Sardar is over the top and for those who order for just that from the menu card this satiates. (Photo: Twitter)
The world is shrinking both in terms of time and space. Only Tollywood, while it could take advantage of the latter, is not willing to recognise the former.
Resultantly a major Tamil film gets dubbed to a reasonable footfall at the theatres, the time it takes to tell the story of a mafia planning to rob the world of drinking water takes all of nearly three hours. Film makers just cannot get over the idea that you do not need three hours to tell a gripping story and there is nothing more important than telling a story in a crisp and compelling manner.
While song and dance are indeed an integral part of our cinema and thus romance an imperative, our filmmakers have yet to learn the fine art of coming up with a balancing act.
This outing is a fine example of how you fail may not even set out to achieve this goal. The lead romantic pair sing songs wholly irrelevant to the main story for the first half hour in typical Telugu-Tamil style and then there is not a whisper of romance till the Director decides to punctuate the narrative with the presence of the heroine at odd moments. There has also been a constant parallel narrative in our cinema that only the extra brave courageous and maltodextrins character that can win battles and the ordinary are so distant in the background that life is mocking them.
Director Mitran PS takes away 165 minutes of your life in exchange for the ticket price and believes in giving you your money's worth-quantitatively. There not only lies the problem but there it starts.
Juxtaposition this long duration with the lack of talent to spread a story thin and even and you get into a film that has bouts of needless violence , spells of high voltage drama and hours of meandering.
Inspector Vijay Prakash (Karthi) is that Inspector who we find only in our cinema and rarely in our police stations. Efficient, duty conscious and proactive. Brought up by his constable uncle (Munishkant) he has to overcome a huge social barrier as he is perceived by many as the son of a traitor – his father Bose (Karthi- in the other role too). For romance he has a lawyer in Shalini (Raashi Khanna) while Pappa Bose has Rajisha Vijayan.
The sudden disappearance of Sameera (Laila) a social activist whose writ petition against a pipeline project kick starts the proceedings we have peeps into the past. Leaking here and there in the tale is how Sardar is a Intelligence Officer who is doomed to obscurity and notoriety leaves a son who would walk an extra mile for popularity and fame. Dad has been declared a traitor and missing while the entire family commits suicide. This haunts the son (a la Zanjeer to Ghost). There is Maharaja Rathore (Chunkey Pandey) who is an ex-army officer who has resigned and is now the villain in chief who promises the world that India would have a single pipeline for drinking water but is actually robbing the innocent of their lawful share and making them dependent on bottled water which also has disastrous side effects as seen in a little boy Timmy (Rithvik).
Hours and hours of cinema and finally through the prisons of Bangladesh the beach sands of the Bay of Bengal and the streets of Tamil Ndu Papa and Son fight the evil and in the midst of debris and bodies dead and ears deafened you come to a climax which shows the complete lack of control that the film maker has on his product.
The saving grace in the film is the performance from Karthi in a dual role. We are saved of similar mannerisms to establish the relationship. We are also saved of dramatic reunions and the like. We could well have been saved of a lot more. Simply reiterated, the fight of an international mafia eyeing water as the critical factor with the armed forces either conniving or turning a blind eye to the prospective tragedy simply does not require three hours, much less a contrived romance between the fighting protagonists – a police officer and an activist lawyer. Sardar is over the top and for those who order for just that from the menu card this satiates.