Verdict: Dev Kharoud shines in this well-crafted story of Sarpanch Rupinder Singh Gandhi.
Right before the end credits are about to roll, the makers ask a question to the viewers – was Rupinder Gandhi Robinhood or a gangster? One cannot help but instantly jump on to conclude that the makers have managed to justify the title of the movie. Rupinder Gandhi’s story that started off with 2015’s runaway hit Rupinder Gandhi – The Gangster? culminates with Rupinder Gandhi 2: The Robinhood. The sequel is keenly awaited as even after 14 years of his murder, the youth of Punjab wants to know their idol's true story. Does the movie manage to raise the bar and create the same magic that its first part had done in 2015? Let’s analyze.
Sarpanch Rupinder Singh Gandhi (Dev Kharoud) is kidnapped and taken away to an isolated place by a pahalwan. While his friends search for him, instances of his past are shown. Rupinder Gandhi becomes the right hand of Minister Sher Singh and does not realize that he is doing all the wrong things for him. When he is in need of help from the minister, he is shown the door. This prompts Gandhi to enter politics and at the age of 22 he becomes the Sarpanch of his village.
Carrying forward the franchise of a successful film can be tricky. What goes in its favor is that the audience can easily connect with the story and characters, but the humongous expectations of viewers can backfire. But thankfully, Rupinder Gandhi 2 – The Robinhood does not disappoint. The writers have cleverly included nuances from Rupinder Gandhi’s past while his friends and well wishers are searching for him in every nook and corner of Punjab. Just like the first part of this series, the focus is quite clear – to tell the true story of Rupinder Gandhi. Whether it’s the good deeds he did for the society or his wrongdoings for the ministers, every aspect is presented to the viewer.
Arguably, Rupinder Gandhi 2 – The Robinhood is one of the better films made in Punjabi cinema. The journey of Rupinder Gandhi from being a youth icon, to getting involved in petty fights leading to gang wars, carrying weapons illegally and taking on police, politicians and other gangsters keeps the viewers on the edge of their seats. The transition of the respect he earned turning into fear is wonderfully portrayed. Even the conclusion of the story is apt and heart-rending. Any blemishes? Well, yes. The love track was not required. It is half baked and seems like it is forced into the screenplay.
Dev Kharoud is in absolute form as Rupinder Gandhi. He plays a larger-than-life character with ease. Not once does he go overboard with his act. One cannot imagine any other actor portraying the role of Gandhi. Amongst a horde of character artists, Jagjeet Sandhu shines. He brings the house down with his one liners. The writers have written a very special character for him and he delivers an award winning performance. Saanvi Dhiman makes a confident debut. Lucky Dhaliwal impresses.
Director Avtar Singh has made a winner. He gets brownie points for writing (along with Inderpal Singh) a foolproof script. He makes sure that the essence of the first part is intact. Cinematography (Navneet Bedhar) is first rate. The sound mixing could have been better. Music (Qaistrax) is decent with Jigri Yaar standing out.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
There couldn't have been a better portrayal of Rupinder Gandhi’s story. The script is the king here. Watch it for Dev Kharoud’s sincere act, well-written dialogues and confrontations, and to top it all, to know the reasons why Rupinder Gandhi is called a Robinhood rather than a gangster.
-By Gurlove Singh