Sardar Udham Singh Review -Only For Gut-Wrenching Final Hour

Sardar Udham Singh Review RatingsBOTTOM LINE
Only For Gut-Wrenching Final Hour

OUR RATING
2.5/5

Platform
Amazon Prime


What Is the Film About?

Sardar Udham Singh (Vicky Kaushal) is an associate of Bhagath Singh. He is a witness to the Jalianwala Bagh Massacre of General Michael O’Dwyer in Amritsar. He sneaks into foreign countries to reactivate and garner support for Bhagath Singh’s severely battered HRSA Party. Twenty-one years later the Jalianwala Bagh, Udham Singh takes revenge on General Dwyer right in the heart of London.

Performances

Sardar Udham is the finest performance of Vicky Kaushal to date. He plays a revolutionary who is burning from inside as the horror of the Jalianwala Bagh night becomes his worst nightmare for several years. He believes in the path of Bhagath Singh and wants to teach the British a lesson when they are preparing for the war against Hitler.

He comes across as a serious hot-blooded young man who is burning with revenge. He sports a serious look all the time and keeps his emotions in check because he is in exile waiting for the right moment and regrouping forces. The best of Vicky Kaushal is reserved for the best. He has excelled in the character when he tries to save as many people as possible after the shoot-out.

He sports the helplessness and determination right to perfection. Usually, Patriotic characters are known to be loud and easy to perform as the tempers will be high. But, it is more of emotional stuff in Sardar Udham. The character is difficult. There is only one loud sequence that is the court sequence which comes in the second half. That is handled well too.


Analysis

Sardar Udham is the revenge on General Michael O’Dwyer for the Jalianwala Bagh massacre, a dark spot in India’s Freedom struggle. The massacre is brilliantly shot elaborating the tyranny of the British Umpire back then. And then, the director Shoojith Sircar shows how Dwyer or anyone who is behind the decision does not have an iota of remorse for what has happened.

The first half of the film is all about how Udham sneaks out of India and out of the British Radar trying to find support for India’s fight. We have seen the story traversing between various timelines testing the patience of the audience. The story does not progress much. The length issues start cropping in the first hour itself.

It appears like the protagonist is on a political mission and the Revenge angle crops up like an impulsive decision. But then, it should be the actual motive of Udham Singh. That is also one of the major reasons for the audience not connecting to the story. The story shows promise when Udham eliminates O’Dwyer and gets nabbed.

But again the proceedings become slow and repetitive as the British torture Udham and tries to frame him as a lunatic criminal than a revolutionary. The best part of the film is the last 55 minutes or so when Udham Singh narrates the Jalianwala Bagh Massacre to the investigating officer. The cold-blooded massacre and Udham’s struggle to save as many people as possible is the highlight sequence of the movie.

It is so gut-wrenching that it has the potential even to move the stone-hearted people. That is for the first time, the film rakes patriotic fervor. Some feel it has come too late because of the excruciating length but some will feel it has come at least then. If not for that sequence the movie would have been a disastrous experience. But it holds the film together and takes the audience on an emotional ride and leaves them with a positive feeling.

Finally, Sardar Udham is a film that remains directionless for the most part with non-linear narration and boring length but falls in the groove towards the end. It has a brilliant last one hour which is patriotic and emotional. But the major problem is that most audiences will really struggle to sit through the film to reach that one hour. But if you do, you will feel it is worth your time.

Others?

Sardar Udham is more about Vicky Kaushal and we have almost no recognizable face apart from him. Probably, Banita Sandhu who played a little role. Amol Parashar played Bhagat Singh. His character is not significant in the film but the spirit of Bhagath Singh is the crucial driving force for Udham Singh. And then, there are many British actors who serve the purpose they are entitled to.

Music and Other Departments?

Sardar Udham is a film made with good technical values. Avik Mukhopadhyay came up with brilliant camera work. The Pre-Independence era is beautifully recreated with excellent production design. The portions in England and Russia are also neatly done. Shantanu Moitra’s background is decent. The editing is a big complaint. It is a surprise how the length issues are ignored. The dialogues were largely disappointing for a patriotic film but they work at some places towards the end.

Highlights?

Vicky Kaushal’s Performance

Jalianwala Bagh Incident and the scene that follows

The Production Design

Drawbacks?

Non-Linear Narration at the start

Boring Middle Portions

Excruciatingly Slow Pace and Length


Did I Enjoy It?

Yes… In Parts

Will You Recommend It?

Yes But Hold On Till The End

Sardar Udham Singh OTT Review by Siddartha Toleti



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