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Son of Sardar

Lately, Bollywood is celebrating reintegration by making its pardesi heroes return home in search of moolah before turning them over to routine slapstick. Yet, unlike Omi in Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana, Jassi (Ajay Devgn) returns to his pind after beating (with a little help from none other than a puffy-eyed Salman Khan) the living daylights out of third-rate goons parked in a London pub.

But his gym-sculpted chest goes poof when he is required to make a grand entry, balancing on two horses. Unlike his debut film Phool Aur Kaante (1991), in which he played a similar stunt on two bikes powered by pretty young things, here it’s all computer-generated, which only serves to highlight the actor’s level of agility, director Ashwni Dhir’s lack of imagination and, to an extent, slightly dampen viewer expectations.

Nevertheless, this stoner of a romantic comedy’s hero is a brave munda who returns to Phagwara after 25 years to sell his ancestral property. The villagers are at the beck and call of a goofy Billu Paaji (played by Sanjay Dutt), who has long awaited the return of Jassi or any male heir of the Randhawa family. Years ago Jassi’s father crossed swords with Billu’s brother and killed him. The fact that the “victor” also had to bite the dust has not crossed Billu’s mind.

By now you must have guessed that Jassi or Devgn needs to be saved. Who would be that knight, ahem, lady in shining armor? Enter the ravishing, simpering but rarely coy Sukh (Sonakshi Sinha) with cherry-red moist lips, who, mind you, turns out to be a mean biker!

Their train journey from Delhi to Punjab is long enough to get hormones raging and Cupid’s sten gun pumping love bullets a dozen to a second. There is enough love in the air to make Jassi miss a simple fact — she is Billu Sandhu’s little sister. And love brings with it enough foolhardiness to make this sher enter a circus master’s den.

By the time introductions are exchanged, it’s too late. But make no mistake, Jassi is a London-based munda loaded with 10-watt ideas. To protect his skin, he decides to stay put, for no good Punjabi attacks his guest. So, does this ageing Sandhu succeed in throwing Jassi out or does the sher manage to stay put? It’s anybody’s guess how the ball rolls.

The only silver lining in this otherwise crude and over-the-top flick is Parmeet Kaur or the “mooh boli biwi”, played by the versatile Juhi Chawla in an extended cameo. She manages to take your eyes off a cliched plot by throwing in a twist. She loves Billu but the latter has promised not to tie the knot until he avenges the killing of his brother. Equally entertaining is Tanuja’s role as the family’s hysterical matriarch, who has a momentary lapse of reason every now and then.

The action sequences cut both ways because the director has taken the great Indian rope trick to a new level. Each time there is a fight he makes Devgn, Dutt, their cronies and even Sonakshi fly several feet. In one scene he even makes a bike fly upside down for 10-odd seconds! On the upside, most of these scenes unfold over five minutes in the lanes of a busy village. Viewers will certainly whistle and cheer but this is not the Devgn we know, one who makes CGI deliver the goodies.

All these brownie points, however, fail to hide the failings in the other departments. Himesh Reshammiya adds to the tamasha with ear-jarring brass-band music culled from his vast library of digital samples. Save for Bichdann, his creations have been thrown in haphazardly.

Speaking of wasted opportunity, enough of it can be seen in the Santa-Banta inspired dialogues delivered by a foolhardy lot. Sample this: “Bachpan ki pant jawani mein fit nahin hoti!”

And there is this entire routine where Billu Paaji makes his brothers Tony (Mukul Dev) and Titu (Vindu Dara Singh) swear to stay off ice cream and cola (but not ‘rum-shum’) till he bumps off the last Randhawa. Adding to the thumbs-down list is cinematographer Aseem Bajaj’s failure to capture the many colours of Punjab.

In simple words, Son of Sardaar is a regressive run-of-the-mill 1980s-style family feud that can be a guilty pleasure for some, especially those with, er, Sunny Deol posters on their walls.

Dialoguebaazi

Buddhe ke moonh mein toffee aur mehmaan ke moonh mein maafi achha nahin lagta

Sabse purana gurdwara kahan hai? Yeh to sabse purana banda jaanta hai

Silencer karo puttar, silencer

Tu bhi Sardaar, main bhi Sardaar, baaki sab bekaar


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