After Jazbaa, Aishwarya Rai is back with yet another intense flick Sarbjit. Let’s see how this one fares.
Sarbjit is once again a biopic from the man who gave us Mary Kom. It tells the tale of Sarabjit, a young man living on the Indo-Pak border who accidentally crosses into Pakistan one drunken night. He is mistaken for an Indian spy and is blamed for the Karachi blasts. What ensues is a two decade long struggle helmed by his sister Dalbir played by Aishwarya Rai. She leaves no stone unturned in her effort to prove her brother’s innocence and makes it her life’s goal to secure justice for him.
Director Omung Kumar had a very effective and human tale to tell, but instead of delivering a hard-hitting story, he gives us dollops of melodrama at every turn. Every important moment in the film is made unrealistic thanks to the unnecessarily florid dialogues and over-the-top treatment. The story fails to explore the matter subjectively and makes it all about Dalbir’s struggle. It doesn’t even flesh out the anguish of the characters very well and a lot of these issues can be blamed on the editing which feels random at times.
Coming to the performances, Randeep Hooda puts in the best turn as the titular Sarabjit. He is intense and effective and proves just why he is regarded as a fine actor. On the other hand, Aishwarya Rai misses the mark completely and comes across as screechy and annoying. She overyplays her character in every scene and even fails to keep up a consistent language style throughout the movie. While we have come to expect more nuanced performances from her in recent years, Ash seems intent on being just as melodramatic and over-the-top with every movie. Richa Chaddha is effective in the role of Sarabjit’s wife and manages to hold her own in the movie.
Overall, Omung Kumar’s Sarbjit tells a very commercialized version of the story that seeks only to glorify Dalbir’s struggle in typical Bollywood fashion. This was a real tale with very real emotions at stake, if only the movie had focused more on that, we would have had a better film. We shall go with two and a half stars for this movie.