Sardar Ka Grandson movie rating: 2.5 / 5 stars (two and a half stars)
Featured actors: Arjun Kapoor, Neena Gupta, Kumud Mishra, Rakul Preet Singh, Aditi Rao Hydari, John Abraham, Kanwaljit Singh, Soni Razdan
Director: Kaashvie Nair
What is good: A livewire Neena Gupta, the story on paper and Arjun Kapoor’s honest take on a complicated character
What is bad: Turn the good of having a good story into a scattered mess through a half-baked execution
Loo break: A few songs and nothing without Arjun Kapoor, Neena Gupta, Aditi Rao Hydari in it
Watch or not ?: Yes, if you want to waste some free time. No, if you rush with the burden of certain expectations
Goofy grandchild Amreek (Arjun Kapoor) breaks up with his girlfriend Radha (Rakul Preet Singh) because he’s messy and can’t apologize even though he’s on the wrong side. He is leaving his company of movers and packers ‘Gently Gently’. On hearing of her grandmother, Sardar (Neena Gupta), who has fallen ill, Amreeka’s Amreek flies to Amritsar to meet her. Sardar’s last wish is for her to want to travel to Lahore to visit her pre-score home, where she lost her husband 70 years ago.
Amreek does his best to get him to Pakistan but faces many roadblocks on the way. It was now that the idea of ”structural relocation” struck him, and it was then that he decided to bring the house back to Sardar. Of course, he’s entering Pakistan and you don’t expect a smooth return with a relaxed ‘home’ on your truck. Plus, if you’ve seen Gadar, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, and a lot of those “Aman ki Asha” movies, you know what the ending is going to be like. It is always “how to reach the climax” in such films. More information on this in “Analysis of scripts”.
Sardar Ka Grandson film review: scenario analysis
Kaashvie Nair writes history with the very conscious risk of a “predictable conspiracy”. The road that Kaashvie and the crew take doesn’t actually have various ways of ending the movie. You can’t really show anything other than “sab kushal mangal sampoorn hua”. It’s just how you reach that end. Some take the action-packed road ripping the hand pump off the ground; some do the magic of giving voice to a kid who’s never spoken before, but here the way Kaashvie takes is the major issue with the film.
It is somewhere in the Shankar Satellite area of last year, having the heart in the right place, but that’s about it. The story has such a wide reach, but Kaashvie fails to execute the required emotional connection. The reason why the character of Neena was blacklisted in Lahore, the obstacles Arjun character faces in moving the house, the weak connection between various characters like Chotey, Arjun and Neena Madame d’Arjun and Mir Mehroos – all of these things mess with the script Kaashvie wrote with Anuja Chauhan.
Amitosh Nagpal’s dialogues do little to help keep the plot alive. Due to the dragged script, Maahir Zaveri’s cut comes across as a lazy passive. Around 135 minutes, the film takes too long to digest all at once. The cinematographer behind the scenic masterpiece Lootera, Mahendra Shetty, does a pretty ordinary job here. Perhaps it is also because of the production design in Pakistani footage that gives the film an artificial feel that lacks authenticity and impact.
Sardar Ka Grandson movie review: Star Performance
That’s a decent hat-trick for Arjun Kapoor from Panipat, Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar and now this. Although Amreek is at the bottom of his last three characters, Arjun’s honest efforts are visible. Yes, he fails to justify his false crying ability, but luckily it’s not as bad (and repetitive) as Abhishek Bachchan’s fake laugh in The Big Bull. As in his last film, the execution of the story is a bigger issue that keeps his performance from being memorable.
Neena Gupta lights up the screen with her warm laughter in a character resembling Kapoor & Sons’ counterpart to Rishi Kapoor. Faced with the similar risks that Rishi sir’s character had in the aforementioned film, Neena never crosses the line of oddity. She holds your heart in emotional scenes and makes you laugh with her in lame ones. Kumud Mishra is overqualified for the character he plays. He doesn’t face any challenges in portraying the character, resulting in a very bland final output. Rakul Preet Singh’s extended cameo gives him no opportunity to do anything out of the box.
Aditi Rao Hydari shines as always by expanding its range, managing to look “straight out of paradise”. Fortunately, John Abraham doesn’t get a lot of dialogue because he’s still not verbally ready to play a Sardar. Kanwaljit Singh & Soni Razdan are just another addition to the list of “overqualified actors” for this scenario.
Sardar Ka Grandson film review: direction, music
This is a golden opportunity lost for Kaashvie Nair because it could have been so good. With a few emotional tweaks here and there, a few solid subplots, this would’ve been a movie to remember. Kaashvie makes a similar mistake that Ali Abbas Zafar made with Salman Khan’s Bharat. The idea of having such an emotional narrative overwhelms the filmmakers and they make mistakes.
Gulraj Singh’s background score is subtle and doesn’t give in to the boisterous narration keeping things light. Bandeya should have been the best track in the movie, but I couldn’t even remember a single line after the movie ended. Tanishk Bagchi adds another song to the list of classics remade and ruined by him with Jee Ni Karda (We Miss You, RDB).
Sardar Ka Grandson Movie Review: The Last Word
All in all, this story had phenomenal potential, but it is unfortunately limited to a regular ‘aman ki asha’ movie due to ‘too many to avoid’ flaws. Backed by some good performance, it comes with zero surprises and a scattered storyline, making it hard to put everything back in place by the climax.
Two and a half stars!
Sardar Ka’s Grandson Trailer
Sardar Ka Grandson releases May 18, 2021.
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