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'Sarbjit' review: A one-of-its-kind tragedy that could have been more raw on silver screen!
'Sarbjit', the much-awaited film, based on the life of Sarabjit Singh, a farmer who accidentally crossed the India-Pakistan border and was later confined in Pakistan until his death, has been released today. Directed by Omung Kumar, the film stars Randeep Hooda, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Richa Chadha in pivotal roles.

Ever since biopic of Sarbjit was declared, it had been invariably creating buzz about its team's dedication, and the performances of its lead characters, especially Randeep Hooda who is said to have left no stone unturned to fit into his role. But, will their efforts bring a fruitful result or the audience will prefer to give it a miss, let's find out!

Cast: Randeep Hooda, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Richa Chadha

Director: Omung Kumar

Genre: Biopic, Drama

Duration: 2 Hour 12 Minutes

IMDb Rating: 8.5/10

Focused on the real-life tale of the unfortunate Sarabjit Singh, the film is far from being raw. Singh, who was a resident of a village near the border, was detained by the Pakistani army in 1990, when he accidentally crossed the country's border in a drunken state. He was later suspected of being an Indian spy and framed as a terrorist.

However, the opinions are still divided on Singh's actual identity of a secondary intelligence operative or a farmer who paid big for his fault? In the film, the director could have gone to explore the former possibility and would have come up with a fascinating tale, but, he chose to go for a dramatic portrayal that is quite common in Bollywood, with added commercialized Masala.

It would not be wrong to say that the filmmaker has taken artistic liberty instead of dealing with the actual situations. 'Sarbjit', revolves around a farmer, based in Bhikhiwind, Punjab, near the Indo-Pak border. In 1990, Sarbjit (Randeep Hooda) crosses the borderline in a drunken state and got caught by the Pakistani officials. After being confined, Sarbjit was forced to take the identity of Ranjit Singh, a suspect who executed bomb blasts in Lahore.

When his sister Dalbir Kaur (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) learns about him being held captive by Pakistan, she decides to seek justice for her brother. The film further talks about Dalbir's bravery, strength and emotion for her wrongly convicted brother. She crusades inexhaustibly for years for his freedom until he was killed in an attack by a prison convict in 2013.

The filmmaker could not distant himself from treating the film as a commercial drama. Although they kept Sarbjit's real sister Dalbir Kaur on the sets round the clock, it is surprising that they failed to portray the real emotions. Although, it is the chilling story of Sarbjit, the extremely filled melodrama is enough to deflect audience.

The film is highly focused on Sarbjit's sister and her struggle and has no mention about the political angle involved in the whole issue, which actually holds the interest of the people. It seems that the makers of the film played safe by keeping both Indian and Pakistani politics at bay.

Randeep Hooda has given his best to the film right from the start, but, his shots in second half are delight to the viewers. Aishwarya Rai went all the way deglam to play Dalbir Kaur's character. She has done a fabulous job using her most important asset - her face. Her expressions are truly powerful as well as flawless.

Richa Chadha who played the role of Sukhpreet, the wife of Sarbjit, has nothing much to do in the film. However, her prowess will still leave a much longer impact on the minds as a hopeless wife who waits for her husband's return. She has given an excellent performance. Although she barely speaks, her eyes do the job.

The direction is okay. The best scenes in the film are those wherein Sarbjit is being tortured in the prison. The shots are well captured to make audience feel the pain and disgust, an innocent have gone through.

However, the director has tried to show everything in one film, which is bit impractical. The film could have been more precise if those unneeded songs, dance sequences and romance scenes would have been removed. This would have also kept the audience focused on the real story.

When people choose to watch a biopic, it means they are interested in the incident or life of the people the biopic is framed on and not the commercial drama. Bollywood must realize it and treat the real story as raw as possible instead of turning it into a regular Masala film releasing in numbers every Friday. 'Sarbjit' seems to have become a part of the same trend, despite being a spine-chilling story.

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