Verdict: Pawan Kalyan at his usual best.
If you can ignore the flimsy narrative, the fantasy elements, the illogical setting and the over-the-top obsession with horses and royalty, Sardaar Gabbar Singh is a total entertainer.
A typical Pawan Kalyān movie, the film is loaded with great dialogues, foot-tapping songs and this time around, a very annoying obsession with erstwhile royal estates of the North Andhra country. Almost like a lesson in a history we’d rather not remember, the films main characters sans Pawan, are all members of royal or feudal families.
Don’t get us wrong, the movie is super fun and Pawan’s ‘item’ number plus his imitation of Revathy from Kshatriya Putrudu deserve special mention. What confuses us is how a movie based in Pattanpur (on the Andhra Pradesh-Chhatisgarh) border suddenly shifts to Rajasthan and Kerala in between. Even funnier is how every romantic scene is shot in Athirapally and every romantic song amid snow-capped mountains. Geography takes a terrible beating in this Tollywood mass entertainer.
Sardaar Gabbar Singh resorts to formulas -tested and tried- when Tollywood is finally ripe for experiment. It returns to overdone, zamindar-centric storylines and that is what is disappointing.
Kajal Aggarwal as Arshi Devi, the heir to the throne is convincing but a very stereotyped character. Her costumes are pretty bizarre for a modern-day princess. Sanjjanaa as Gayatri Devi is seen after a long time, and makes her presence felt. Sharad Kelkar as Bhairav Singh makes a good villain, but Kabir Duhan Singh is overly underused. Urvashi and Brahmanandam refreshingly add to the comedy track and Tisca Chopra now seems a regular in big-budget Telugu films. Laxmi Raai makes an appearance in the ‘item’ number and is a pleasure to watch. The casting is interesting, but most actors are heavily underutilized, as expected in a Pawan Kalyan movie.
Believe it or not, the movie features a dance-off featuring several old Telugu hits, Hindi hits, a tribute to Chiranjeevi, Sheila Ki Jawāni and Everybody Dance Now (bet you didn’t see that coming!). I’d rather not say anymore! Devi Sri Prasad is disappointing, as he has been with most soundtracks over the last two years, but this dance-off is fun. Watch this one with your family. Pawan manages to deliver a complete family entertainer packed with action, romance and humor.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
Pawan Kalyan not taking himself too seriously, his infallible charm and the amazing dance-off – I’d watch that several times again, happily.
– By Romal M. Singh