Arranged marriage, twisted family dramas, gangsters and musical numbers are all par for the course in these Punjabi movies. A good Punjabi movie will bring you to the brink of despair with their mellow dramatic plots, but they always manage to pull you back from the edge with a combination of musical numbers, beautiful scenery and a flair for romance that can make you smile.
“Canadian Dream” (2011)- The worlds of immigrants and gangsters collide in a Punjabi movie that illustrates just how the best laid plans don’t always get you laid the way you planned. Amar starts his new life in Canada the way most new immigrants do; filled with hope, promise and smidgen of naivete. The move to a new country puts a strain on his relationship with his wife and Amar finds himself out on the streets when she throws him out. Just as it seems that his dream of a new life filled with a wife and family has come to an end, Amar starts a new life with the local Punjabi mafia. While he starts out as a petty associate, Amar finds himself clawing to the top of the Canadian underworld and living a different version of the “Canadian Dream.”
“Virsa” (2010)- If you’re in need of a good old fashion family mellow drama, then this Punjabi movie will fit the bill nicely. The story revolves the Greval family and their struggles with greed, culture clashes, and everything else that makes family life a right pain in the ass. Jogindar is the aging patriarch of the Greval family. He’s come to Australia to spend his twilight years with his son Ranvir and his family. But instead of spending his golden years playing golf and soaking up the sun down under, life takes a bitter turn when Jogindar is forced to work in Ranvir’s resturant. Being used as slave labor in his son’s greasy spoon drives a wedge between the two men. Divides in the family deepen when Ranvir is elected president of the Punjabi Association and begins to force his newly found cultural pride on his kids, both of which are trying to navigate their own way in the world. Meanwhile, Ranvir is blind to how his greed is destroying his family and his empire.
“Heaven to Earth” (2008)- A tearjerker from beginning to end, this Punjabi movie looks at the complexity and horror that can come from being forced into an arranged marriage. Just after earning he college degree, Chand is shipped off to Canada by her family to marry Rocky–a man she has never met. From the second she steps off the plane, Chand finds that life with her new husband and his family is not going to be a bed of roses. Despite her being a college graduate, Rocky hires Chand out as a laborer and demands that all of her wages are paid directly to him. As the months pass Rocky’s abuse turns from verbal and mental to physical, leaving Chand trying to figure out a way to cope with her new life.
“Chakk De Phatte” (2008)- The rom-com has been a staple of cinema since the invention of film, and Punjabi movies are no exception. Simran is the perfect woman; she’s single, she owns a restaurant and she’s a Canadian citizen. As an independent woman with her own mind, Simran is looking for love on her own terms, but that doesn’t stop four men from trying to woo her for their own gains. Hilarity ensues as each man tries to turn his individual charms on a woman who can’t be charmed by traditional means.
“Majajan” (2006)- Love conquers all in this Punjabi movie. Syedzada is a wealthy businessman from the city who finds himself drawn to Saima, a beautiful woman from a poor village. Although she is flattered by the advances of a wealthy man, Saima feels that Syedzada is way out of her league. But despite the disapproval of their families and peers Syedzada and Samia fall for one another and embark on a whirlwind romance to rival any fairytale.