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Movie Review
The Great Sardaar:A superficial Avatar


Story: Teji Sandhu Screenplay and Dialogue: Ranjeet Bal, Dheeraj Kumar and Karan Sandhu
 
 
Makers of The Great Sardaar claimed that the film is based on the true story about Major Shaitan Singh, who was awarded the Param Vir Chakra posthumously for his 'C' company's dig-in at Rezang La pass during the Sino-India conflict of 1962. Huge claims were made that this motivational movie displays the honor of the Sikh Turban and respect. But the film doesn’t do justice to both the claims. Film, neither pays a fitting tribute to Major Shaitan Singh nor turns out to be a motivational movie. Further, it portrays Sikhs as a violent tribe which instead of displaying the honor of turban it maligns the Sikh Image. 
 
Set in the dark era of 90’s in a border village of Bhikhiwind, The Great Sardaar is a story of three young men Gurjant (Dilpreet Dhillon), Gurbaaz (Amrinder Billing) and Laadi (Dheeraj Kumar) who, along with their families get brutalized at the hands of Minister Balwant Singh (Amritjit Sran) and Godman Baba (Ashish Duggal). These three wounded and helpless (trimmed) Sardaars suddenly bumps into Sardarni (Teji Sandhu), who is waiting for the right moment to avenge minister and Baba, killers of her Great Sardaar Sarpanch Hakam Singh (Yograj Singh), mother in law (Nirmal Rishi) and brother in Law (Prakash Gadhu). How these three wounded lions set their scores with Baba and Minister forms the rest of the story.
 
Teji Sandhu’s story has an undercurrent of dark days of Punjab. It tries to explore the lifestyle of feudal lords and religious preachers. It throws light on the nexus between power brokers and Godmen. But it lacks depth and its superficial characters fail to garner any sympathy. Screenplay (Ranjeet Bal, Dheeraj Kumar and Karan Sandhu) defies the basic purpose of the film. First half unveils the brutalities of Baba and Minister Balwant Singh and how their unlimited power is misused by their own younger generations. After each ten minutes a girl is raped in front of a male family member in much clichéd manner.  Then either family member kills himself along with the girl or is murdered by Baba or his men. Second half goes into the flashback to unveil the story of Great Sardaar. And the climax is again stereotypical. 
 
The whole premise is scattered and not have a single point to connect the sequences together. Everyone is killing, raping and merry making without any purpose. Even the director fails to explain how Sardaarni knows Gurjant. There is no inspiration or logic given why all the three trimmed Sardaars, suddenly in the second half, start wearing turbans. A big blunder is enough to prove the incompetency of director; how a deserted petrol station’s petrol vending machine could start dispensing patrol? In 90’s who used flambeaus for illuminating homes? And Great Sardaar’s dialogue, ‘Jnaani di aqal gutt pichhey hundi aa (wisdom of woman resides under her braid)’, goes completely against the spirit of Sikhism and favors the concept of feudalism which presume women as an unintelligent creature. Is this how Major Shaitan Singh treated women in his life? 
 
Singer turned actor Dilpreet Dillon is trying to be Sunny Deol of Punjabi cinema. He looks good in his music videos performing larger than life actions, but as soon as he starts uttering dialogues he turns out to be a liability on any film. Dhiraj and Amrinder Billing have a long way to go. Debutante Roshni Sahota needs to work more on her expressions and body language. Dear producer Sardar Amritjit Sran, please try to curtail your fondness to appear on screen and don’t waste actors like Yograj Singh and Ashish Duggal. 
 
All the songs are forced and background score tries hard to build the excitement, but due to lack of substance it fails to engage the audience. Pardeep S. Khanvikar’s cinematography adds value to the film. Dilpreet Dhillon usually has much better action in his music videos. Thus, this Great Sardaar has no greatness to boast about. 


   Deep Jagdeep Singh

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