Bollywood Movie Review: SON OF SARDAAR (2012)
So the Bollywood obsession with everything Punjabi continues with a movie that’s completely unabashed and unapologetic about being Punjabi to its core: SON OF SARDAAR. Here is my Movie Review…
Rating: 3 out of 5 Sardaars
SON OF SARDAAR, (SOS) is another in a long line of hyper exaggerated action comedies that simply looks to entertain and be enjoyed, and it doesn’t fail at that. I always maintain that comedies are subjective and there can be no definite Review, however, I liked SOS for a few reasons.
The story is about Ajay Devgan’s Jassi whose family, let’s call them Family A, was part of a long family feud. The war was paused only because Jassi’s mother took him away after his father’s death, causing the other family, Family B, to vow to not rest until Jassi is killed. Completely oblivious to this epic story of a family feud, Jassi returns to his village in Punjab to take care of some family business, while the others lie in wait.
Family B, is headed by Sanjay Dutt’s Billu. Billu has vowed that he’ll never marry until he avenges the death of his relatives. However, Billu doesn’t know what Jassi looks like until it’s too late. By which time, Jassi has already tricked himself into being a guest at Billu’s house. And Punjabi culture dictates that a houseguest is like God, and should be treated like such.
So SOS is essentially about Jassi forcibly staying at the house of people trying to kill him, while he tries to figure out how to resolve the family feud that he cares nothing about. It’s gimmicky and it seems forced at times… but it works. And here’s why.
The entire film is reliant on this gimmick of the ‘guest is God’ thing being milked to the bone. The milker is none other than Ajay Devgan himself, giving us a very cute, naïve Jassi. It’s this innocence that never goes over the top into stupidity, which keeps the movie fresh, light and above all, enjoyable. Jassi’s naivete is believable, while not being ridiculously stupid.
To throw another monkey wrench in the story, Jassi falls in love with Billu’s sister, Sonakshi Sinha. Now despite how Romeo & Juliet the movie might have become, it keeps its focus on the conflict at hand, and not strangling it with the love story sub plot. Jassi & Billu’s family conflict remained the sole focus of the story until it was resolved, and wasn’t ignored due to the love story. Unlike typical Bollywood fares, where a complicated set up serves as the backdrop to the love story angle, SON OF SARDAAR upholds it original premise all the way to the end.
Sinha does the role of ‘the girl’ in yet again another movie. She’s cute, but nothing more. Devgan is awesome as a simple-minded Punjabi boy who’s too innocent to care about spilling blood or revenge. It’s his simpleminded-ness that wears people down and eventually leads to the climax. It’s amazing how far Devgan has come in his career. His acting prowess has gradually grown, first with the dramatic and now even his comic timing has improved. Devgan’s previous attempts at comedy were some of his worst movies. However, his restraint and clueless turn as Jassi was decent.
The badass of Bollywood, Sanjay Dutt is always menacing and at times funny. It’s good to see the aging Dutt take on roles where his entire characterization isn’t reliant on being intimidating, so it succeeds when a big guy such as him, brings out the funny.
SON OF SARDAAR is not a genius film and there are definitely areas of exaggeration and eye roll worthy scenes. However, it stays true to the story it sets up and doesn’t betray it through out the film. It’s a family feud movie where the conflict isn’t dismissed in the end, and the entire movie doesn’t undermine the set up. Nothing spectacular, but worth a watch in a family setting.