Movie review: Son Of Sardaar


Movie review: Son Of Sardaar

Cast:Ajay Devgn, Sonakshi Sinha, Sanjay Dutt, Juhi Chawla
Director: Ashwni Dhir

It takes a mini deluge to bring Son of Sardaar to an end. In the climactic duel between the protagonist (Ajay Devgn) and his chief adversary (Sanjay Dutt), the former is hurled against a water tank. On impact, the thick reservoir wall caves in and a torrent gushes out, carrying bricks, mortar and the two brawling men with it.

All hate is washed away in a jiffy and the woman (Juhi Chawla) who has waited a quarter century for this moment of reckoning in order to marry her lover promises to bear him two children and name them Happy and Ending. Tickle yourself. The ending is welcome indeed, but happy it certainly isn’t.

When a movie tries too hard to be funny and the effort shows in every frame, it only ends up being an unintentional joke rather than a genuine laugh riot. Son of Sardaar is one such abomination.

To give the principal actors their due, everybody on view gives it the best shot that they can. But it is impossible to help something as spectacularly ludicrous as this rise above its morass of mindlessness.

Son of Sardaar is a vengeance drama in the garb of a slapstick comedy – a tangled mess that has no way of working its way around the sloppy screenplay, co-written by director Ashwni Dhir himself.

The Singham and Bodyguard kind of stunts typified by flying human bodies, airborne vehicles and other suspended objects have lost their novelty. Son of Sardaar has a surfeit of outlandish action choreography that makes it all the more difficult for the audience to relate to this tale that goes around in meaningless circles.

Son of Sardaar opens with a long title song that extols the many virtues of a community. It then stages an equally long action sequence to establish exactly how invincible the eponymous hero is – the Phagwara lad lays low a bunch of Brit hunks in a London nightclub with a bit of help from a tough Pathan buddy (Salman Khan in a special appearance).

You know where the film is headed when the protagonist is required to return home to sell a plot of land that belonged to his dead father and is told that back in Phagwara, one vicious family is lying in wait to settle old scores with him.

He walks into the cauldron and gets caught up in a cat-and-mouse game as his enemies hatch a plan to catch him unawares and dispatch him to his doom.

The only safe place for the hero in this village is the home of the very family that wants to kill him – their traditions do not allow them to misbehave with, let alone eliminate, a guest within the four walls of the house.

When the hyper-ventilating men who people this landscape aren’t flashing their guns and swords, they fling such inanities at each other that the audience’s sanity is severely tested.

The actors, as already indicated, try their darnedest not to look stupid but in vain.

A turbaned and muscular Ajay Devgn even gives us a glimpse of a dance of his pectoral muscles to prove that the central character, Jaswinder Singh Randhawa alias Jassi, is no ordinary man.

Sanjay Dutt, in the guise of Balwinder Singh Sandhu alias Billu paaji, a perennially growling and scowling patriarch of a particularly violent clan itching to avenge the killing of a family member by the male protagonist’s deceased father, is given cringe-inducing dialogue to deliver.

As things get worse with each passing scene, Dutt strains at the leash to keep a straight face even when he spouts line like Buddhe ke mooh mein toffee aur mehmaan ke mooh mein maafi achchi nahi lagti. He pulls it off. Well, nearly.

Sonakshi Sinha, who now appears to have become the lucky charm of all such unabashedly trashy cinematic vehicles, endeavours to be pretty and dainty amid all the madness. She plays Sukh, the girl that Jassi meets on a train from Delhi and falls in love with. Trouble is she happens to be part of the very family that wants Jassi dead.

After propagating a rustic blood feud for over two hours, the film, by way of closure, invokes the wise words of a spiritual apostle to advocate peace. Forgiveness yields love and love yields God, one character pipes up. No offence meant, Son of Sardaar deserves no form of absolution, no matter who or what your God is.

Poppycock in Phagwara: that is what the film should have been named. While the men on the screen defy gravity at will, the narrative defies logic without a care. Looking for genuine fireworks this Diwali? Look elsewhere.
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