Star Cast: Arjun Kapoor, Neena Gupta, Kumud Mishra, Rakul Preet Singh, Aditi Rao Hydari, John Abraham, Kanwaljit Singh, Soni Razdan
Director: Kaashvie Nair
What’s Good: A livewire Neena Gupta, the story on-paper & Arjun Kapoor’s honest take at a complicated character
What’s Bad: Turning the positive point of having a good story into a scattered mess by half-baked execution
Loo Break: A few songs & anything without Arjun Kapoor, Neena Gupta, Aditi Rao Hydari in it
Watch or Not?: Yes, if you want to kill some spare time. No, if you’re rushing in with the burden of certain expectations
A clumsy big-kid Amreek (Arjun Kapoor) breaks up with his girlfriend Radha (Rakul Preet Singh) because he’s a mess and can’t apologise even if he’s on the wrong side. He exits from their business of movers & packers’ business ‘Gently Gently’. On the news of his grandmother, Sardar (Neena Gupta), getting ill, Amreeka’s Amreek flies to Amritsar to meet her. Sardar’s final wish is she wants to go to Lahore to visit her pre-partition house, where she lost her husband 70 years ago.
Amreek tries his best to take her to Pakistan but faces many roadblocks on the way. It’s now when the idea of ‘structural relocation’ hits him, and that’s when he decides to bring the home to Sardar. Of course, he’s entering Pakistan, and you won’t expect a smooth ride coming back with a ‘home’ laid back on your truck. Also, if you’ve seen Gadar, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and many such ‘Aman ki Asha’ films, you know what’s the end is going to be like. It’s always “how do you reach to the climax” in such films. More on that, in ‘Script Analysis’.
Sardar Ka Grandson Movie Review: Script Analysis
Kaashvie Nair pens the story with the very knowing risk of a “predictable plot”. The route taken by Kaashvie & the team doesn’t actually have varied ways to end the film. You can’t really show anything different other than ‘sab kushal mangal sampoorn hua’. It’s just how you reach to that end. Some take the action-filled route tearing out hand-pump from the ground; some do the magic of giving voice to a kid who has never spoken before but here, the way Kaashvie takes is the major issue with the movie.
This somewhere lies in the zone of last year’s Satellite Shankar, having the heart at the right place, but that’s about it. The story has such a vast scope, but Kaashvie fails to execute the emotional connect it required. The reason why Neena’s character was blacklisted in Lahore, the hurdles Arjun’s character faces in relocating the house, the weak connection between various characters like Arjun & Mir Mehroos’ Chotey, Arjun & Neena ma’am – all these things bother the screenplay Kaashvie has penned with Anuja Chauhan.
Amitosh Nagpal’s dialogues provide no great help in keeping the intrigue alive. Because of the dragged screenplay, Maahir Zaveri’s editing comes across as a lazy liability. At around 135 minutes, the film is too long to digest at once. The cinematographer behind the scenic masterpiece Lootera, Mahendra Shetty, does a pretty ordinary job here. That also maybe because of the production design in Pakistan’s sequences gives an artificial feel to the film lacking authenticity and impact.
Sardar Ka Grandson Movie Review: Star Performance
It’s a hat-trick of decent performances for Arjun Kapoor since Panipat, Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar and now this. Though Amreek is at the bottom of his last three characters, Arjun’s honest efforts are visible. Yes, he fails to justify his ability of fake-crying but thankfully, it’s not as bad (and as repetitive) as Abhishek Bachchan’s fake-laughter in The Big Bull. As in his last film, the story execution is a more significant issue restricting his performance from being a memorable one.
Neena Gupta lits up the screen with her hearty laugh in character looking like Rishi Kapoor’s counterpart from Kapoor & Sons. Facing the similar risks Rishi sir’s character had in the aforementioned film, Neena never crosses the line of quirkiness. She holds your heart in the emotional scenes and makes you giggle with her in the lame ones. Kumud Mishra is overqualified for the character he’s playing. He faces no challenges while portraying the character resulting in a highly bland final output. Rakul Preet Singh’s extended cameo doesn’t give her any scope to do anything out-of-the-box.
Aditi Rao Hydari shines like always expanding her range, managing to look ‘straight out of heaven’. Thankfully John Abraham doesn’t get many dialogues 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 script.
Sardar Ka Grandson Movie Review: Direction, Music
This is a golden opportunity lost for Kaashvie Nair because it could’ve been so good. With a few emotional tweaks here and there, a couple of solid subplots, this would’ve been a film to remember. Kaashvie makes a similar mistake Ali Abbas Zafar made with Salman Khan‘s Bharat. The thought of having such an emotion-heavy narration overwhelms filmmakers, and they make mistakes.
Gulraj Singh’s background score is subtle and doesn’t surrender to the loud narration keeping things light. Bandeya should’ve been the best track of the film, but I couldn’t recollect even a single line after the movie ended. Tanishk Bagchi adds another song to the list of classics remade & ruined by him with Jee Ni Karda (We miss you, RDB).
Sardar Ka Grandson Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, this story had a phenomenal potential, but it’s unfortunately restricted to an ordinary ‘aman ki asha’ film due to ‘too many to avoid’ flaws. Backed with few good performances, it comes with zero surprises and a scattered screenplay, making it hard to put everything back together by the climax.
Two and a half stars!
Sardar Ka Grandson Trailer
Sardar Ka Grandson releases on 18th May, 2021.
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If you’re thinking to watch a Salman Khan film rather than this, read our Radhe review.