Son of Sardaar
Ajay Devgn, Sonakshi Sinha, Sanjay Dutt, Juhi Chawla
By Ajachi Chakrabarti
Whenever there is a family feud storyline, be sure that a guy and girl from the two families will fall in love. Even the Flintstones’ intergenerational family feud with the Hatrock family ended when Pebbles befriended the Hatrock baby and almost drowned, but for Fred’s heroic rescue. In Bollywood regurgitations of the trope, a tearful reconciliation followed by the wedding of the star-crossed lovers if it’s a comedy, or their melodramatic deaths if a tragedy, is inevitable.
Ashwni Dhir’s Son of Sardaar is the comic variation of that idea, along with a premise borrowed from Bollywood’s latest mine of story ideas, SS Rajamouli. Extending the idea of atithi devo bhava, Rajamouli’sMaryada Ramanna and this film base most of their humour on the fact that a good host (cartoon villain Sanjay Dutt, here) cannot kill a guest in his house. Devgn channelises a trans-Vindhyan hero that has him dispatching murderous crowds with Rajnikanthesque ease, if not panache, hours after he holds forth on the topic of love and marriage like a flat Shah Rukh Khan.
Unfortunately, this film takes the worst of both worlds and throws them together in the forlorn hope that the star power of Messrs Devgn, Dutt and Salman Khan (in an equally star-crossed cameo) pulls it through.
Ajachi Chakrabarti is a Correspondent with Tehelka.