Sardar Ka Grandson Review

‘Sardar Ka Grandson’ Movie Review


In my review of Pagglait, I had mentioned the importance of a trailer for the film. The trailer should be interesting enough to pique interest among viewers that compels them to watch the entire film. However, I doubt if everyone understands this simple concept. Need proof? Watch Kaashvi Nair’s latest film, Sardar ka Grandson, released on Netflix earlier this week.

Written by Anuja Chauhan and Kaashvi Nair, Sardar ka Grandson is a comedic tale of Amreek’s (Arjun Kapoor) journey in fulfilling the last wish of her ailing grandmother – Sardar Kaur (Nina Gupta) of visiting her old house in Lahore, Pakistan. When it is discovered that Sardar (Nina Gupta) cannot get a visa to visit Pakistan, Amreek (Arjun Kapoor) decides to fulfill her last wish by physically uprooting the house from Pakistan and bringing it to Punjab through structural relocation. As the film progresses, we witness other subplots that add very little to the main plot of the film.

Inspired by an Al Jazeera 2017 documentary named ‘Going Back to Pakistan: 70 Years After Partition‘, Sardar ka Grandson had a promising premise on their end. However, sitting through the entire duration of the film became challenging after the first few scenes. The subplots felt convoluted and forced. We see a tame coming-of-age story of Amreek set and a generational love story between Sardar Kaur and Gursher Singh set within the partition times that forms the backdrop of a convenient geopolitical Indo-Pak border drama. Let’s not forget John Abraham’s action scene in which he beats almost all the bad guys. In other words, think of Bajrangi Bhaijaan along with Love Aaj Kal and a tinge of Gadar.

As much as I want Arjun Kapoor to succeed, he just doesn’t look convincing in his role as Amreek. His range seems far too limited to carry out a slapstick comedic character. The film has several other cast members such as Rakul Preet Singh, Kumud Mishra, Kanwaljit Singh, Soni Razdan, etc.. Still, given it’s weak dialogues and its thoughtless sequencing, it is tough for the audience to appreciate such credible actors. On top of that, the film’s portrayal of a Punjabi family is abysmal. As a Gujrati myself, I was cringing at a few Punjabi mannerisms portrayed in the film.

I absolutely loved Neena Gupta‘s portrayal of a strong matriarch. I genuinely believe that Neena Gupta belongs to the same class of actors as Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil, but for some reason, she never got her due. However, I am so glad we are seeing more of Neena Gupta in the last two years. If anything, this film is a testament to her proficiency as an actor that she is still able to stand out in such a mediocre film.

All in all, Sardar ka Grandson was a challenging 139 mins to sit through. Especially after the fact that the trailer literally spills out the entire film. And after a point of time, you can almost start guessing how the story would unravel. But I guess, for films such as this, it is good that the trailer sums up the movie. This way, you could save your 139 mins and not sit through the half-baked product that makes you question Netflix’s curation of Indian content.

Reviewed by Puneet Ruparel