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Sikh News Kambdi Kalaai - New Sikh Film


Sep 16, 2004
Film Review : Kambdi Kalaai
Sunday 2nd of April 2006
Panthic Weekly Staff

San Jose, California - (KP) Kambdi Kalaai, was released this week in San Jose, California. The film explores the dualities, which rise from living in a western culture and trying to be true to ones convictions.


Set in New York City, Kambdi Kalaai opens with the main character Gurmukh (played by Parmjit Singh) bringing home Ida (Caroline Treadwell) a Caucasian fellow student, with whom he has apparently fallen in love. She is fascinated by Sikhi and by Gurmukh's dastar and beard, his saroop. The opening suggests that the film will center on Gurmukh and Ida it does not.

A parallel plot unfolds at the engagement of Gurmukh's younger sister, Bhani (Preet Cheema). As the festivities are in full swing, all are horrified when Bhani's fiancé shows up with an evening shadow rather than the full beard he had just days earlier. Bhani is hurt and refuses the engagement, giving her fiancé an ultimatum to keep his saroop.

The plot then shifts back, as Gurmukh and Ida's story re-emerges with Gurmukh displaying almost a disdain for being a Sikh. He just wants to fit in.

The film shows Bhani's angst at seeing her fiancé fall from Sikhi saroop and Ida's incomprehension of why Gurmukh is not proud of his Sikh heritage and form. Accordingly there are two climactic moments in the film. One, when Bhani gives her ultimatum and a second when Ida tells a confused Gurmukh that she can only be with him if he gives up his saroop and cuts his hair.


While this film does not seemingly aim to be a cinematic wonder, in the limited world of Sikh cinema, it is a definite must see. Ish Amitoj Kaur, shows that she knows how to display the irony behind many of our cultural tendencies; sprinkling unfortunate realities throughout her work. At one point, she humorously depicts the contrariety of a clean-shaven Punjabi man calling himself a Sikh Sardar.

Though there is much room for critique, only one is worth mentioning. The film is centred on the importance of Sikhi saroop, but Bhani's character has noticeably plucked eyebrows. This detracts from the film and almost undermines its theme. Regardless however, overall Kambdi Kalaai pounds into the minds of its audience that being a Sikh means more than professing that you are a good person it also means keeping the Sikh form.

As an obviously Sikh-themed film, Kambdi Kalaai deserves a shot. Please see it.

Promo clip 1

Promo clip 2

For more info and to buy DVD visit:



Mar 13, 2006
London Uk
My grandad was asked by the actor to watch it. And in my opinion its a very good film, but not enough to teach sikhs and anybody else. Need more adventure, more powerful storyline, only that way it will work.


Jul 11, 2004
I just ordered this movie.

We always complain about bollywood -- so support this cause. Seems like a decent attempt at Sikh-related movies.

The more we buy of this, the more people will make.

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