Sarbjit Cast & Crew:
BannerPooja Entertainment India Ltd., T-Series Super Cassettes Industries Ltd.
Release Date20 May 2016
ProducerVashu Bhagnani, Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Sandeep Singh, Omung Kumar
Star CastAishwarya Rai Bachchan.... Dalbir Kaur Singh
Randeep Hooda.... Sarbjit Singh
Darshan Kumaar.... Awais Sheik
Richa Chadha.... Sukhpreet Singh - Sarbjit's wife
Ankur Bhatia.... Dalbir's husband
Charanpreet Singh.... Sanjay
Music Company T-Series
Verdict : Sarbjit is half-baked and wanting
Story : August 25, 1990: a farmer from Bhikhiwind village in Punjab crosses the India-Pak border in an inebriated state, is mistaken for a terrorist and jailed in Pakistan. He is arrested and accused of being a terrorist who masterminded serial blasts in Lahore and Faisalabad.
He spends the next 23 years in prison, much of the time in solitary confinement. The long-standing tradition of heinous politics between the two countries ensures that Sarbjit and his devastated family do not find a happy conclusion.
But even in this absurd and appalling tragedy, there is hope, courage and perseverance so profound that ultimately, even governments are forced to take notice. Sarbjit’s sister Dalbir orchestrates a relentless campaign to free her innocent brother. She is consumed by her struggle. She makes unimaginable sacrifices and, despite the body blows — including Sarbjit’s death in prison — Dalbir endures.
Whats hot : Sarbjit is a story so terrible that it has to be true. From this solid material, director Omung Kumar fashions a film that is structurally clumsy and overly high-pitched but also strongly enacted and genuinely moving.
Whats not: One of the biggest failings in Sarbjit is the disjointed screenplay, which jumps back and forth in time and does not organically move to any dramatic high points. Writers Utkarshini Vashishtha and Rajesh Beri start at a high-pitch and stay there. In addition, Omung takes it even higher by notching up the melodrama.
Performances: The primary problem is the casting of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as Dalbir. Try as she might, the actress cannot get under the skin of her character. She does not have the look or the body language of a Sardarni from rural Punjab, but her effort to get there shows in every studied gesture, every labored expression, every step, every word spoken until that effort becomes so distracting that it eclipses all else in the film.
Randeep Hooda – one of the industry’s most under-rated talents – shines as Sarabjit to the extent that it is possible given the limited writing. His physical transformation from a healthy, happy-go-lucky young farmer and wrestling enthusiast to a scrawny, ragged, filthy prisoner is remarkable. Richa Chadha is also excellent as his wife. She speaks little but her eyes reveal an anguish so scarring that she seems almost numb.
In many ways, Sarbjit is half-baked and wanting. However, the performances – particularly Randeep Hooda's – keeps you invested in what is on the screen. It is not a perfect film, but there is enough to appreciate here.