Connect with us

Bollywood News

Don’t Believe The Reviews, Sarbjit Is A Gem

Subhash K . Jha

Published

on

Starring: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Randeep Hood, Richa Chadha

Directed by: Omang Kumar

Seeing some of the scathing reviews for Sarbjit I was tempted to fish out the early reviews of a  film released in 1975 which was condemned by critics for being “loud”  , “brash”, “plotless” and “over-dramatic”.

That film was Ramesh Sippy’s Sholay.

Sarjbit is no Sholay. Thankfully. But I firmly believe its forceful message on prisoners of politics and its persuasive emotional velocity in the scenes showing the imprisoned man’s sister’s and wife’s suffering, would be acknowledged in retrospect as remnants of a  truly remarkable cinematic achievement.

sarbjit

sarbjit

The sister is played by the helplessly beautiful Aishwarya Rai Bachchan who rises valiantly to confront and embrace the sister Dalbir’s anguished and defiant fight to the end to free her brother. This is Dalbir’s story, more than Sarbjit’s. And yet it’s also a film that doesn’t spare us Sarbjit’s anguish.

Sarbjit is not a film that holds itself back. It  is a stormy rousing chest-thumping epic saga of  a sister who rages against the injustice of her brother’s incarceration across the border. DirectorOmang Kumar adeptly weaves scenes of family ties and their rude rupture through a skilful pattern of bright flashbacks and dreadfully pessimistic present-times when Sarbjit , locked up in a dingy cell far from home , mourns for the loss of freedom.

The film has  tremendous visual velocity. Whether it’s Randeep’s Sarbjit locked up in a cell large enough to house a rat, or shots of Dalbir strolling forlornly amidst a  bloom of yellow flowers, cinematographer Kiran Deohans captures the innermost sanctity of hearts torn asunder by political violence.

The sibling theme is treated with an exacerbated energy by Omang Kumar. The lengthy sequence where the family meets Sarbjit in his dingy prison cell in Lahore is outstanding for using cramped spaces to convey an emotional infinitude. Later there is another sequence where the sister shares a meal with Sarbjit in the same confined space.The two actors specially Hooda fill that space with a hungering sibling love .

[wp-review id=”1503″]

ashtwoembed_635992886499625709

This is not a film that believes in subtleties.Kumar lets it all hang out. The background music, the dubbing and sound effects are amplified to augur an operatic angst.The volume is upped to a crescendo.The scenes of  Sarbjit’s torture and his sense of suffocation inside his dingy kerchief-sized cell are vividly captured.

There is also redemption amidst despair when clutching a letter from his family Sarbjit suddenly finds all the lights of the rathole of a prison being put out. He then holds the letter in one beam of light  that becomes the life-force for a life being rapidly snuffed out.

A moment such as the above is so lyrical  it transcends the political vitality of the tale that throbs at its temples like an urgent migraine.

Director Omang Kapoor demonstrates a firm grip over the proceedings. The actors do the rest.Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is in ample,and amplified,  command over her character’s gutsy endeavour to break down the defences. Though the performance gets shrill at times, it never loses it power.Although she remains inevitably glamorous her performance gets progressively clamorous as the tragic finale approaches.

Sarbjit

Sarbjit

Randeep Hooda’s physical transformation as  a traumatized prisoner is astonishing and convincing. He invests life-enforcing power into his role of a man who is locked away from home until his death. His demeanour as a dying prisoner, so  frighteningly authentic is matched by his tireless spirit when he tells his sister that the name Sarbjit roams free all over the world because of her crusade to free him.

While Darshan Kumaar as a compassionate Pakistani lawyer(yes, the neighbours are portrayed as humane) and Ankur Bhatia in a very brief part  as Aishwarya’s husband merge into the tragic fabric of the real-life saga with effortless candour , it is Richa Chadha as Sarbjit’s wife who is the real surprise. In her melt-down scene when she reminds her tireless sister-in-law of their mutual losses of time and hope, Richa expresses a deep yearning for those of us who feed on memory .Powered by heart-breaking restrain and screaming silences this is Richa’s most accomplished performance to date.Makes you wonder what the film would have been like if it was told from Sarjbit’s wife’s perspective.

As for this being Ms Bachchan’s Mother India, I am not  too sure if hyperbole is an option here.Sarbjit has immense poignancy at its heart. But the execution of the theme of a homesick dying man imprisoned in a hostile country often tends to lean dangerously close to populism. Sarbjit manages to keep its head above the water even while the proceedings frequently revel in crowd-wooing conventions like singing dancing and rabble-rousing rhetorics.

