Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

November 13, 2012

Singh song

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 7:41 pm

November 13, 2012

Cast: Ajay Devgan, Sanjay Dutt, Sonakshi Sinha, Juhi Chawla, Tanuja, Vindoo Dara Singh, Mukul Dev

Director: Ashwni Dhir

Don’t mess with a Sardaar!

That message is driven home loud and clear and many times over in director Ashwni Dhir’s Son of Sardaar, intended presumably as comeuppance for a community that has forever been stereotyped as cheerfully dimwitted in Hindi movies. Dhir, unfortunately, does little to shatter that cliche, but he does put Sardars front and centre in this harebrained action-comedy, portraying them as large-hearted and fearless, and capable of performing all sorts of gravity and logic-defying stunts.

Ajay Devgan is Jassi Randhawa, a Londoner who must visit his dead father’s hometown in Punjab to inherit ancestral property. There he crosses paths with Balwinder Sandhu (Sanjay Dutt), who has vowed to kill Jassi ever since his father murdered Balwinder’s brother 25 years ago. But Jassi, who unknowingly befriends Balwinder’s niece (a feisty Sonakshi Sinha) on the train journey home, is safe as long as he’s at the Sandhu home, because Balwinder and his bloodthirsty nephews won’t lift a finger on a guest.

Judged even by the yardstick of a ‘leave-your-brains-behind’ entertainer, Son of Sardaar falls considerably short, particularly because it wants to be too many things all at once. Dhir mines the premise for its comic potential, offering us some moments of inspired lunacy. But this is equally an action film, and the cartoonish set pieces fail to impress because they rely too heavily on tacky special effects. In one sequence, Dutt’s crony, pursuing Devgan on a motorbike, rams into onward traffic, and next thing you know, he’s riding the bike upside down mid-air. The same scene might have worked in a film directed by Rohit Shetty, who brings skill and a lightness of touch to comic-book action, but here such moments have little impact.

Still, nothing is more exasperating than the film’s clunky romantic track between Devgan and Sinha, which feels contrived and underdeveloped, and never helped by the string of unremarkable songs that only slacken the movie’s pace.

Son of Sardaar, as you may have guessed, belongs to that genre of modern Hindi cinema that requires you to suspend not just disbelief, but also common sense, and all manner of taste. Amidst a sea of lazy performances, the film’s one bright spot is Juhi Chawla, charming as Dutt’s desperate fiancee of 25 years, who woos him relentlessly with romantic overtures. Dutt, on the other hand, is stone-faced throughout the film, while the usually dependable Devgan appears unenthused with the slim material.

A remake of the Telugu hit Maryaada Ramanna directed by SS Rajamouli, who himself whacked the premise from a 1920s Buster Keaton hit, Son of Sardaar is only sporadically entertaining, and peddles the same tired stereotypes of Punjab and Sikhs. A cameo by Salman Khan, sadly, doesn’t make up for the film’s many flaws.

I’m going with a generous two out of five for director Ashwni Dhir’s Son of Sardaar. Even if you’re a fan of those loud 80s-style entertainers, this one demands a lot out of you.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)


  1. telugu movie is way better than this one

    Comment by ramesh — November 13, 2012 @ 10:27 pm

  2. Son of sardar was really bad man 🙁

    Comment by Aniketh — November 14, 2012 @ 12:10 am

    110% Family movie.

    Comment by vinod — November 14, 2012 @ 8:08 am

  4. nyc movie sir at least 3.5/5

    Comment by Shakir khan — November 14, 2012 @ 10:44 am

  5. Very true. I watchd it aftr jthj. I ll give sos 1/5 and jthj 4.5/5.
    People have lot the class and originality for South styl mvies. AJAY,SALMAN,AMIR all want a piece of Rajnikanth’s Pie!

    Comment by Abhiz — November 14, 2012 @ 10:47 am

  6. jthj like movies are made once in a dacade. Original soulful story wid yash touch. Power acting and emotional saga. Rather than reMake South,why dont you dubb it in hindi? Only actrs are change,els even they use same hanky in same situations. Bollywood has lost its quality.
    Thanks to yashji to make us love it again.

    Comment by Abhiz — November 14, 2012 @ 10:53 am

  7. Pathetic…Pathetic….Pathetic
    No one would have expected such a disaster after Devgn’s Singham
    Only word HEADACHE………

    Comment by PRANAM DAGA — November 14, 2012 @ 3:52 pm

  8. just 1 word for SON OF SARDAR – nonsense! ajay devgan wasted my 300 bugs for such a stupid movie….already rajamouli copies from hollywood movies…….u created a crap after remaking his movie.

    Comment by sara — November 15, 2012 @ 12:58 am

  9. I’m a fan of ajay devgn but these days he’s busy with masala films. But in the era of masala films it’s tasteless. He advertised it like shah rukh for ra one.. Much ado about nothing.

    Comment by Shravan jha — November 15, 2012 @ 8:57 am

  10. jhakkas movie hai

    Comment by mukul — November 16, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

  11. @ Sara.. Brush up your gk a little bit. Show me one film of rajmouli which is remake of Hollywood.. U moron think before u speak or read google before u speak..

    Comment by sid — November 17, 2012 @ 6:45 pm

  12. Chatrapati – Scarface
    Maryada Ramanna – something which sounds like “our hostility”

    you asked one. I gave you two. BTW, both of the above are admitted by Rajamouli in an interview.

    Comment by moviebuff — November 18, 2012 @ 7:39 pm

  13. Fun movie.. agreed that its a “leave your brains at home” kind of movie.. atleast its intentional and never goes beyond that. Unlike JTHJ which is a typical “romantic” bore…
    But i can understand the star ratings given yashraj’s clout in the industry..

    Comment by Sumukh — November 27, 2012 @ 6:16 pm

  14. excellent review ………reading it was far more hilarious than watching the movie 🙂

    Comment by surbhi jain — December 4, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

  15. horrible jokes, pathetic movie. waste of money!!! WHY are such movies made!! the dialogue writer should burn in hell

    Comment by ishtpreet BATRA — December 5, 2012 @ 11:21 pm

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