Movie: Sardar Udham
Sardar Udham Cast: Vicky Kaushal, Shaun Scott, Stephen Hogan, Banita Sandhu, Kirsty Averton, Amol Parashar (cameo)
Sardar Udham Director: Shoojit Sircar
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime
Review by: Russel D'Silva
Bollywood has delivered some gems on India's freedom struggle or movies related to it like Lagaan, Rang De Basanti, The Legend of Bhagat Singh and Hey Ram. However, there have also been some middling fare such as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero, Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey, Kranti, Chittagong, 1942: A Love Story, Shaheed (1965) and 23rd March 1931: Shaheed, others have been downright stinkers like Mangal Pandey: The Rising, Rangoon and Thugs of Hindostan. So, where does Vicky Kaushal and Director Shoojit Sircar's Sardar Usham (previously called Sardar Udham Singh) slot in? Well, certainly not in the last category, but it also misses the cut of the first category by a decent margin.
So, are you excited about what to watch this weekend or what to watch this week and wondering whether Sardar Udham is worth your time? Scroll down for my full Sardar Udham review...
What's it about
Sardar Udham traces its eponymous protagonist's journey from the psychological impact the Jallianwala Bagh massacre had on him while growing up and his early days fighting ng against the British with Bhagat Singh (Amol Parashar) to his insurgency into London, planned retribution and aftermath of his actions.
Watch the Sardar Udham trailer below:
Shoojit Sircar is technically a very astute Director and it shows in every shot, camera angle and scale with which every frame of Sardar Usham has been mounted. Vicky Kaushal once again acts his heart out (though this wouldn't rank among his best) and holds our attention even when the film fails to. And post the first hour is when the film really picks up, and has us strapped in for the rest of the ride.
As technically proficient as Shoojit is, he needs to revisit his creative touches of Vicky Donor, Piku and even Madras Cafe. Ever since October, he's deliberately slowing down the pace of his narrative even when it isn't required, and at times in Sardar Udham, it drags to a crawl. The non-linear format in the first hour or so also doesn't work, with so many arbitrary timeline jumps and such shoddy editing, that it takes vast reserves of energy to focus on what's going on. Speaking of shoddy editing, the film is a real effort at approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes – no less than 45-50 minutes could've easily been done away with. Plus, none of the supporting cast gets a chance to leave a mark and the background score also fails to impress.
Sardar Udham will prove decently engaging for proper art-film lovers, but would be quite challenging for commercial or even middle-of-the-road cinema viewers. If you manage to wade through the slipshod editing and snail-like pacing in the first hour, and could hold your patience for its interminable length of about 2 hours and 40 minutes, then Vicky Kaushal's earnest act and Shoojit Sircar's shot-taking and certain directorial decisions are sound enough to hold your interest. Is it enough though to bring forth the story of a largely forgotten freedom fighter? Nope, it isn't, but it's at least enough to reward your patience by the end of it all. I'm going with 3 out of 5 stars.
Rating : 3 out of 5
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