Sardar Udham, directed by Shoojit Sircar, is a film whose impact that stays long after you've watched it. With Vicky Kaushal in the lead role, the movie narrates the tale of Udham Singh, a revolutionary who avenged the Jallianwala Bagh massacre by assassinating Michael O'Dwyer.
As is no secret to any, the massacre lead to a bloodbath at the Jallianwala Bagh, which otherwise, was supposed to be a peaceful gathering. Each one of us who has read history, knows what went through and while we have heard about it, and seen of it on the screens, the impact that this film creates, is long-lasting, one that leaves you thinking about so much. One truly can't look past what we see, and the film, shows you its impact, while also being a reminder of what our freedom fighters have done for this country to be free.
After seeing Vicky Kaushal as Sardar Udham, one can only wonder if there will ever be such a moment in cinema once again, where his performance in this movie will not be spoken about. The actor boasts of range through this performance, and when you see him on the screen, no matter what scene, you feel something, patriotism, to say the least. His acting in the movie can safely be called his best so far, and given his graph on-screen, one can also be sure that there is only onward and upward for the actor with every single film of his.
Amol as Bhagat Singh and Banita as Udham's love interest play their parts well. Something that also truly strikes you in the very beginning of the film is how the white actors are all perfect, and not forced to use a weird accent in Hindi.
Right from Shaun Scott as O'Dwyer to Stephen Hogan as the detective, every actor has done their job well. While you hate Shaun for the role he plays and it is as close to leaving you raged as one could imagine, he does his job just about right.
Shoojit Sircar is a master of direction and this movie goes on to prove that just fine. Clearly, a lot of effort has gone into making this right, and as a movie that he has wanted to make for years now, that intent is visible, beautifully so. The sets have been created to the T to emulate the London one has seen from back in the 30s' and cinematography only adds to all of that with the film's look and feel keeping you glued to the screen.
The movie, of course, has the amazing Vicky Kaushal and all elements together, make it perfect, but the impact that the movie creates, and how it does so unabashedly, is what must be noted. There's about a 15-20 minutes sequence about the massacre, and though one gets uncomfortable to sit through it, the movie reminds us of why it is important to always remember, and to always respect what the likes of Udham Singh and others have done for our country.
The movie, not for a second, romanticizes what those fighters did for the country, but simply shows you, and in doing that, it creates an impact that is powerful enough to leave you thinking - about the people, of those times, and the movie. Sardar Udham proves how cinema is important, and why it is one of the strongest mediums.
The movie does not have flaws that one can pin point and nitpick, but even for the impact it creates, the chronology of the movie might have been better. When you see what the massacre did in the last one hour, you know by now that Sardar Udham is in the jail and counting days until he is hanged. If it wasn't for Vicky's acting, one might feel a little disconnect towards the end of the film. The duration, right before starting the movie, did catch my eye, but knowing what was in store, I sat through it, and for a better part of the film, gladly so. However, it could have used some editing to cut down on about minutes off the film.
There's no reason for you to not watch this film. There might be times when you feel like it is a drag, but be rest assured, its impact, won't feel like one. With absolutely brilliant cinematography, great shots, and a master of performances, this movie is a must watch not just for its historic importance, but also the cinematic brilliance.
Ratings: ***1/2 (3.5/5 stars)