WATCH THE TRAILER HERE
First, the Recap:
At what price is justice found? When are the efforts of a few–sacrifices made, time spent–worth the attention of an entire country and its people, all in the name of bringing a native son home? The burden of proof is placed upon those who would fight for one man’s right to be free again while overcoming obstacles and trying to maintain hope. For one family of farmers in Bhikiwind, Punjab, this would become an all to real scenario. Happy in a settled life, Dalbir (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) spends valued time with her brother Sarbjit (Randeep Hooda) and his wife Sukhpreet (Richa Chadha), celebrating existence and the blessings of her valued kin. Unbeknownst to them all, however, circumstances are about to be radically altered.
While spending a drunken night out with a friend, Sarbjit inadvertantly stumbles his way across the Pakistani border, immediately drawing the attention of border guards who accuse him of being a spy. While his desperate family attempts to ascertain what happened to him, Sarbjit is subjected to the brutally harsh conditions of a Pakistani jail, even as accusations are leveled against him for being both an Indian spy and a terrorist. Once his incarceration and sentance is discovered by Dalbir, she risks life and relationships to clear Sarbjit’s name and have him released with the help of lawyer Awais Sheikh (Darshan Kumar).
But for every small victory, it seems steps back continue to mount, and it becomes a trial by fire and the ultimate test of Dalbir’s very sanity and the wellfare of Sarbjit, his family, and a fight for liberation.
Next, my Mind:
Directed by “Mary Kom’s” Omung Kumar, this highly intense, deeply emotional, and powerfully dramatic based-on-a-true-story film illustrating Sarbjit Singh’s harrowing and cringe-inducing journey while in the hands of the Pakastanis is one potent and heart-wrenching tale, while the parallel story of his sister’s stirring, emotive, and impassioned efforts to see him freed is no less affecting in its own right. The cinematography and stylings of the jail sequences especially are executed quite effectively, depicting the inhospitable treatment and overall conditions inside the prison, while also showcasing the turmoil that is occuring outside the walls, as two countries come to blows over ages-old conflicts of ideals and justice. It truly makes what Dalbir accomplished that much more pronounced, even if the victories came at a bitter cost to mind, body, and soul.
Rai Bachchan is an absolute marvel in this effort, bringing a burning, fervent, and sincere enacting of Dalbir’s character, infusing her with such raw determination and never-give-up fortitude plus earnest and profound sentiment as she takes on the unrelenting powers that be who stand in the way of her brother’s release. Likewise, Hooda completely goes all out as Sarbjit, giving a performance that should garner some notice and praise, moreso once his character is in the prison and subjected to the mistreatments within. Watching the character’s descent into utter, tortured despair is hard to watch at times, but when those moments of light do come, it is a tear-inducing run of sheer emotional release. Strong supporting turns from Chadha, Shiwani Saini, Ankita Shrivastav, and Kumar only add even more pathos and engagement to the story.
In summary, “Sarbjit”, while surely taking some artistic license in its overall telling of this story, should none-the-less be a film taken seriously as a prime, overall example of what the current state of Bollywood filmmaking continues to be. Driving home ideas and themes involving injustice and those who are willing to rise up and fight against it should never be out of style, and while, as shown here, there can most certainly be a cost for doing what is right, it also shines a light upon exactly how deeply rooted the bonds of family are within the heart.
As always, this is all for your consideration and comment. Until next time, thank you for reading!