For all its concessions to high drama and populism Sarbjit  is a moving testimony to these troubled times when cross-border politics overpowers humanism. There is still hope.

9 Comments

9 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Must Read

Featured1 day ago

Anubhav Sinha’s Hardhitting Political Drama Gets 5 Nominal Censor Cuts

The winds of liberality are blowing across the corridors of the CBFC.Anubhav Sinha who has acquired the reputation of being...

Featured1 day ago

Scoop: Varun Dhawan Denies December Marriage Rumours

Excitable portals have a way of jumping the gun, even when it comes to very private affairs such as marriages....

Mahesh Bhatt Mahesh Bhatt
Featured2 days ago

Mahesh Babu Starts Shooting His Next In Kashmir From July 4

After a bracing European holiday Mahesh Babu is back in the thick of things. Preparing to play an armyman for...

Featured2 days ago

Kabir Singh Team Quiet Over Charges Of Misogyny

Toxic masculinity, misogyny, abuse, rape…these are some of the misdemeanours that critics,specially female , have hurled at Shahid Kapoor’s new...

Entertainment3 days ago

Sacred Games Not Delayed Because Of Me, Clarifies Saif

 There are reports  that the second season  of  Sacred Games has been delayed because  of  its two principal  actors’ busy schedule.  According...

Entertainment3 days ago

Don Franchise May Die A Quiet Death

  With Shah Rukh Khan no longer willing to be part  of  the Don series,  the franchise may  no longer  be carried forward.According to ...

Entertainment3 days ago

Chala Murari Hollywood Hero Ban-ne

Mallika Sherawat ,Aishwarya Rai Bachchan , Priyanka  Chopra….Bollywood is crazy about getting noticed abroad . Years ago Shabana Azmi was all charged about ...

Entertainment3 days ago

Mallesham Pure Simple Biopic With A Heart Of Gold

Mallesham(Telugu) Starring Priyadarshi Pullikonda, Ananya Nagalla Directed by  R Raghuraj Rating: ****(4 stars) In the week when  the Telugu  neo-classic Arjun Reddy, one of the cockiest  most  obnoxious ...

Entertainment4 days ago

Alia Bhatt’s Role In RRR Not Up To The Mark

On Karan Johar’s recommendation Alia Bhatt  had been offered  the female lead  in  Rajamouli’s weirdly  titled  RRR .She  eagerly grabbed the...

Entertainment4 days ago

Shabana Azmi, Mahesh Bhatt Finally Open Up On Arth Remake

BOf all the iconic roles that  the  formidable  Shabana Azmi has played the  one that stands out as super-iconic  is  the...

Entertainment4 days ago

Katrina Can Rejoice, Salman Is On Her Side

Having given two consecutive  thundering flops  with  the two other  Khan superstars  ,  the doomsday prophets secretly  thought that Katrina Kaif would...

Entertainment4 days ago

Kabir Singh Gets A Spectacular Opening, Shows Being Added In Theatres Across The Country

“Better than Bharat,” is  how one  trade expert  describes the opening  of  the new Shahid Kapoor starrer KabirSingh. Belying all  expectations,and defying all the savage ...

Alia Bhatt, Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Ranbir Kapoor,
Entertainment5 days ago

Alia Bhatt Heads For a 10-Day Break To NY With Ranbir, Tells Us Why

 There has been some speculation about why the  Varanasi schedule of  Ayan Mukerjee’s Bramhastra was  cut short . There were  rumours of the   film’s...

Entertainment5 days ago

CBFC Turns Prudish, Beeps Cuss Words In Spite Of ‘A’ Certificate Kabir Singh

It looks like the sanskaari days are back at the  censor board. In a move that  would most certainly make the  formerCBFC chief   Pahlaj Nihalani smile,...

Featured5 days ago

Rebel Without A Pause, Kabir Singh Is Arjun Reddy Reloaded

Kabir Singh Starring: Shahid Kapoor, Kiara Advani, Suresh Oberoi,Arjan Bajwa, Kamini Kaushal Written  &  Directed : Sandeep Vanga Rating:****(4 stars) Remakes,  more often than not, disappoint. This one doesn’t.  Kabir Singh doesn’t quite...

Entertainment6 days ago

Seriously! Woman Who Stages Her Own Attack In The Karan Oberoi Case Is Out On Bail, Karan Oberoi Reacts

The  woman who accused singer-actor Karan Oberoi of rape and extortion and who  was caught  staging a physical attack on herself  to minimize...

