STORY: A couple divorces even before their son is born because the wife has her ambitions to pursue. The single father then goes around looking for a mother for his son and a companion for himself. What follows is a sublime exhibit of emotions through various equations, that of a father and his son, between a man and a woman and eventually between a woman and her son.
REVIEW: Set in Canada, ‘Honsla Rakh’ starts in flashback as Yenkey Singh (Diljit Dosanjh) has a chance encounter with his ex-wife, Sweety (Shehnaaz Gill). As Sweety is curious to know why Yenkey did not remarry, the story goes back to the beginning of their marriage and the sequences leading to their divorce, even though Sweety was carrying Yenkey’s child. Shehnaaz, who plays an ambitious young woman, has broken out of the mould of a giggly, child-woman you saw in ‘Bigg Boss’. Handling the glamour of a fashion designer, Shehnaaz displays a quiet oomph, both in her dressing and persona.
In essaying a young married man working with his nose to the grind to keep his wife and future kid well provided for, Diljit is convincing. And when his wife walks out of the marriage to follow her passion, the real struggle of a single parent who also has his job to worry about makes him relatable at many levels. Despite the years spent honing his craft, the one trait that Diljit brings to this film is his simplicity. Without letting any complications of an actor of his experience mar the simple, desi Yankey, Diljit proves why only he could have done justice to this character who needs to convince audiences of the challenges of, playing single dad with raw naivety and of making desperate attempts at getting remarried.
The second half of the film begins on a parting note with Shehnaaz and the smashing entry of Sonam Bajwa as Yankey makes a prophetic thought about how the world is moving on (referring to Shehnaaz having got remarried), while he is still waiting for his turn. The film gets another vantage point on Sonam’s entry, that of natural glamour. This is also the point when the director, Amarjit Singh shows his vision and keeps the narrative seamless. As actors refine with every film, Sonam is growing in her charm and value adds to the character of Jasmine, the yoga teacher who Yankey has set out to woo with her fit physique and poised manner.
The central character in the film is Honsla, Diljit’s son, played by Shinda Grewal. Son of actor Gippy Grewal, while this is not Shinda’s first outing as a child actor, in this film Shinda is winning hearts with his effortless acting, without losing the innocence of a child of seven. As he goes about helping his dad in pursuing Jasmine, even while remaining hidden from her sight, Shinda is the other lead hero in ‘Honsla Rakh’. If the father-son bond has convinced you in the film, Shinda takes the credit as much as Diljit. The comedy is just enough to keep the focus on romance and the emotions, and entertaining with its straightforward references.