Director Shoojit Sircar’s latest film re-created from a piece of India’s colonial past Sardar Udham starring Vicky Kaushal in the titular role was streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Sardar Udham, based on true events was about the revolutionary freedom fighter Udham Singh who is best known for the assassination of the perpetrator of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre – Michael O’Dwyer on March 13th, 1940 in the heart of London.
The story was set in the pre Independent India, when the revolutionaries including Bhagat Singh and Hindustan Socialist Republic Army (HSRA) was fighting for the Independence.
Sardar Udham (Vicky Kaushal), a young boy who witnessed the most brutal massacre in the entire history – The Jallianwala Bagh masscare has started to find ways to wipe out the blood and tears that spilled on the ill fated day of Baisakhi.
Consumed by immense grief and sorrow, the young boy makes despair his strength, and silence his voice vowing to avenge the cold blooded murder of thousands of people which included women and children.
The seeds of revenge were sown against the people responsible for it, one of the main perpetrator behind the brutal incident being Lieutenant Governor of Punjab (British India) Michael O’Dwyer.
With firm Marxist belief and iron resolve, Udham Singh transforms into Ram Mohammad Singh Azad (a name he proclaims while in custody) and assassinates Michael O’Dwyer (Shaun Scott) amid horrified Britishers in Caxton Hall of London as a retaliation for the Jallianwala Bagh tragedy.
Vicky Kaushal’s performance as Sardar Udham was intense and can be touted to be his best performance to date which was even better than in Uri. The power packed performance of Vicky Kaushal dotted with the impactful delivery of dialogues and expressions, as a young boy coming face to face with horrors in Amritsar and as an enigmatic person with revenge on his mind making his way on to the streets of London, was outstanding.
Among other actors, Banita Sandhu as Reshma, Amol Parashar in a brief but appealing role of Bhagat Singh, Stephen Hogan as Detective Inspector Swain, Kristy Averton as Eileen Palmer and a host of other actors though in brief roles imparted great authenticity to the film with their striking performances.
Behind the scenes
The supremacy of director Shoojit Sircar was visible in every frame of Sardar Udham. It’s not an easier task to chronicle a historical film without losing grip on the facts and at the same time making the narrative engrossing enough to sustain the interest of the viewer.
The non-linear narrative with the story oscillating back and forth without any mention of timeline was the only spoiler in this otherwise highly engaging screenplay by Shubhendu Bhattacharya and Ritesh Shah.
The soul touching background score by Shantanu Moitra was another redeeming factor of Sardar Udham that has catapulted the film into the next league.
The cinematography by Avik Mukhopadhyay was another asset and those visuals capturing the icy terrains of Russia and vintage streets of London are a feast to the eyes doubled with aesthetic frames that aptly projected the patriotic mood of the film.
The production designing by Mansi Dhruv Mehta and Dmitrii Malich was the best in recent times. The 1919-1940 environment recreated by them reveals the hard work that was done behind the scenes by this duo to add the authenticity to the whole story. They have done a stupendous job as demonstrated in those stunning visuals.
The movie is an absolute must-watch. It has proved Shoojit Sircar as one of the most prized filmmakers of the Indian Cinema right now.
The thoughtful exploration of the injustice by the British Empire and the sacrifice of Udham Singh were expressed with authority by the director.
Sardar Udham is one rare film that was successful in re-introducing the unsung warrior Sardar Udham Singh who laid down his life for the freedom of the country topped up by the towering performance of Vicky Kaushal who conveyed the saga of pain and sacrifice of a forgotten revolutionary with great conviction.