Rating: 2/5 Stars (Two stars)

Star Cast: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Randeep Hooda, Richa Chadha, Darshan Kumaar

Director: Omung Kumar

Sarbjit Movie Poster
Sarbjit Movie Poster

What’s Good: Richa Chadha and Randeep Hooda keep this film afloat with their performances.

What’s Bad: Forced melodrama, jarringly irritating background score and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s screechy dialogue delivery.

Loo Break: Yes, please! Also a a pair of cotton balls for the ears.

Watch or Not?: A contrived plot and over the top performance by Ash makes this movie a lengthy affair. For not doing justice to the actual Sarbjit issue, I’d say this film is passable.


User Rating:

Sarbjit is based on the real-life incident of Sarabjit Singh, an Indian farmer who is based in Bhikhiwind, Punjab, near the Indo-Pak border. On a drunken night in 1990, Sarabjit (Randeep Hooda) crosses over the border and is caught by the Pakistani army. After being held captive, he is forced to take the identity of Ranjit Singh, an accused for carrying out bomb blasts in Lahore.

After learning about his disappearance and about being held captive by Pakistan, his sister Dalbir (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) decides to seek justice for her brother.

This is a tale of her courage, endurance and love for her falsely convicted brother.

Randeep Hooda and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in a still from movie Sarbjit
Randeep Hooda and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in a still from movie Sarbjit

Sarbjit Review: Script Analysis

Having Dalbir Kaur herself on board for the rights of the film, I fail to understand why the makers could not make this film a raw, no-frills affair. The heightened melodrama is the sheer cause of this film to put you off in spite of having a story worth telling at hand. Kumar’s Sarabjit is introduced as a happy go lucky, Punjabi guy who is highly family oriented but that doesn’t need to be conveyed with a celebratory song.

The film fails to establish Sarabjit’s character in depth. The film is focused on his sister and her struggle minus the political angle from the Indian side. Her two decade struggle seems to be literally put in a script that feels like decades for the audiences too.

Most dialogues come off as forced effect and hence fail to make an impact. Natural conversations are missing from the script, which make it a constant reminder that it is a film.

The best written scenes in Sarbjit would be where Sarabjit loses his patience and shouts at his sister explaining how miserable his life in the jail is. The other would be Richa Chadha, who plays Sarabjit’s wife, giving a peace of mind to Dalbir’s character after she has lost all faith in her cause to free her brother.

Only a few scenes click but luckily, the film does not have any jingoistic moments, which could have easily ruined the film even more.

Towards the end, the film takes a turn into becoming a campaign of sorts for freeing falsely convicted prisoners in both countries. Now, this comes as a little shocking since Sarabjit himself was neither proved to be a spy or a terrorist and involving other cases is definitely a risky move.

Sarbjit Review: Star Performance

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is the lead in this film and considering the story, the film could have easily been titled Dalbir – A tale of a sister’s struggle. While the actress goes de-glam for her role, she does try her best to wash off her classy image too, but fails at that. With an accent that is highly unconvincing, Aish’s screechy dialogue delivery all through the film, hampers your senses to feel anything for either of the characters. She manages to shine in limited scenes but most of the time seems completely over the top. What’s sad is that while the grey hair for her character keep increasing over the years, her body language pretty much remains the same.

Randeep Hooda, who plays Sarabjit in the film seems highly under-used for his talent. He pulls off the jail scenes extremely well but unfortunately, the director wants us to focus more on his unkempt conditions than his acting.

Richa Chadha as Sukhpreet, the wife does a fabulous job. She hardly speaks but emotes extremely powerfully with her eyes. As a wife longing for her husband’s return, she is spot on.

Darshan Kumaar gets a short role of a Pakistani lawyer in the film. He tries hard to come off as a character that should win your heart but he doesn’t.

Sarbjit Review: Direction, Music

National award winning director, Omung Kumar gets highly ambitious, by attempting to make a film like Sarbjit. His focus right from the start seems to be pleasing the masses and hence the high level of commercial elements are added that downplay a hard-hitting story.

The casting of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan for this role itself makes it clear, as to where the director was heading with this film.

