SON OF SARDAAR Review-Komal Nahta


Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, Ajay Devgn Ffilms and YRV Infra & Media Pvt. Ltd.’s Son of Sardaar (UA) is the story of age-old enmity between two families of Punjab. Jasvinder Singh Randhawa ( Ajay Devgan) is the sole male survivor in the family which had been wiped off completely even when he was in his mother’s womb. His mother has left the village to save her unborn child. She has since passed away, and Jasvinder now works in a club in London. The club is owned by an uncle-nephew team (Sanjay Mishra & Salman Khan in a special appearance). The other family, still living in the same village in Punjab, has Balvinder Singh Sandhu (Sanjay Dutt) as the eldest member alive. His paternal uncle and Jasvinder Randhawa’s father had killed each other on the day Balvinder alias Billoo was to get married to Pammi (Juhi Chawla). Billoo had then and there called off his marriage to Pammi and had sworn to remain a bachelor till he had wiped out the name of the Randhawa family by killing the last surviving member. Since Jasvinder’s mother had left the village even while he was still unborn and had never returned, Billoo is, after more than two decades, still a bachelor, and Pammi is still waiting to get married to him. Jasvinder has three cousins, Tito (Vindoo Dara Singh), Tony (Mukul Dev) and their real sister, Sukhmeet alias Sukh (Sonakshi Sinha). There is also their grandmother, Bebe (Tanuja), who has lost her mental balance because of the many murders in the family.

Jasvinder’s mother had always hoped that the enmity would end. On the other hand, the Sandhu family is still thirsting for the last surviving Randhawa family member. Jasvinder comes to India and, for the first time, to his village, as the ancestral land he owns there is to be acquired by the government for Rs. 50 lakh.

He meets Sukh on the way to his village and both become friendly to one another in the train they are travelling together. They are unaware of each other’s antecedents. As luck would have it, Billoo invites Jasvinder over for lunch to his house as he, too, is not aware that Jasvinder is the lone surviving member of the Randhawa family. Soon, Billoo gets to know who Jasvinder is and he realises that this is his golden chance to annihilate Jasvinder and thereby fulfil his vow. However, there is a hitch. The Sandhu household treats guests as God-sent and, therefore, will not raise even a finger at a guest while he is in their house, leave alone killing him. As their luck would have it, Jasvinder gets wind of the intentions of Billoo and his preparations to kill him the moment he would step out of the house. It’s now a tug-of-war with the Sandhu trio of Billoo, Tito and Tony trying hard to get Jasvinder out of their house, and Jasvinder overstaying their hospitality to save his skin.

There’s also the romantic track between Jasvinder and Sukh. As if the fact that they belong to two families known to have killed each other’s members is not enough, there’s the additional hurdle of Billoo being keen to marry off Sukh to her childhood friend, Bobby (Arjan Bajwa).

What happens thereafter? Does Billoo succeed in extracting revenge by killing Jasvinder? Does he marry Pammi and live happily ever after? Or does Jasvinder finish off Billoo? What happens to the love story of Jasvinder and Sukh? Whom does Sukh marry? Jasvinder or Bobby?

The film is inspired by the Telegu blockbuster, Maryada Ramanna. The story is Indian at heart as it upholds the Atithi Devo Bhavah (Guest is an incarnation of God) philosophy. The screenplay, penned by Robin Bhatt, Ashwni Dhir and ________, has been written to make the entire drama comical. Some sequences are hilarious and evoke a lot of laughter. On the other hand, there are some sequences which appear stretched. Also, at quite a few places, either logic is given the go-by to further the drama in a particular direction or the characters are made to behave in a particular fashion to arrive at the desired conclusion. This comes in the way of the complete enjoyment of the drama by the audience. The track of Bebe and her mental imbalance and it being triggered off by unusual sounds is an instance in point of logic not being given its due importance. Similarly, the scene just before interval, in which Jasvinder makes different excuses to not leave Billoo’s house is an example of matters being stretched too much. However, in spite of these blatant drawbacks if the drama still holds, it is , to a large extent , due to the extremely entertaining dialogues penned by Ashwni Dhir. In fact, besides the performances and the Indian-at-heart story, it is the dialogues which are the film’s mainstay.

Ajay Devgan is splendid as Sardar Jasvinder Singh Randhawa. He excels in comedy scenes and is also brilliant in the intense and emotional ones. As for the action scene, he plays to the gallery in them. Sonakshi Sinha may have a relatively smaller role but she leaves a very good impression with the free, natural and likeable acting. Sanjay Dutt is very endearing and so are his two-liners. His scenes of anger followed by mock coolness are truly enjoyable. Juhi Chawla has an excellent role and does the fullest justice to it . She comes like a whiff of fresh air. Her performance in the climax scene is clapworthy. Arjan Bajwa is beautiflly restrained . Mukul Dev is terrific and often brings the house down with laughter with his dumb comments. Vindoo Dara Singh is also lovely and his repitition of dialogues in a softer tone is a cute track . Tanuja is okay and suffers on account of playing a character which is not clearly etched out but is moulded the way it suits the writers. Rajesh Vivek lends decent support. Jeetu Verma is nice. Sanjay Mishra leaves a mark in a tiny role. Salman Khan adds great star value in one scene and the ‘Po Po’ song in the end rolling credit titles.

Ashwni Dhir’s direction is good. Although there is much more Dhir, as a co-writer, could have done to make it a more appealing drama, his narration does keep the viewers engrossed, the intermittent lows and logic hiccups notwithstanding. His presentation of Punjab is excellent. Music (Himesh Reshammiya and Sajid-Wajid) is very good. The ‘Po Po’ song is already a hit. The title track, the ‘Raja rani’ and the ‘Tu kamaal di kaudi’ numbers are also appealing. The ‘Bichhadan’ song is melodious. Lyrics (Sameer, Shabbir Ahmed, Irshad Kamil and Manoj Yadav) are very nice. Picturisation of the ‘Po Po’, ‘Raja rani’ and the ‘Tu kamaal di kaudi’ songs by choreographer Ganesh Acharya, are entertaining. Sandeep Chowta’s background music goes perfectly well with the flavour of the film. Aseem Bajaj’s cinematography is lovely. Whether it is the beauty of the Punjab village or the grandeur of the action scenes, he has captured all of them wonderfully on celluloid. Jai Singh Nijjar’s action and stunt scenes will be loved by the masses and the audience in the small centres. Dharmendra Sharma’s editing is effective.

On the whole, Son Of Sardaar is an entertaining fare and a good festive watch. Its performance in circuits like U.P., East Punjab, Bihar, Rajasthan, C.P. Berar and C.I. will be better than in the other circuits.

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