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SARBJIT - Hooda remains the only saving grace in this lackluster filmy take on a real life tragedy, more interested in the STAR, using a forced mixed language sounding awful at times. (Review By Bobby Sing)
20 May, 2016 | Movie Reviews / 2016 Releases / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / S

Beginning with an essential declaration, this is strictly the review of the director’s onscreen portrayal of a tragic real life story with my utmost respect and sympathy for Sarbjit and his family suffering for more than two decades caught in the sad political mess between the two neighbouring countries.
As a film SARBJIT made me extremely sad, since I witnessed a sincere and honest actor painfully going through some extreme level of preparations for his impressive and haunting performance only to get brutally betrayed by his writer and director, who couldn’t give him a film equivalent to his amazing and worth applauding efforts made, to be honest. In fact this is one of those most unfortunate instances of Hindi cinema, when an actor puts-in all he has got in his performance (suffering a hell lot of things) assuming it to be a great milestone film of his ongoing career, but the director is busy focusing on other bigger STAR featuring in the film showcasing his limited understanding of the subject bowing down to commercial world.
So irrespective of the project being a complete non-performer on almost all grounds, I would personally like to congratulate Randeep Hooda for such a frightening realistic act depicting the helplessness and suffering of his given character on screen to such astonishing effect.
SARBJIT also made me remember my ‘commercial arts diploma’ days in the 90s when I realized that, “Nothing can be more disastrous for an artist, if his mediocre piece of art becomes a success and wins some reputed awards too due to some unknown reasons”.
It’s disastrous as that gives the artist a fake assurance of having done something exceptionally good beyond the usual. And this false assumption only becomes the biggest hindrance in his future works or creations with an invisible over-confidence resulting in some bigger mediocre products, which exactly happens to be the case with director Omung Kumar and his career beginning with MARY KOM.
In straight words, when nobody informed or rather alarmed Omung about his strictly average film with a big miscasting of Priyanka Chopra as MARY KOM (winning National Award by chance), the director went on to make SARBJIT with an even bigger miscast of Aishwarya Rai as the STAR sister, proving to be a major liability for the project instead of any valuable asset.
Anyway keeping in mind the end result, SARBJIT is sure going to disappoint Randeep Hooda the most in comparison to anyone else and I seriously wish he had made all those painstaking efforts raising many big hopes for any other film and director instead of this below average one.
Giving you an idea of its strange, highly filmy representation of a real life tragedy, SARBJIT begins with a search-out scene, a flashback and a song introducing Randeep with 8-10 pigeons sitting on his both hands spread wide, clearly exposing the vision of its award winning director.
Next what remains the most annoying feature of the film throughout its 132 minutes duration is the mixed broken language using Hindi-Punjabi together that sounds awfully bad when deliberately used by the actors with the wrong and highly funny or rather ridiculous accent. The fact really made me wonder that why can’t a real-life story from the region of Punjab adapted on the screen in Hindi language? If you are too keen of keeping it realistic then make it entirely in Punjabi, but why to ruin the beauty of two different languages mixing them in such ‘brutal’ manner?
Apart from this unbearable language, the other major factor that repeatedly puts you off is the insertion of unwanted average songs at such crucial points of the film that one seriously begins wondering that were they really interested in bringing this ‘real life tragedy’ before the nation or were just willing to use it as a typical Bollywood film with an aim of encashing the emotions as usual. Supporting the statement the film has 3 songs before the intermission and 2 thrown in the second half too when it’s all supposed to be so tense and full of anger or hatred.
Mentioning the other absurdities, Aishwarya looks fair for a good part of the film but turns dark just before the intermission with the growing age. However post interval she again gets her fair complexion back and post a few scenes again starts looking dark which strangely doesn’t catches the eye of either her director or the continuity supervisor kept for this specific purpose. Adding to the amazement, Aishwarya turns old as the years pass but Richa Chaddha doesn’t, may be because she refused to put the white powder and decided to revolt against the rising age of her given character. Besides it was really bizarre to see the original photos of Sarbjit being used in many of its key sequences that are supposed to be of Randeep Hooda playing the character (who doesn’t even have a round face if compared to the real Sarbjit). Testing the viewer’s patience, the director goes in a docu-drama kind of mode in the second hour and then tries to add a detective-thriller angle too finding the actual man planning the bomb blast, who is nowhere to be found later in the story proceedings.
Thankfully, the torture, the climax and particularly the jail-meet sequence featuring the entire lead cast becomes the major highlight of the film without any slightest of doubt. The scene makes you feel for every single character emoting on screen with tears in eyes but sadly remains unable to save the otherwise casually directed film having a lot of potential.
In fact, even Aishwarya tries visibly hard to portray her difficult role of a courageous sister without any glamour or help coming from the make-up dada. But when the director only is willing to make her shout, scream and point fingers at the officials in Pakistan (like Sunny Deol) with a weird Punjabi accent, then the actor can do nothing but just let it go hoping for the best in the final edit trusting the man in command.
Richa Chaddha is the second name in the film the director is not really aware of. But the incredibly talented lady goes for a kill in just the one scene given to her like a wounded tigress. The film also has a decent supporting cast doing their jobs well, but Omung is neither interested in them nor in some other finer details of the story focusing on just the STAR, the exaggerated melodrama and the overdone acts. He refuses to talk about any other angle in the plot except Dalbir Kaur and keeps narrating the story from her perspective alone in a partial manner.
In other words, with a fine cinematography and background score, SARBJIT narrates the struggle for justice assuming everything in simple black and white, but has no space for the suspicious areas representing the grey tones. And keeping that in mind the best title of the film would have been SARBJIT DI BHAIN (Sarabjit’s sister) instead of SARBJIT alone (and this is not said in any lighter tone making it pretty clear.)
Summing up, a product like SARBJIT is there because there has been a MARY KOM in the past and its quite dangerous when such mediocre products start getting appreciation and awards undeservingly. Having said that the film still can or rather should be seen honouring and respecting the efforts made by Randeep Hooda.
Rating : 2 / 5 (and this 2 entirely belongs to Hooda and their meeting sequence alone.)

Tags : Sarbjit Film Review by Bobby Sing, Sarbjit Movie Review by Bobby Sing, Hindi biopics, Biographical movies in Hindi cinema, New Bollywood Movies Released, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com
20 May 2016 / Comment ( 0 )
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