Much has been talked about this Diwali’s Bollywood celebratory film, Son of Sardar(SOS). However, not many are aware that it is based on a Telugu hit film, Maryada Ramanna, which itself was inspired from a 1923 American silent movie called Our Hospitality. As the idea has proven itself twice over, Ajay Devgn assumes the avatar of a Sardar and wishes for the story’s hat trick.
The Story: Son of Sardar tells the story about Jassi / Jasswender Singh Randava [Ajay Devgn] travels to India to sell the land that he inherited from his late father. He lands himself at the house of Billu Sandhu [Sanjay Dutt], the town’s landlord commissioner, and uncle of Jassi’s sweetheart, Sukhmeet Sandhu [Sonakshi Sinha]. What Jassi doesn’t realize is that Billu still remembers the promise that he had made to kill every member from the Randava family. In fact, Billu had taken oath that until he doesn’t eliminate all Randava members, he will not marry his childhood love Parminder Kaur [Juhi Chawla]; Billu is now nearly 50. What saves Jassi each time is the Sandhus’ traditional belief of treating every guest as God. An army of Sandhus are waiting for Jassi to step foot outside the Sandhu residence. How Jassi reconciles the old animosity between the two families, and finally gets his Sukh by his side is what forms the remaining crux of SOS.
- The Stars Galore. It is not every movie that you see Ajay Devgn, Sanjay Dutt, Salman Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Juhi Chawla, and Tanuja together. Each of them have starred their best selves and contribute towards making their characters thoroughly enjoyable.
- A Wholesome Entertainer. Colorful settings, comedic situations, and charismatic Sardars conjure to make SOS an ideal holiday flick for the masses. To top it off, there’s even a message at the end: forgive others and forget the past. A truly enjoyable watch for the whole family!
- The Music. A lot is expected from the music of a masala entertainer, especially when it is set in Punjab. Himesh Reshamiya bounces back from his lull with at least three foot-tapping dancy chartbusters (Raja Rani, Po Po, & Tu Kamaal Di Kaudi). The secret to the successful songs? He didn’t sing them!
- Not for the (pseudo) intellectuals. Those who value thought-provoking realistic cinema will be left hungry. Almost every scene in the movie is over-exaggerated, illogical, and implausible. After all how can one throw a coconut from a train window and expect it to bounce of the poles and walls with such perfect accuracy that it lands back into his grip? As they say, it can happen only in Bollywood!Only a SOS Sardar knows how to ‘bounce’ the coconut into the train.
- Nothing Novel. From the moment Ajay Devgn steps foot into Sanjay Dutt’s mansion, the film promptly becomes predictable and formulaic. The hero and heroine come from warring families, the hero endeavors to win the heart of his ladylove’s family, and they all live happily ever after. Cliché, no?
- Who’s the heroine? Barring her introduction sequence in the train and some imaginary songs, Sonakshi barely has a scene to just herself. In fact, with Juhi Chawla igniting as many laughs as emotions in almost every scene she’s in, one is left to wonder who is the real heroine, who is the supporting. At least one is assured that the heroine is not Tanuja!
- The dearth of Salman Khan. Since Wanted, Salman has multiplied his fan base exponentially. Seeing him reduced to just one scene and an end-credits song – albeit a popular one – still doesn’t do him justice. Even in a cameo, more was expected from him.
The Rating: If you are willing to leave your brains at home, this movie could be just stress-buster you were looking for. We rate it 3 out 5 for its largely successful attempt in rapturing the audience into occasional guffaws. If only it had more brains, this film could have raked in even greater critical acclaim, in addition to its increasing box-office mullah.
The Last Word: From the very outset Devgn knew that he had a commercially viable script in hand, and he made sure it stayed that way. At parts silly, and at parts senseless, but by and large SOS is the perfect complement to the festive season; as Jassi would say ‘kabhi has liya karo’.