Film: “Sardaar Gabbar Singh”; Language: Telugu; Director: K.S. Ravindra; Cast: Pawan Kalyan, Kajal Aggarwal, Brahmanandam, Sharad Kelkar, Kabir Duhan Singh, Mukesh Rishi, Rao Ramesh, Urvashi and Brahmaji; Rating: **
In K.S. Ravindra-directed “Sardaar Gabbar Singh”, Pawan Kalyan is a treat to watch, even in the most cliched scenes and that’s why his fans love him. He knows how to play to the gallery, in his own nonchalant style. And although aware of his limitations as an actor, he pulls off his roles with ease. It’s applicable in the case of his latest outing, which is entertaining in parts, but is so lazily written that it is literally a struggle to sit through the film.
In “Sardaar Gabbar Singh, Kalyan has doubled up as a writer, and one wonders if he had learnt anything from his maiden unsuccessful writing attempt in 2003 film “Johnny”, because his second attempt is even worse than the first. The story follows the maverick police officer Gabbar Singh, who has a great sense of humour, and is transferred to the fictional town Rattanpur, where he takes on the oppressive land grabber Bhairav Singh and his gang head on. In a one man versus an army battle, Kalyan delivers pages of dialogues like some kid who has memorized lines for a recital contest in school.
The story, which you can predict quite early on where it’s heading, reminds one of the recent Ravi Teja-starrer “Kick 2” among other films. More than the story, it’s the screenplay that’s outright boring, and the scenes are so haphazardly placed, they never flow seamlessly like they ought to.
It follows a simple pattern – action, romance, comedy – with ample crowd-pleasing moments for Kalyan’s fans to celebrate. However, after a point, even a hardcore Pawan Kalyan fan will be squirming in his seat, especially in the second half. Towards the fag end, the film gets even more annoying with the musical face-off with a rival gang. Kalyan dances to a few songs while reprising the famous veena step from his brother Chiranjeevi’s film, Indra.
An ensemble cast featuring the likes of Tisca Chopra, Rao Ramesh and Pooja Ramachandran are wasted in silly roles. Tisca, who has had several noteworthy Hindi projects to her credit, ends up making a mockery of herself in this attempt. Kajal Aggarwal as the princess is beautiful, impeccably dressed, but hardly has anything to do other than, you know, just look pretty. Sharad Kelkar is fierce as the antagonist, and when used sincerely can be effective, but he needs to work hard on lip-syncing his dialogues.
Even though Pawan Kalyan the actor shines in “Sardaar Gabbar Singh”, the writer fails miserably, and there’s so much he needs to learn from this debacle. As the gun-toting Sardaar, he fails to hit the bull’s eye.