He wants the audiences to feel everything in one film, right from the ‘bhai-behen ka pyaar’, the raw treatment given to convicts in jail, the power of ‘candle-light’ marches and ‘Bhook Hartals’ in India. Of course, this mishmash doesn’t work.

Elements that could have been easily chucked from this tale would be the unnecessary song and dance sequence of Tung Lak and the romantic scenes of Sarabjit and Sukhpreet in Salamat. This not only would have shortened the run-time, but also would have kept the audiences hooked to the actual story.

Kumar plays Bollywood cliches such as Sarabjit enjoying the rains in jail while his estranged wife too gets drenched in India or Dalbir giving him a Rakhi on their first meet after years in the jail cell. Also, the scenes such as the Pakistani lawyer taking Dalbir to a mosque after she loses the case are too outstretched from reality.

Scenes of Sarabjit being tortured in jail form as the best ones in the entire film. They are well captured to make you feel the disgust and pain that an innocent life could go through.

Keeping both Indian and Pakistani politics at bay, Kumar’s Sarbjit plays safe to avoid getting into any controversies.

Sarbjit Review: The Last Word

Sarbjit fails to rise above its commercial nature to actually hit you in the gut with its real story. I am going with a 2/5 for the film.

Sarbjit Trailer

Sarbjit releases on 20th May, 2016.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. Surabhi Redkar..better u start making films…and also act in those..may be then Indian can have Oscars for best film and actor …disgusting..whats your problem..m going to black list this review section…

  2. Whom are you jealous of ? The fact that you cant be as pretty as the Miss world Aish?
    Like one of the readers mentioned, you should actually make a film yourself. You could give tough competition to Aamir Khan, for the kind of perfectionist you sound.
    Loser!

  3. Aish has never been a good performer. Dialogue delivery has always been forced and facial expressions have always been poor.
    But still. Aishwariya will bag the award for Best Actress irrespective of how many better performances we will see throughout the year…why? Because she is a Bacchan. Mark my words. She has already bagged the award. Only the award ceremony needs to be done.

    • ..she will get an award just for being a Bachchan….lol …one of the funniest comments one can hear ….grow up dear…and do some homework

    • Everyone is allowed to give their comments and not feel the need to be vilified for doing so. So Prashant and Sanket, please stop having a go at Bias.

  4. OVER THE TOP MELODRAMA MOVIE , MOVIES LIKE THIS SHOULD BE MADE BY LIKES OF MANIRATNAM ONLY WITH THEATRE ARTIST WITH REALISTIC STORY ..THIS MOVIE IS SO OVER THE TOP , THAT IT PATHETICALLY FORCED ….. NOT EVEN WORTH WATCH FREE ON TV IN 1 MONTH TIME … DONT WASTE YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY

  5. Dear All Haters and the Reviewer Ms. Redker,

    I have watched this movie on the 1st Friday itself and honestly I didn’t find any of the flaws which the redker has mentioned. All the star cast has given a fabulous performance. Aishwarya’s screen space is more comparatively and I must say he excels in every scene. Me and wife cried when the whole family meets sarbjit in the jail, since he lost. Love story, drama, sarbjit a pain, dalbir’s struggle for 20 long years have been showcased excellently. Aishwarya is talking like a Punjabi Women from village then how redker ms. South Indian expect her to voice to be. It has to be little hard, firm and strong like most punjabis have … So it’s not over the top performance … Everyone must accept that, thus is one of her best performance….. Show me 01 actress of this genre, who dared to play a role from 23 yrs to 53 yrs old in a single movie…
    Ms. Reddy is a gate of Aishwarya or she is not paid for giving a good review….Dumbest reviewer inhale ever seen. Don’t know how to appreciate India’s talent …. Go and beg to Hollywood … If they will sneeze also… You will say see how perfectly they sneezed… How Stupid… Have a life girl … Bye

  6. You don’t have konwledge about movies….just 2 stars..it is the that everbody should watch..please don’t review….the scene whem sarabjit meet with family in Pakistani jail is the best movie.. because of you pepole don’t watch movie….so please stop this