Engaging, But Very Lengthy
U/A 2h 50m
What Is the Film About?
Inspector Vijay (Karthi) is a sincere cop doing his duty duly to remove the only blackmark on his name. It is that of a son of a traitor. While on his work, he tracks a case that puts him in a unique position of relooking at his father’s true story.
Who is Vijay’s father? Why is he branded a traitor? How the whole thing is linked to the water mafia completes the movie’s story.
Karthi wholly carries the movie. He plays the dual role of father and son. The father is a spy, whereas the son is the police. The actor shows subtle variations in body language playing the two parts. It is mainly seen in action scenes where the spy character has a more trained look. Karthi also dons various looks, which are neatly done without looking tacky.
Dramatically there is nothing new on offer for Karthi. We have seen him do all before. But, like any seasoned actor, he does the whole routine with intensity and interest. It helps create an engaging narrative, and that’s a win as far as action flicks like Sardar goes.
PS Mithran of Abhimanyudu and Shakthi fame directs Sardar. It is another action thriller along the lines of his past two films with an entirely new backdrop and set-up.
If it was the army and digital theft in Abhimanyudu, then it was the education backdrop and superhero in Shakthi. Similarly, we have a spy and water mafia backdrop in Sardar.
What Mithran does after finding his protagonist and antagonist is tick all the boxes related to the setting from previous such attempts and bombard it with the research done on the backdrop. So, we had lots and lots of dialogue along with relatable situations concerning hacking, the dark web, education and aspiration previously. Now, we have the issue related to the water mafia and its politics.
One can instantly see that much effort has been put in related to the content. But is that alone enough to get an engaging narrative? The answer to this leads to mixed reactions.
Some parts are no doubt engaging. But, at the same time, there are stretches that are plain, predictable, and boring. The human angle related to the lead characters and their drama is as routine as it gets.
What works is the relentless action and thrills related to the core plot and spy genre. They have been handled excellently by the director. Where he fails is mixing it with the proper drama to give a compelling narrative.
A couple of stretches, one in the first half leading to the revelation of Sardar, followed by the fight and then his escape. Another one in the second half going all the way to the point of ‘Laughing Buddha’, is done well. They offer action and thrill in equal doses, even if there is a little lag in between.
Everything before and after lacks the same momentum and impact. The romantic track during the starting half an hour and then the long and elaborate climax induce boredom despite a lot being packed in it.
It is why in the end, after all that has transpired, the good parts seem to take a backseat. We remember the lengthy climax coming out with the feeling of tiredness.
Overall, Sardar is a decent spy thriller that has a couple of terrific action-thriller stretches. However, it fails to keep the same momentum around them and ends as a passable affair. If you like the genre, give it a try, but be wary of the length and boredom.
Performances by Others Actors
Raashii Khanna, Rajisha Vijayan and Liala are the three main female leads in the movie. Raashi Khanna pairs up with the younger Karthi, whereas Rajisha is with the elder in the flashback. Both have decent roles that are a small part of a larger picture. After a point, they go missing in action or are mere bystanders. Laila, too, has a small role, but it is related to the central plot involving the water mafia. She is an activist fighting against them and does an okay job.
Chunky Pandey has a good role as a baddie keeping in mind what is generally on offer in such parts. It offers him some scope to do something, and he does an adequate job. There are many more bits and pieces of characters. Among them, Rithvik and Munishkanth impress.
Music and Other Departments?
GV Prakash Kumar’s songs are forgettable, especially in Telugu, with terrible lyrics. The background score is better, but it’s not the special category. George C Williams’s cinematography is superb. The editing adds to the slickness, but one can’t help but feel the narrative is overlong. It needed more trimming. The writing is acceptable for the terrain, although some expository dialogues were better avoided.
Formulaic In Parts
Did I Enjoy It?
Yes, For The Most Part
Will You Recommend It?
Yes, But With Little Reservations
Sardar Telugu Movie Review by Mirchi9
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