Son of Sardars in Bollywood
This Diwali’s second major release Son Of Sardaar has been creating quite a buzz. Set against a pure Punjabi background, the film has Ajay Devgn sporting a typical Punjabi look with a turban and beard. And this is not the first time that he is doing so. In his previous award-winning film The Legend of Bhagat Singh, Ajay was seen sporting a similar look when he played the title role. The film won the National Award for Best Regional Film (Hindi) and he was awarded the National Award for Best Actor for the same.
Although Sardars were initially portrayed in comic roles, in the past few years, many top notch actors of Bollywood have played serious and full-fledged roles as Sikh characters in various films. Take a look!
Sunny Deol in Border
What better name to start with than the original Punjabi puttar? Sunny Deol has donned the Punjabi look in not 1 or 2, but as good as 4 films till date. In Border, he played the role of an army Major in charge of the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971. The film won several awards, including 2 National Awards and the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration.
Sunny Deol in Gadar: Ek Prem Katha
In this blockbuster film, he played the role of a truck driver in love with a Muslim girl, played by Ameesha Patel. Set against the Indian partition, the film showed how Tara (Deol) and Sakina (Ameesha) overcome troubles and fight death to be with each other. The film holds the record for selling more tickets in theatres in India than any other top grossing films of all times (except Sholay) and was nominated for several reputed awards.
Sunny Deol in Jo Bole So Nihaal
Audiences got a slice of Sunny Deol’s Punjabi look yet again when he appeared in Jo Bole So Nihaal, where he played an honest constable who is labeled as a traitor when he helps a terrorist. The film was a box office dud and was met with protests by the Sikh community.
The Deol Family in Yamla Pagla Deewana
After playing serious Sardars in his previous films, Sunny Deol was finally seen in a comedy drama Yamla Pagla Deewana, which also starred his father Dharmendra and brother Bobby Deol. All three of them donned the turban-beard-moustache look with much ease, and managed to garner much appreciation from audiences and critics alike. The film was a blockbuster in Punjab and a hit all over the world. A sequel to this film is on its way.
Akshay Kumar in Singh is Kinng
Our action hero slipped into the shoes of a Sardar in this 2008 comedy action film by Anees Bazmee. Akshay Kumar played a notorious man Happy who transforms Lucky (Sonu Sood), the king of Australian underworld, into a good man. In the meanwhile, Happy meets Katrina Kaif (Sonia) and falls in love with her. The film was initially involved in some controversies but later received positive reviews after its release and even went on to earn the blockbuster status. Akshay actually looked like a king in the diamond-studded turbans which was particularly designed for him.
Saif Ali Khan in Love Aaj Kal
Chhote Nawaab Saif Ali Khan played dual roles in his first home production starring himself, Deepika Padukone and Giselli Monteiro. As a passionate Sikh, he donned the turban and beard to portray the role of Veer Singh who travelled all the way from Punjab to Calcutta to woo his lady love Harleen. The film was a massive hit among the audiences and Saif as the Sardar, especially in the last song “Aahun Aahun” was quite endearing.
Amitabh Bachchan in Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo
There is hardly character left that the megastar of Bollywood has not played. And so, how could a Sardar be forgotten? Big B Amitabh Bachchan played a Sikh character as Major General Amarjeet Singh in Anil Sharma’s Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo. And as usual, he looked stunning in the deadly turban-beard-uniform combination.
Ranbir Kapoor in Rocket Singh – Salesman of the Year
Ranbir Kapoor was seen playing a Sikh in his sixth Bollywood film. A B.Com graduate with poor marks, Harpreet Singh Bedi is a salesman with a huge company but later starts his own business which soon becomes successful. The film was below-average at the box office, but Ranbir’s new look as the Sardar was quite a talking point.
Salman Khan in Heroes
Very few people remember this film and Salman Khan’s Punjabi look in it. Playing an army Major Balkar Singh in this multi-starrer flick, Sallu Miya was not quite accepted by audiences as it did not suit him. The film fell flat on its face and since then, we have never seen Salman sporting the same look. Sigh!
Rani Mukerji in Dil Bole Hadippa
Okay now this must have surprised you a bit, but we just couldn’t avoid this. After all, the Rani Mukerji of Bollywood dared to experiment with her looks and how! Not only did she sport the typical Punjabi frame, but also played cricket and that too, in the men’s team! Although worth applauding, the film did not go down very well with audiences and could do only below-average business. However, Rani won the V.Shantaram Award and Anandalok Purashkar Award for Best Heroine.
Shah Rukh Khan in Pepsodent Ad
The Badshah of Bollywood Shah Rukh Khan could not remain far behind in the ‘Sardar’ race. Although we have not yet seen him in this look in a film yet, fans got to see a different SRK when he appeared in an ad for Pepsodent toothpaste as a Punjabi army officer trying to explain the benefits of the product to his son.
Aamir Khan in Tata Sky Ad
The third of the Khan trio, Aamir Khan was seen playing an old Sardar out to give up his Tata Sky box because his son is addicted to life-like picture quality of the box. The comic and fun element in his tone and appearance was quite endearing and his demeanor as the Sardar was nothing short of perfect! Well, that’s why the name Mr. Perfectionist!
The way Sardars are portrayed in films these days is testimony to the fact that Sardars will be here to stay for many more films to come. All we can say is “Sat sri akal”!!