Packed with brilliant performances, Sarbjit is a classic

Omung Kumar proves, yet again, that his filmmaking style is based on reality checks.

Shafiq Ul Hasan May 23, 2016
The geopolitical tension between India and Pakistan has resulted in numerous cinematic potboilers that have all the ingredients of tragedy, jingoism, xenophobia and grief. Sarbjit is no different.

The movie is based on the real-life account of the ill-fated Sarabjit Singh who was arrested by Pakistani police on the Wagah Border in 1990. This unfortunate Indian or dumb scout (as some conspiracy theorists allege him to be) was accused of being an Indian spy who had orchestrated terrorist activities in Lahore and Faisalabad. He was eventually thrown into prison.

In between the capricious rapport shared by these two countries along with cross-border political stiffness, Sarbjit is an extremely dramatic tragedy. Charged with heated radical debates and peace lectures, the movie depicts the struggle of a sister trying to save her brother.

Randeep HoodaPhoto: IMDb

Sarbjit (Randeep Hooda) is a happy-go-lucky man and a family-oriented farmer. He is very attached to his sister, Dalbir (Aishwarya Rai) and his wife Sukhpreit (Richa Chadha). One day Sarbjit crosses the India-Pakistan border in a drunken state and gets arrested by the Pakistani forces. They end up putting him behind bars, charging him on account of five planned bomb blasts in Pakistan.

The real drama kicks off when his sister Dalbir starts a relentless campaign to free her innocent brother from Pakistani prison. Consumed by love for her brother, she tirelessly campaigns for him, along with jarring the corridors of power and preaching peace to people.

Randeep Hooda with Omung KumarPhoto: IMDb

A helpless family foiled by decades-old heinous animosity between two countries, moves the viewers to tears. This movie is all about a woman being challenged and rising against destiny to fight for her family.

The plot does have its fair share of anti-Pakistan sentiment but showing that people help Sarabjit on our side of the border provides a buffer against the bitterness.

Aishwarya RaiPhoto: Screenshot

As Sarbjit, Randeep Hooda was phenomenal. He actually transformed his entire look, stature and accent for Sarbjit. This was his most prominent role by far. Sarbjit offered pitch perfect performances by Hooda.

As Dalbir, Aishwarya was commendable. She was brilliant from the word go. Sarbjit, performance wise, is a career-defining film for Aishwarya. She breathed life and fire into the character of Dalbir and impressed in almost every scene. The accent, however, sounded a bit out of place, and thus gave her away in places.

Randeep Hoods and Aishwarya RaiPhoto: Twitter

Richa Chadha was more occupied passing out at any opportune moment. She had very few dialogues in the movie, but it was her silence that made her presence felt. This is very rare quality and Chadha is definitely gifted with it. Darshan Kumar (as Owais Sheikh) was laudable. His acting came as a surprise and was different from what he showcased in Mary Kom (2014) and NH10 (2015).  He is an optimistic, full-of-hope individual, despite unavoidable misfortunes.

Richa ChadhaPhoto: IMDb

Richa ChadhaPhoto: IMDb

Sarbjit is Omung Kumar’s second movie and he proved yet again that his film-making style is based on reality checks. Whether it’s Mary Kom or Sarbjit, he manages to display minute elements of distress and joy with utmost ease and impact. There are numerous scenes where viewers become extremely emotional because of the way scenes are filmed. They are highly emotive and touching.

Aishwarya RaiPhoto: Screenshot

Photo: Screenshot

The dialogues of Sarbjit are written smartly; are simple and easy to understand, which makes it an impressive watch. Screenplay and dialogues are worth a standing ovation.

Randeep HoodaPhoto: Screenshot

Aishwarya RaiPhoto: Screenshot

On the basis of engaging content, intense performances, amazing music and top-notch direction, Sarbjit can easily be ranked amongst the top movies of the year.

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Shafiq Ul Hasan
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

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LS | 4 years ago | Reply | Recommend maybe because he does not live in Pakistan?
liberal-lubna-fromLahore | 4 years ago | Reply | Recommend This review has cleared any remaining doubt in my mind that ET is sponsored by India
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