Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Ajay Devgn, Juhi Chawla, Sonakshi Sinha, Tanuja, Mukul Dev, Vindoo Dara Singh
Director: Ashwni Dhir
Son of Sardaar is a simple story about hospitality and is a remake of Telugu movie Maryada Ramanna. The universal treatment of a guest in your house is to treat him or her like a king but what if that guest is your ancestral family rival that you have sworn to kill? This is the main plot of the film and the wanted man or “Son of Sardaar” in question is Jassi played by Ajay Devgn. Jassi’s father killed Sandhu and his wife wants their family to avenge the death. On the other side Jassi’s mother chose forgiveness and kept Jassi away from the truth of why they left India but when he gets a Government notice for the sale of his ancestral land he has to return back home knowing the truth and face the blood thirsty Sandhu family.
There was opportunity here for the story to show the difference in the person that Jassi turned out to be, nice, loving and happy compared to Billu Sandhu played by Sanjay Dutt, large, loud and angry. But they stuck to the old formula of loud jokes, drawing out of swords and sometimes boring set ups. In that regard, Yamla Pagla Deewana was a better choice of jokes, set-ups and the story was stronger and closer to heart.
Thus, the crux is that Jassi comes into the Sandhu house and they cannot harm him so begins the tricks to get him out. A love story develops between Jassi and Billu’s sister Sukh who is played by Sonakshi Sinha. Here again, they failed and I have to compare this love story to Singh is King where they gave more scenes and balanced the Don drama. Son of Sardar fails to create the spark, no doubt Ajay and Sonakshi share good on screen chemistry but Sukh’s character is flimsy. It is her father who was killed and she very easily forgives or shall we say forgets that Jassi is the son of the man who killed her father. Here there should have been an honest talk of comparison of why Jassi is a positive man and the Sandhu family is stuck in time.
The film has been surrounded by controversy especially in regards to the portrayal of the Sikh Community as dumb, loud and useless. There were no jokes against Sikhism in the film or any disgrace, rather the opening scene shows Jassi beating up goons because they touched his turban inappropriately. The name of the film can be held accountable for the misconception of the disrespect expected. However just like some children get to be called son of so and so, that’s why Jassi was called “Son of Sardar”. Are Sikhs loud, dumb, rowdy, drunk or violent as shown in the film? This is a film and it should not be taken that seriously because the characters could have been of any other religion, the story is to be blamed for being weak and dialogues didn’t support the plot more but leaned on the traits of “Sardars” so obviously there is too much miscommunication going on. Here again there was a chance to show the character Bebe, played by Tanuja whose husband was killed and is awaiting the revenge to clear the air. When she easily forgives Jassi you are not convinced because in the start of the film, she is the one who commands Billo to get up in arms and kill Jassi. As an actress Tanuja is old and you miss the Karan Johar style of conveying a message. If this scene came in his film the execution would have been superb. Basically revenge and killing people is not the solution and not the pride of Sikhs, Bebe’s character had the chance to show it through her admiration of Jassi.
This is a never ending debate of Sikhs and Bollywood Films, but back to Son of Sardar and whether it is successful. Music is good, performances are credible but it falls short of humor, plot and execution.