Star Cast: Arjun Kapoor, Rakul Preet Singh, Neena Gupta, Kumud Mishra, Soni Razdan
Director: Kaashvie Nair
"Meri daadi kehti hain duniya mein two cheezein badi beshwad hai, khaana bina achaar ke aur life bina pyaar ke." Arjun Kapoor's latest Netflix release Sardar Ka Grandson begins on a warm, fuzzy note. Sadly, by the time the film reaches its conclusion after 2 hours and 19 minutes, you have already figured another thing to add to this list, 'a promising script without able direction'.
Available on: Netflix
What's Yay: Neena Gupta
What's Nay: Execution, Screenplay
Amreek (Arjun Kapoor), a butter-fingered guy runs a movers & packers business with his fiancée Radha (Rakul Preet Singh) in Los Angeles. After a messy breakup with her, Amreek flies back to his hometown Amritsar to meet his ailing 90-year-old grandmother Sardar Rupinder Kaur (Neena Gupta), who owns a bicycle company. On his arrival, Sardar expresses her desire to revisit the house she had built with her late husband Gursher Singh (John Abraham) on the other side of the Indo-Pak border, Lahore.
However, Amreek soon discovers that his grandmother has been blacklisted by the Pakistani government after her tiff with a senior Pakistani official during a friendly Indo-Pak cricket match in the past. Determined to fulfill her last wish, Amreek decides to play a modern-day Hanuman and sets out on a mission to reunite his whiskey-chugging grandmother with her ancestral mansion.
Through a series of flashbacks, we learn that Sardar and her infant son were forced to flee Lahore on a bicycle after her husband lost his life in the bloodbath during India-Pakistan partition. Since then, the matriarch has been craving to fill the void in her life, the solution of which she believes lies in her ancestral home in Lahore. Will Amreek succeed in fulfilling his promise to his grandmother?
Kaashvie Nair's directorial debut Sardar Ka Grandson looks promising on paper. However, it fails to translate that magic on screen because of the sloppy execution. Since the film revolves around a Punjabi family, words like 'oh ho', 'khota' and others are thrown at you at jet-speed.
The idea of relocating a house from one country to another sounds a bit absurd. But since it's a cinematic universe, one would have easily gulped down this cross-border story, had Nair focused more on the core-conflicts between the characters and the two countries. Sadly, the first-time director ends up offering a mishmash that simply lacks the zing of 'achaar'.
Arjun Kapoor as the easy-go-lucky guy barely gets to tap into his performer side owing to his flimsy-written role. The actor barely reaches the mark when it comes to his comic timing. Rakul Preet Singh is underutilized in her role.
One of the reasons why Sardar Ka Grandson manages to hold your attention despite the lousy screenplay is Neena Gupta. The veteran actress breathes some life into the story with her portrayal of a feisty 90-year-old grandmother who believes in living life to the fullest, irrespective of being diagnosed with a tumour.
Seasoned performers like Soni Razdan, Kanwaljit Singh and Kumud Mishra end up with monotonous characters which don't offer them a scope to showcase their profound talent. John Abraham looks miscast as a Sardar. On the other hand, Aditi Rao Hydari makes the best out of what's offered to her.
Mahendra Shetty's camera work has nothing new to offer. Maahir Zaveri's editing scissors could have easily snipped the film shorter by a few more minutes.
While 'Jee Na Karda' song has been picturized in an interesting way, the lyrics barely register in your mind. The rest of the songs, 'Main Teri Ho Gayi' and 'Bandeya' merely act as fillers.
At the beginning of the film, Arjun Kapoor's character Amreek quotes his grandmother as saying, "Jis cheez se pyaar karo usse yaadon mein sabhaal ke raho aur yaadon ko dil mein." It's sad that Kaashvie Nair's latest outing barely gives you some heartwarming memories.
We give 2.5 stars out of 5 to Arjun Kapoor-Neena Gupta starrer Sardar Ka Grandson.