Sunday, November 18, 2012

Low-budget Love

(Published in The Sunday Guardian, on 18 November, 2012, retrieved from http://www.sunday-guardian.com/masala-art/a-low-budget-romance)




Cast: Ajay Devgn, Sanjay Dutt, Sonakshi Sinha, Juhi Chawla, and others
Director: Ashwni Dhir
Rating: ½ star
There are low-budget movies that are produced by the lead actor. There are low-budget movies that star the hero’s friends – and mother-in-law. There are low-budget movies with low-budget graphics. There are low-budget movies where the heroine’s back is broader than the villain’s. Son of Sardar is all of these. Worse, it’s apparently the remake of a Tamil film I’ve had the good fortune of missing. However, I did catch a line that seems to be plagiarised from a Rajnikanth movie – yeah, that’s like lifting a tune off Pritam.
The film opens to a terrible song whose lyrics include “MC,BC”, and which has phirangs trying Punjabi dance steps. Next thing we know, someone’s insulted sardars in the process of lighting a cigarette.  Say hello to cheap graphics as Jassi Randhawa’s (Ajay Devgn’s) turban unfolds and knocks out half the bad guys. One wishes it’d strangled the director before he foisted this horror on us. Because he goes on to foist “shayaris” on us. Shayaris like buddhe ke moonh mein toffee, aur mehmaan ke moonh mein maafi, achi nahin lagti.  Facepalm.
So, here’s the thing. Billoo Sandhu (Sanjay Dutt) has taken a vow of bachelorhood, until he kills off every last spawn of the Randhawa family. His bride-in-waiting Pammi (Juhi Chawla) lusts after him for the next quarter of a century, while we figure out whether the movie’s laughing at itself or trying to entertain, even as our brain cells commit hara-kiri. In a world where everyone has a nickname, you could take a while to figure out your guest is your mortal enemy. In a world where mehman is bhagwan, you could kill an audience before you kill him.
Tony, check. Tito, check. Sweetie, check.  Annoying kid who speaks of pegs and pyaar, check. Cameos, check. Sufi song with bhangrabeats, check. Obviously, this film is a long chase, punctuated by painful PJs and asinine dialogue, till all the couples magically land up together. Son of Sardar doesn’t end there, though. It culminates in a song that is choreographed like a toothpaste ad, and consists entirely of one incoherent syllable – “Pon.”
The only laughs I got were inspired by useful slugs like “This shot was designed with the help of computer graphics”. Gee, because we’re so sure Ajay Devgn can ride two horses standing up. Why not scratch an ‘S’ into a tree while he’s at it too, eh?
The Verdict: You’re left wishing numerological empowerment involved trading redundant vowels for decent ideas.

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