Sardaar Gabbarsingh (2016)

For any film, story and screenplay are very important. Though story is weaker, a stronger screenplay can make a difference. For some films, above two elements become exceptions as they just rely on stars’ stardom. One such dependable star is “Power Star Pawan Kalyan”. His stardom handled most of his films rather than story and screenplay. One such film is “Sardaar Gabbarsingh”. Written by Pawan himself, this film was directed by Bobby and produced by Sharreth Maaraar, Pawan and Sunil Lulla.

Plot :

In Ratanpur, Bhairo Singh’s (Sharad Kelkar) feudalism troubles people a lot. The story deals with how the newly posted Circle Inspector Sardaar Gabbarsingh (Pawan) revolted against it and also with the life of princess Arshitha (Kajal).

Narration – Direction :

“Sardaar Gabbarsingh” was dedicated to his fans by Pawan Kalyan, in the beginning.

This film bagged lots of expectations from the date of its announcement due to director’s change, delay in shooting etc. But for me, Pawan’s story raised lots of expectations as his mind thinks differently. After watching the film, I felt it has nothing to do with his ideology.

Firstly, usage of “Red Towel” excited me because Pawan is a man with communist ideology and I thought he might have used that as a part of communism Gabbarsingh starts against Bhairo Singh. Shattering all my expectations, that red towel had nothing to do in this film except using it unnecessarily even on blazers.

Though Gabbaringh’s introduction was predictable there was no excitement in his introduction song. It appeared as if there should be one rather than making it exciting. A little dance bit by Gabbarsingh at Ratanpur was funny. Also, his behaviour with princess was funny as well as sweet besides the sequence of introducing him to her.

One can easily realize the film’s potential within half an hour from its beginning yet the song “Tauba Tauba” was a good relief. Cinematographer Arthur Wilson, Raai Laxmi and Pawan Kalyan should be appreciated for this. I liked the way he made all the goons accept their mistake with the song. Besides this, the dialogue “Veedevado Bruce Lee ki Babai La Unnadu” should be given a thought. Later it felt we’re with Gabbarsingh for a longer time at Ratanpur till intermission. Meanwhile, the montage song “O Pilla” was good and it would’ve been more good if Brahmanandam was eliminated and only the lead pair was shown in it. Intermission sequence was ineffective though Gabbarsingh’s followers supported him with the song “Aadevadanna Eedevadanna”.

Second half was more patience tester than first one. Bad editing by “Gautham Raju”, misdirected narration overshadowed Pawan who tried to save the film. Catching goons with FM Radio and preaching them with a song every time and cutting that scene abruptly were examples for bad editing and forced narration. Besides this, songs like “Nee Chepakallu” and “Khakee Chokka” appeared forced as if they were kept at least to satisfy fans because narration failed completely to entertain the audiences. Yet weak dance movements by Pawan were not satisfactory in those songs.

Arresting Gabbarsingh was routine whereas forcing princess to marry Bhairo was okay. Marriage proposal through Bhairo’s wife Gayatri (Sanjana) was good. The narration should have concentrated at least on caste system which was responsible for above things, with the help of “Sai Madhav Burra”. In the whole film, I felt only the dialogue “Manavaadu kakapoyina saayam teesukovachu kaani premanu teesukolema?” said by princess, was written by Burra. Rest were doubtful. A scene between Gabbarsingh and Harinarayana (Mukesh Rishi) clearly said that Mukesh was standing in a green mat alone.

“Antyakshari” sequence in “Gabbarsingh” got a lot of appreciation. As only goons danced at that time, Sardaar’s makers might have made hero dance this time. The entire “Sangeeth” sequence was felt disastrous due to this. I awaited Pawan doing Chiru’s step but doing it with a screen behind showing Chiru was very disappointing. Because most of the audiences look at Chiru rather than at Pawan. The screen should have been removed.

Resolving Bhairo’s problem was of a routine commercial way where they tried to demolish their well built set. Director Bobby tweeted to save papers till end otherwise audience should tear their shirt in the climax. But it provoked to tear the tickets in frustration for watching this film. Also, Gabbarsingh’s dance performances became monotonous by that time. Though everything was done for fans, it won’t be good if anything crosses a certain limit.

On the whole, Sardaar Gabbarsingh tested his audience’s patience for 163 minutes to see him transform into “Raja Sardaar Gabbarsingh”.

Performances :

Pawan delivered his routine “style” in this film rather than delivering performance. He danced a lot in “scenes” rather than in “songs”. He also appeared somewhat older in this film. Maybe, a bad D.I. was responsible for this. Kajal got limited roles where she can perform, throughout her career. She had Pawan beside her in this film, so she was ultimately confined to enjoy his performance and dance with him, rather than performing for her role. Main antagonist Sharad Kelkar had “Ravishankar” off screen, so entire performance was done by Ravi rather than Sharad. Remaining cast like Brahmanandam, Ali, Mukesh Rishi, Tanikella Bharani, Rao Ramesh, Sanjana, Urvashi, Brahmaji, Kabir Duhan, Raghubabu, Posani, Shakalaka Shankar and other Jabardasth cast were overshadowed by Pawan.

Eminences :

  1. Brahma Kadali’s Art Direction. If there is someone whose work should be appreciated first in this film, it’s Brahma. The way he built Ratanpur in Sergio Leone’s style was fabulous.
  2. Arthur Wilson’s Cinematography. Wilson presented Brahma’s set very well through his camera. His work in “Tauba Tauba” song and in intermission sequence was appreciable.
  3. Devi Sri Prasad’s Music. Three songs were good and background score was good.
  4. Production Values. Producers Sharath, Pawan and Sunil didn’t compromise in the film’s budget.

Lowlands :

  1. Pawan’s Story, Screenplay. Story was old, screenplay was weak. The film relied on hero completely.
  2. Runtime. Makers should’ve thought about runtime as they had a weaker narration. Slower narration with 163 minutes of runtime was a patience tester.
  3. Gautham Raju’s Editing. Most of the scenes in the film ended abruptly.
  4. Marketing. In one angle, too much promotions raised a lot of expectations and hurt the audiences.

– Yashwanth Aluru

Click here for Telugu version of this Review…

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