Sarabjit: A Story You Want To But Cannot Sit Through

Starring: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (Dalbir Kaur), Randeep Hooda (Sarabjit Singh), Richa Chaddha (Sukhpreet), Darshan Kumar (Awais Sheikh), Ankita Shrivastav (Poonam), Shiwani Saini (Swapan), Ankur Bhatia (Mandev), Charanpreet Singh (Sanjay)

Director: Omung Kumar

Music: Jeet Gannguli, Amaal Mallik, Tanishk bagchi, Shail-Pritesh, Shashi Shivam

Cinematography: Kiran Deohans

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Back in 1991, Sarabjit Singh, a Punjabi farmer, unknowingly wandered into the neighbouring land of Pakistan when drunk. Sarabjit is the story of the struggle of this man in Pakistani jails and his family back in India to prove his innocence. Wrongly convicted for bomb blasts in Pakistan, Sarabjit is mistaken to be Ranjeet Singh and thus begins a saga of false claims, mental and physical torture, clearly impressing upon the incompetence and ignorance of the governments of India and Pakistan towards the case of Sarabjit Singh.

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Sarabjit captivates your interest from the beginning and ensures a certain degree of entertainment till the story focuses upon Randeep Hooda and the struggle of his family in the background. Post the first half, every moment seems needlessly stretched and lacks everything but the regular sobbing. As the focus shifts from Hooda to Mrs. Bachchan in the second half, her incompetence to enact a major role is deeply exposed. Indeed she tries hard but the only thing that moves you is the heart touching story of the struggle of this poor Indian family. Seeing just a glimpse of someone as talented as Richa Chaddha is another miss by director Omung Kumar.

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Locations and costumes fit the environment and the time, but again, the screenplay in many of the major scenes goes missing, just like the words from our previous Prime Ministers mouth. Director Omung Kumar fails to reproduce the magic he did with Mary Kom, as the story shows very little about Sarabjit. His main man, Randeep Hooda is par excellence and gives a performance worth remembering. Despite some major flaws, Omung’s team makes sure, they get the facts absolutely correct, which makes it more difficult to criticize the movie, but the supporting acting performances do it for you.

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Sarabjit is loosely bound and it seems the team ran out of budget and could not afford an editor. It’s disappointing to see that such a major and heart touching story of the century is so terribly presented. Its good in bits and pieces, but on the whole its raw cooked meat, which you feel like eating but cannot chew.

My Rating: 2.5/5

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