Relive The Forgotten Gem Of Indian Cinema - Sardar!

Relive The Forgotten Gem Of Indian Cinema - Sardar!

Martini Shots, Bollywood, October 31, 2016, Authors: Rahul Deo Bharadwaj (Editorial Team), http://www.desimartini.com/new...dar/article39009.htm 

Ketan Mehta has done some good work in his career and he is obviously known more and respected more for Mirch Masala.

If you have not seen that movie you have obviously missed one of our better made movies. Yet for a lot of reasons I feel “Sardar” is his piece de resistance.

Sardar was released in 1994 , the same year when most of the bollywood watchers preferred watching cinema like Mohra or Karan Arjun or Hum Aapke Hain Kaun ( yes all these three iconic movies of the 1990 came in the same year , including some of Govinda’s no.1 series movies –and yes I unabashedly enjoyed them too and enjoy some of them even today ,particularly Mohra).

Yet for a lot of reasons Sardar was the best movie that I saw that year.

Relive The Forgotten Gem Of Indian Cinema - Sardar!

Original Post

Sardar was a master piece. It makes an engrossing 158 minutes watch even today. Probably a learing lesson for some of our over rated makers who get best technology assistance today and yet cannot make a movie which is 2 hours long and attention holding.

Sardar’s first stand out point is the way it stays true to facts and remains honest. If it was to release today trust me it would antagonize almost all political thought mongers because it unabashedly does point out to the weaknesses of all our worshipped political leaders.

Relive The Forgotten Gem Of Indian Cinema - Sardar!

Sardar has Paresh Rawal’s most diligent and earthy performance till date. He brings the story of a cynical upmarket card and club visiting advocate turning Gandhian and the hard boiled galvanizer that was to unite the country. In the opening scene he is playing cards in the same club where Gandhi comes for a speech and he sarcastically tells a follow lawyer who is rushing to listen to that speech that  whats the point in listening to the speech of a man who claims that cleaning toilets and practicising celibacy will bring freedom its better to play cards than to listen to such a dumb speech he tells the colleague. Then after the speech he becomes one of Gandhi’s biggest followers. He gives up his profession and jumps into Bardoli Satyagrah and rises as one of the most respected leaders in Gujarat and then Gandhi’s team.

Relive The Forgotten Gem Of Indian Cinema - Sardar!

Paresh Rawal brings Sardar’s character to life by using sarcastic style of speech delivery. The stand out scene is of course his interaction with Kasim Rizvi , Nizam of Hyderabad’s representative. An aggressive Rizvi threatens Sardar that there will be arson and bloodshed on the streets of Hyderabad state if Hyderabad is forced to side with Indian state. Sardar played with ferocity by Paresh Rawal asks in simple cold blooded tone – what do you think we will be doing when you indulge in that blood shed? Rizvi gets the message that this man means business. This scene is frankly one of the stand out scenes of Sardar movie.In this one scene the most noted achievement of Sardar is brought to our notice , unification of India by handling some of our most rogue leaders across north to south.

Sardar also unabashedly points out to the bias that mahatma Gandhi had towards Nehru and for that Ketan Mehta deserves kudos , in 1994 when this movie came out, pointing at faults within Gandhi’s leadership meant liberal outrage. Sardar clearly states how Patel was actually the unanimous choice for the PM’s chair and Gandhi actually pushed his will of Nehru as the PM.

Sardar also has some great scenes on how Nehru and Patel were at loggerheads in the cabinet and yet Nehru had huge respect for Sardar and both allowed each other their space to govern.

Sardar also has a scene on how Nehru’s over enthusiasm in taking Kashmir conflict to UN and promising plebiscite in his blind optimism was a major political blunder and how desperately he stops Nehru from going to the BBC studio for the radio speech. Sardar’s pain when he listens to that speech is brought out remarkably in the movie.

Sardar’s another brilliant stand out point is how it brings out the humane side of our leaders and how it brings Sardar’s earthy sarcastic humour to the table , repeatedly. In one of its most memorable moments we are shown that Nehru has come to Sardar’s home and asks Sardar’s wife Jhaverba to make tea. While tea is getting preparer by Jhaverba in the kitchen Nehru is informed that a lady reporter from BBC has come or his photo session , Nehru leaves without having tea. Jhaverba comes out and this is how I recall the onscreen conversation goes, am writing it by power of my memory the exact words could be different

Jhaverba – Jawahar kahan hai ? (where is jawahar)

Sardar – Chale gaye (he went)

Jhaverba – Chale gaye,bina meri chai peeye ,meri chai peeye bina to aap bhee nahi jaate! (without having my tea? Even you don’t do that)

Sardar – mera photo kheenchne videsh se mahilayein bhee kahan aati hain ( female foreigners don’t come to click my photos even)

In one of Sardar’s most telling moments .Sardar talks to one of his colleagues and tells him while he and his fellow leaders are doing the best for the country but then their worst fear is what if their decision is wrong? How will the next generations think of their blunders ?

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