‘Gadar 2’ movie review: Sunny Deol is superb in this middling sequel

Sunny Deol as Tara Singh reprises the hand pump and ‘zindabad’ scenes but there is very little that is original and impactful in the new film

August 11, 2023 05:14 pm | Updated August 12, 2023 08:09 pm IST

Sunny Deol in ‘Gadar 2’

Sunny Deol in ‘Gadar 2’

Tara Singh (Sunny Deol) once again takes out his high-decibel gaddi to Pakistan in this faithful sequel to Gadar. It is not as provocative as the original as driver Anil Sharma seeks to take a middle path. Perhaps, it feels like that because the socio-political atmosphere outside the theatre has become much more dramatic and shrill than what it was when the original released in 2001. Still, it is good that Sharma has toned down the jingoistic tone. Set ahead of the Bangladesh War, it talks of moving on from the hate-filled atmosphere of Partition. Instead of a particular religion, he comes down heavily on individuals who use religion as a tool to further their jaundiced political agenda. The problem is Sharma finds such people only across the border. Where is the representation of Ashraf Alis and Hamid Iqbals, the antagonist in the latest version, on this side of the divide?

The bad part is it is not as poignant as the original. For all its politics of hate, Gadar did have a tender love story between Tara and Sakina (Ameesha Patel) at its core and Uttam Singh’s music ensured that it pressed the right buttons.

Gadar 2 (Hindi)
Director: Anil Sharma
Cast: Sunny Deol, Ameesha Patel, Utkarsh Sharma, Manish Wadhwa
Run-time: 170 minutes
Storyline: Decades after the events of ‘Gadar’, Tara Singh returns to Pakistan to bring his grown-up son, Jeete, home

This time the emotional ignition falls short as Tara returns to the neighbouring nation to get his son Jeete (Utkarsh Sharma) back. The idea is just to put Tara, the one-man army, back in Pakistan and let him and the audience go berserk. The route is contrived and the bulwark of sentiments is not strong enough to lift the action.

Having said that, few could match Sunny in depicting the intensity of a wounded soul. With honesty in his eyes and a hammer in his hands, he once again pulverises the opposition single-handedly. Wish Sharma had given him situations with more heft and humour to work with. Tara reprises the hand pump and ‘zindabad’ scenes but there is very little that is original and impactful in the sequel. The hand pump scene had a distinct rawness to it but here when Tara lifts the wheel with shlokas playing the background, we know where it is coming from. We know Sunny’s fight sequences have their own intrinsic logic but the climactic scene doesn’t pass even that test. It is simply lazy writing.

Manish Wadhwa impresses as the evil general whose hatred for Hindus and Hindustan emanates from a personal loss during the Partition but we miss the larger-than-life performance of Amrish Puri who matched Sunny in the snarling contest.

Utkarsh has got a lot of screen time to make his presence felt and provide the romantic tapestry to the action but for a large part, he remains just a satellite of Tara. Ameesha is made for melodrama and here again, she plays the teary-eyed wife and mother with conviction. The problem is she hasn’t added much to her creative arsenal since the original hit the screens. The result is as the film progresses, Sakeena becomes a one-note character who begs for empathy rather than earning it.

Anand Bakshi’s lyrics and Uttam Singh’s music were the lifeline of the original. Here Sayeed Quadri and Mithoon haven’t disappointed but still could not match the magic of ‘Udja Kale Kanwa’. ‘Chal Tere Ishq Main’ stands out and provides some padding to Utkarsh and newcomer Simrat Kaur to create a romantic bedrock for the action to take a leap but this prem katha could neither satisfy the bloodthirsty souls nor could it sing to the melody-minded. Tara twinkles somewhere in between.

Gadar 2 is currently running in theatres

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