Front seat: Sonofagun!
Ajay is no stranger to comedy, having acted in the Golmaal series. Son of Sardaar (SoS) is such a no-brainer that one wonders how could Ajay Devgan, known for films like Zakhm, Najayz, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Kachche Dhaage, Company, Khaakee, Raincoat and a few others could have even thought of acting leave alone producing this film.
Deactivate all brain functions, if you are musically inclined then turn a deaf ear to the songs and if you are even vaguely familiar with the fine art of acting, kill any such thought while watching Son of Sardaar. You can pick flaws in the film’s every department if you take each individually. Put all of them together, and it somehow clicks!
The one liners are fun: “Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein yeh sawaal aata hai ki agar duniya mein Sardaar na hote toh kya hota?” or “Sorry yaar duniya bekaar, bina Son of Sardaar” or “Jab bache baap ke property inherit karsakte hain to dushmani kyun nahin?” The minus point is that the film isn’t full of such dialogues and isn’t a laugh riot — ala Hera Pheri (Akshay Kumar, Paresh Rawal and Sunil Shetty).
Ajay Devgan is known for his stunts — standing erect on parallel-running two bikes from his debut film, Phool Aur Kaante — and here he opens the film by riding likewise on two galloping horses. His maar dhaar means men in gravity-defying jumps competing with equally high-flying four and two wheelers.
SoS is a remake of the South Indian film, Maryaada Ramanna, which itself was a remake of a 1923 silent American film, Our Hospitality, depicting a multi-generation family feud. The last living descendent of a family returns to his native place after some 25 years to claim his property rights and gets caught in the web of his rivals, waiting to finish him off. True to their customs they value their guests and digest his insults and injury so long as he remains on their premises. Ditto is the story line of SoS.
Jassi Randhawa (Ajay Devgan), a practicing Sardaar, is happily clubbing people in a London club run by his uncle and cousin Salman Khan (guest appearance). He returns to Punjab to claim a property, not knowing that his father’s rival family is waiting to seek revenge for killings which took place in the past. Billu Paaji (Sanjay Dutt), along with his two brothers Tony (Mukul Dev) and Tito (Vindoo Dara Singh), are waiting to avenge the death of their uncle 25 years ago — the day Billu was to get married to Pammi (Juhi Chawla). Pammi calls herself his “moonh-boli biwi” as their marriage couldn’t take place due to the murders.
Jassi bumps into Billu’s cousin Sukh (Sonakshi Sinha), and falls in love. Accidentally he lands in her house and realises that her family is waiting for him to step out of their home so that they can avenge their uncle’s death. The entire film is about him trying to save himself and the male family members wooing him to step out of their home so that they can bump him off.
The first half of the film is fast-paced and you are surprised when the intermission takes place. Sadly, the second half is never ending. Ashwin Dheer, a popular TV serial director and dialogue director, should have kept up the pace in the second half of the film also. There is absolutely no need for so many songs. Himesh Reshammiya fails here as none of the songs touch a chord, not even the single, Yeh Jo Halki Halki Khumariya, by Sajid-Wajid sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. One has to mention the talent of choreographer Ganesh Acharya as he knows the dancing prowess of his actors. After all, the guy made Katrina Kaif dance to Chikini Chameli. However, in SoS he makes Ajay only twist his wrists in the title song and move his ankles in the song Rani Main Tu Raja.
Sonakshi Sinha isn’t half as talented as her father Shatrughan Sinha, but luck has favoured her. Somehow all her films are making money at the box office and she has become every producer’s darling. Ajay doesn’t measure up to his own expectations and Sanjay looks like a buffoon here. Juhi shines through.