Entertainment6 days ago

Vishal Krishna: I Don’t Need To Defend Myself Against People With Axes To Grind

 As  the  Nadigar Sangam election in Chennai  approaches on June 23, actor Vishal Krishna who’s  contesting the elections, finds himself under attack from several  quarters ...

Entertainment6 days ago

Tigmanshu Dhulia & Crew Vandalized & Violated, Dhulia Speaks

 Shooting for a web series  entitled Fixer on a property  in Mumbai’s Mira Raod, proved  a very painful experience for director Sohum Shah and his ...

Entertainment1 week ago

Karan Oberoi’s Accuser Arrested

The  woman who accused  singer-actor Karan Oberoi of   sexual transgression  has been arrested for lodging  a false complaint against  Oberoi. The...

shah rukh khan shah rukh khan
Entertainment1 week ago

Shah Rukh Khan, Son Working Together In A Movie

 But not in the  way we would like them  to. Hang on, though. It’s still exciting enough . Apparently  Shah RukhKhan...

Entertainment1 week ago

Murder Mystery: Aniston,Sandler Attempt To Lift A bad Film

Murder Mystery(Netflix) Starring Jennifer Aniston, Adam Sandler Directed  by  Kyle Newacheck Rating: **(2 stars)  Cruising  along in this corny-going-on-obnoxious  takeoff on the Agatha...

Featured1 week ago

Ranbir Kapoor No Release In 2019, Only 1 Release In 2020 Here’s Why

In spite of the blockbuster status accorded to his last release Sanju, Ranbir Kapoor has not gone on a signing...

News & Interviews1 week ago

Akshay Kumar Miffed With Rohit Shetty?

All is not well between the bonding-for-a-blockbuster duo of actor Akshay Kumar and director Rohit Shetty who have started shooting...

Featured1 week ago

Coolie No 1 In London,Ha Ha Ha

David Dhawan’s remake of Coolie No 1 is to be shot in London. Considering there are no porters in any...

Bollywood News1 week ago

Have Deadlines Killed Our Conscience?

 Is that why they’re called dead-lines?  Have deadlines killed our conscience?  Have we media-persons become uncaring insensitive news  maniacs? How ...

Featured1 week ago

Karan Johar’s Quickie Scheme To Reimburse Kalank Losses

 The  horror  franchise which  Karan  Johar has  kick-started  with a  bang  by announcing  Bhoot, is  a loss-compensating  strategy, meant to  minimize  the  financial setbacks...

Entertainment1 week ago

Priyanka Chopra Gets Even With Salman Khan

Salman Khan being Salman Khan, it surprised  no one  to know  that he kept taking continuous  potshots at PriyankaChopra for opting out  of Bharat  at...

Hrithik Roshan On Kanganas Nepotism Debate Hrithik Roshan On Kanganas Nepotism Debate
Entertainment2 weeks ago

Embarrassment For The Roshans Increases With The Kangana Factor

With Kangana  Ranaut’s vocal sister  Rangoli’s tweet suggesting that Hrithik Roshan’s sister Sunaina has been calling Kangana  to offer secret and silent support  in Hrithik-Kangana war, the  Roshan family now...

Bollywood News2 weeks ago

Priyanka Chopra Has Serious Competition In Her Married Life

 It’s not easy being married to the eldest  son of a  successful entertainment family in America. This  tragic truth Priyanka Chopra—and now...

Featured2 weeks ago

Hema Malini Speaks On Being A Grandmother Again

“I am a Naani all over again,” beams my favourite Dream Girl hours after her elder daughter Esha gives birth...

Featured2 weeks ago

Embarrassment For The Roshans Increases With The Kangana Factor

With Kangana Ranaut’s vocal sister Rangoli’s tweet suggesting that Hrithik Roshan’s sister Sunaina has been calling Kangana to offer secret...

Featured2 weeks ago

Fall-out Between Vashu Bhagnani & David Dhawan Is A Media Myth, Says David

This is a producer-director combination that could most comfortably be certified as the entertainment industry’s Jodi no.1. Producer Vashu Bhagnani...

Featured2 weeks ago

Vijay Deverakonda “ I Want Kabir Singh To Be A Massive Blockbuster”

Sandeev Vanga who redefined the Telugu cinema’s hero with Arjun Reddy is ready with its Hindi remake Kabir Singh ....

Featured2 weeks ago

Buddy Buddy Baatein: Here’s looking at the 10 most celebrated friendship films of filmdom.

Dosti(1964): Long before Friendship Day was invented and much before Bikram and Bala, that is Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor...

