this worked on paper. On screen, it’s forced and desperately unfunny.

Director Navjot Gulati rehashes the usual collection of Punjabi clichés – these good folks are either drinking or eating or fighting or dancing.

This film has been co-produced by Luv Ranjan and the usual Ranjan repertory players make an appearance. Sunny Singh and Sonnalli Seygall who you might remember from Sonu ke Titu ki Sweety play Puneet and Saanjh, the children of the two warring aunties. Puneet and Saanjh love each other but don’t have the courage to tell their unhinged mothers, who they refer to as Mogambo and Gabbar. Navjot rehashes the usual collection of Punjabi clichés – these good folks are either drinking or eating or fighting or dancing. Sunny mostly looks confused, almost as though he’s thinking that the monster success of Sonu ke Titu ki Sweety should have led to better material than this. Sonnalli is as forgettable as she was in that film. Meanwhile poor Poonam and Supriya scowl and scream.  I felt bad on their behalf.

The film is also bizarrely tone deaf. In one scene, Puneet lies about being gay to his fiancée so that they can break up the marriage. She kisses and strokes him and says something to the effect of: I will convert you by tomorrow morning. How is this funny?

The unkindest cut is the big reveal about why the two ladies have spent a lifetime sniping at each other. There are hints of a romance between them and I was hoping that Jai Mummy Di would take that transgressive leap. No such luck. The explanation is so lame that it would have been better if they didn’t give one.

Or even better, made an entirely different film.

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