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Sardar Udham review

By SYED FIRDAUS ASHRAF
October 18, 2021 10:07 IST
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You neither get goosebumps nor the adrenaline rush of desh bhakti, which a film like Sardar Udham should give every Indian, observes Syed Firdaus Ashraf.

Many Indians have probably heard then BJP president Amit Anilchandra Shah's declaration 'Ghar mein ghus ke maara' after India attacked Pakistan-based terror camps on September 28-29, 2016.

The Indian Army's surgical was meant to avenge Indian soldiers martyred in a terror attack in Uri on September 18, 2016.

What many Indians may not know is that a freedom fighter named Sardar Udham Singh had done precisely this -- 'Ghar mein ghuss ke maara' -- way back in 1940.

Udham Singh traveled to London to kill Michael O'Dwyer, the lieutenant governor of Punjab when the infamous Jallianwala Bagh massacre occurred on April 13, 1919, in which hundreds died after British troops opened fire on the crowds gathered in the small park in Amritsar.

O'Dwyer was pardoned by the British government for then imposing martial law in Punjab, but Udham Singh waited 21 years for revenge.

Shoojit Sircar's Sardar Udham portrays this freedom fighter who never got his due like many other freedom fighters.

 

Sardar Udham takes you to the 1930s and tells us how Udham Singh traveled to London to plan O'Dwyer's assassination.

The trouble with Sardar Udham is its length: 2 hours, 45 minutes.

In his attempt to tell this story, Sircar seems to have forgotten to use his scissors to make the film crisper and thrilling.

Vicky Kaushal tries his best but 28 minutes into the movie, after Udham Singh shoots O'Dwyer, the script gets so haphazard that you wonder what is going on.

You neither get goosebumps nor the adrenaline rush of desh bhakti which a film like Sardar Udham should give every Indian.

The only great success of the film is its picturisation and the movie sets.

1930s London has been picturised so well. Everything you see -- from costumes, homes, cars, courtrooms, the British custom office, British ports and even pamphlets -- makes you believe that a lot of research had gone into the making of this films.

But by the end of it, you feel it is such a sad way to pay tribute to a freedom fighter.

Still, this is a story that needs to be told and hats off to Shoojit Sircar for doing that.

Sardar Udham streams on Amazon Prime Video.

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SYED FIRDAUS ASHRAF / Rediff.com