Movie Reviews2 weeks ago

Game Over Takes Tapsee To Level Next

Game Over Starring  Tapsee Pannu, Directed  by Ashwin  Saravanan Rating: ****(4 stars) There is blood on the hands of  all  of us who  quietly...

Featured2 weeks ago

Varun Dhawan’s Girlfriend Now Officially A Dhawan Family Member

Suddenly Varun Dhawan marriage after prolonged dillydallying is happening sooner rather than later. Apparently Natasha Dalal has given her nod...

Featured2 weeks ago

Suhana Khan Not Making Her Debut Anytime Soon

There are growing whispers of Shah Rukh Khan’s daughter Suhana’s Bollywood debut soon. It is being said that Suhana is...

Featured2 weeks ago

Deepika Padukone Paid Rs14 Crores For “83

Ranveer Singh has excitedly spoken out about his fourth pairing with his wife Deepika Padukone for the sports film 83...

Rishi Kapoor's Next Movie Gets Postponed Rishi Kapoor's Next Movie Gets Postponed
Bollywood News2 weeks ago

No Plans Yet For Return Home, Says Rishi Kapoor

Of late  Rishi Kapoor who is  in New York undergoing  a lengthy medical procedure,has been feeling homesick.The ailing actor,now on the way to...

Bollywood News2 weeks ago

Hrithik’s Sister Is Doing Fine But Needs To Resolve Family Issues

 There were  reports in a  section of  the media  regarding Hrithik’s sister Sunaina’s failing health. Now  they’ve  debunked  by  the...

Bollywood News2 weeks ago

I Am Mother Turns Maternal Movies On Its Head

I Am Mother(Netflix) Starring  Clara Rugaard, Hillary Swank Directed by  Grant Sputore Rating: **(2 stars)  There are  only two human characters  in...

Tiger Shroff with daddy Jackie Shroff and sister at the premiere of his film Baaghi 2. Tiger Shroff with daddy Jackie Shroff and sister at the premiere of his film Baaghi 2.
Bollywood News2 weeks ago

I Loved My Father In Bharat , Says Tiger Shroff

 Tiger Shroff is a big fan of his father Jackie Shroff. He has watched  all his Dad’s film , some of them repeatedly....

Bollywood News2 weeks ago

Shabana Too Shocked To React To Girish Karnad’s Death(But Here’s Her Reaction)

Some of  Girish Karnad’s best works  was with Shabana Azmi. And vice versa. In fact they almost  started  together  in Shyam Benegal’s Nishant  in 1973 , one of...

Bollywood News2 weeks ago

Bollywood Pays Its Tributes To Girish Karnad

Amol Palekar:  “My personal loss is beyond words!It’s an irreparable loss at many levels,cultural, intellectual, and moreover political! Very few artists...

Bollywood News2 weeks ago

Zarina Wahab: The Law Linking Live-In With Rape Must Change

Zarina Wahab has stood with her husband Aditya Pancholi through all  the  stress and strain that they as a couple  have gone through over his...

Entertainment2 weeks ago

Here’s How Vidya Balan Lost Jayalalitha To Kangana

The Jayalalitha bio-pic which is now  being top lined  by  Kangana Ranaut was  first offered  to Vidya Balan. She  was  apparently...

Entertainment2 weeks ago

Dabangg 3 Will Miss Vinod Khanna, Rumours Of Dimple’s Return Untrue

Dimple Kapadia’s  return  to play Salman Khan’s mother in Dabangg 3 is the stupidest  rumour  we’ve  heard   in recent times.It seems  the...

Entertainment2 weeks ago

Ranveer Singh, YashRaj and Bollywood Jump On To The Gujarat Bandwagon

 Just days  after  PM Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party returned  to  power, Yash Raj films announced Jayeshbhai Jordaar with Ranveer Singh in the title role  of a Gujarati.  Gujarat and Gujaratis will  figure ...

Akshay Kumar Akshay Kumar
Entertainment2 weeks ago

Akshay & Bollywood Growing Up?

So Akshay  Kumar plays a  transgender  in his  forthcoming  film. He has  come  a lomg way from the  time he ...

Entertainment3 weeks ago

Hostages Is Driven Down By Its Absurdities

Hostages(Hotstar) Starring Ronit Roy,Tisca Arora, Parvin Dabas, Dalip Tahi; Directed  by Sudhir Mishra Rating: **(2 stars) Sitting through the 10  artificially    frenetic  episodes of this  thriller  is  a slog....

Advertisement

Most Popular