Packing a Punjabi punch

Released over the weekend, A Good Day to Die Hard 5 in Punjabi held the audience, though small in number, spellbound at DT Cinemas.

Dialogues did the trick for the movie. For instance, Jai Courtney's character who plays Bruce Willis's son in the film points to the villains and says, "Apni sadhiyan bandookan nu thalle rakho" (keep your guns down). Or when Willis turns to his son and says, "main sochda si tu hi bigdi aulaad hai" (and I thought you were the spoilt one!"). The villain gets the best ones, like when he's asked to drop the weapons and he retorts, "kyun tere hathan ch mehndi laggi hai" (do you have henna on your hands?), or when he wants an elderly guy dead, "iss buddhe di phatti poch do" (kill this old man). Willis's one-liners too are memorable, like swad aa gaya (enjoyed), rabba (God), and malko (boss).

Although the movie is a big pull for those who like Hollywood action flicks but can't understand, it's still a shock to hear Willis mouth dialogues in Punjabi. The only saving grace, agrees singer-actor Gippy Grewal who dubbed in Punjabi for Jai's character, is that such films, especially Willis's, have more action and little dialogue.

As Die Hard 5 released this Friday, in English, Tamil and Telugu, it saw a simultaneous release in Punjabi too, an official first for the Punjabi film industry. Till now, all the audiences were being treated to documentaries and English television programming with an option of viewing it in Punjabi. However, viewers and netizens would tune into the endless Punjabi dubbed versions of Hollywood flicks like Shanghai Knights, Mr Bean, Spiderman, Baby's Day Out, 300, Dumb & Dumber, The Mask, Welcome to the Jungle which are available on the net, and audio-video sites like youtube.com. Mostly dubbed from Pakistan in Punjabi, these are mind-numbingly hilarious, laced with local jokes and crass comments.

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