Karthi's 'Sardar' review: Lullaby for when you don't feel sleepy
Director PS Mithran's movies are usually about revolution. In Irumbu Thirai, the internet was the villain; in Hero, it was educational institutes. This time around, the director has dusted and reused the corporate villains. Karthi's Sardar makes you feel like you are sitting through a boring lecture where the professor tries to engage the students with outdated jokes. We review.
What is the film all about?
Karthi plays two roles. One is inspector Vijay, a publicity maniac. He even has his own team of videographers, meme creators, and friends in the media to make him go viral. The reason for his publicity craze is rather unconvincing. The other role is Vijay's father Bose aka Sardar, a spy of the Indian Army, who gets branded as a traitor.
Leading ladies' roles make no mark
We also get to see the leading ladies whose sole purposes are to provide romantic (or should I call it abusive) distractions for the hero. Raashii Khanna plays Vijay's romantic interest, Shalini. Rajisha Vijayan as Jyothi plays a woman with no self-respect. Beat her, choke her or treat her like she has no dignity. But she will still want to woo Bose.
Tamil directors should retire the idea of 'loosu ponnu' already
Bose falls in love with Jyothi after being wowed by her "loosuthanam" (stupidity). While accepting her proposal for marriage, he literally tells her: "I know you are stupid, but never realized you are THIS stupid," and embraces her with tears in his eyes. Yuck!
So many ideas stuffed in one film
Coming back to the story, Vijay somehow finds the severity of the privatization of India's water management. But the film is about the health issues one may face by reusing non-BPA-free bottles. Then again it comes back to the privatization of water management. And goes back to water bottles. It is in this oscillation, that the film loses its vision and confuses itself.
Timeline, place, setting keep oscillating
The major negative of Sardar is that it does not establish where the story happens. It keeps changing the location from Chennai to Delhi to Bangladesh to some village in Tamil Nadu to Pakistan to Kashmir and whatnot. Also, there is no consistency in the time frame. One moment, we are in 2022, and the next moment we are dragged to the early '80s.
Karthi's acting, camera, and BGM are the only saving graces
Karthi makes an earnest effort to sell this absurd film and he convinces us that he cares. The film doesn't do much for him, though. The camera and background score keep the film going. But none of it leaves an impact because of the poor screenplay. Let alone being scary, Chunky Panday as the main antagonist doesn't even make us feel intimidated.
Laila's comeback is not satisfying
Laila, one of the popular actors of the '90s made a comeback with Sardar. But she throws the dialogue at us like a PowerPoint presentation. The little boy who plays Timmy is adorable. But his voice is made unnecessarily squeaky giving us a migraine.
Whole film is presented through pages and pages of dialogues
The director appears to think that he can make people believe anything by stroking their egos with passive-aggressive dialogues. There are also some that will put you to sleep like when Timmy was made to vomit dialogues about humanity, forgiveness, or something like that. Here and there, you will also hear several unintentionally funny dialogues like "cockroach is on approach," and so on.
You might watch it on OTT to pass time
In a nutshell, there's no moment for you to breathe or even digest what just happened. Scene after scene the story is bombarded upon us and it's in our hands to gather the scenes and make sense of whatever happens. The whole film is like reading through the back-page scribbles of high schoolers. We go with 1.5/5 stars.