Sardar Udham movie review: A turbulent slice of India’s colonial past

Sardar Udham movie cast: Vicky Kaushal, Stephen Hogan, Shaun Scott, Kirsty Averton, Andrew Havill, Banita Sandhu, Amol Parashar
Sardar Udham Film Director: Shoojit Sircar
Sardar Udham Movie Rating: three star

13 March 1940, London. An Indian man attends an arranged meeting where Michael O’Dwyer, the former lieutenant governor of the province of Punjab, is giving a lecture on the legacy of the white man’s burden, and how, under British rule, the ‘Indian barbarian’ has been brought under control. .

The man waits until the speech is over, walks across the room to confront Dwyer (Shawn Scott) and shoots him point-blank. The latter falls to the ground, blood pools around it. After a painful witness to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, Udham Singh (Vicky Kaushal) has finally fulfilled the promise he had made twenty years ago. General Dyer (Andrew Havill) may have ordered hundreds of peaceful protesters, men, women and children to be shot, but it was Dwyer who pressed the button. Revenge for Udham Singh is cold but equally sweet.

The film tells us that it is ‘based on true events’ but preserves it with the usual disclaimers of ‘dramatizing events for creative freedom and cinematic expression’. Considering how thin we have become about any kind of representation, it seems that filmmakers will never be able to escape the kinds of statements that smother their work to death. Can we call ‘Sardar Udham’ a biopic, or should we stick with ‘a period piece about a little-known Indian revolutionary, whose work moves from the heart of royal London to his distant colony in the east, Independence was fighting for. ?

Shoojit Sircar’s film is a long, unhurried re-creation of a turbulent piece of India’s colonial past, going back and forth from Punjab to London, making a few detours here and there. I felt a bit snarled in the first hour, where we see, in a series of flashbacks within flashbacks, Fuss’s difficult arrival in London and casting for support, his arrest and painful interrogation. A Scotland Yard inspector (Stephen Hogan) oversees the torture in the midst of an interrogation, and why, if Fussy knew the English language, albeit intermittently, was a translator needed?

There are other strands that seem like loose ends, such as the presence of a group of IRA (Irish Republican Army) sympathizers, one of whom is a strong-faced, dark-browed young woman named Eileen (Kirsty Everton). A soft look makes room for our hero. Udham is in touch with a handful of Indians who have been left directionless after the dissolution of the HSRA (Hindustan Socialist Republican Association), a budding organization created by fierce young rebels who were chosen by the British. We see, in short, the quiet romance between Udham and Bhagat Singh (Amol Parashar), and Udham and the lovely Reshma (Banita Sandhu) back home back home, but the film, Necessity, focuses on Udham and his works. Keeps circling back to London.

Ironically, the film comes alive when it comes to Jallianwala Bagh and those innocents are brutally murdered. Until then, we’ve spent more than enough time in the cold prisons of London and watched Fusile crystallize as a man who could withstand a million blows to his body, but who wouldn’t bow down to his oppressors. This is the part where we see the brutal brutality of the people who ordered the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, the relentless firing in the crowd trying to save their lives, and the heart-wrenching sight of the dead and the dying, that makes the film its own. Comes to You: Sometimes, just witnessing is the only thing you can do, even if it’s the hardest thing to do.

Until then, you’d think the skill might be too small for its part, especially when we know the government had Irfan For this in mind. But in this part that leaves an indelible mark on his soul, the skill comes true. Fussy, stunned and shattered, works hard all night, carrying the wounded to safety, each climb bleeding profusely, the body taking a trip to hell. And then you know why the director took his time with this part: There can be no shortcuts when you want to do justice to the monstrous portrayal of tragedy, and its’ aftershocks that still felt in the streets. can go. Amritsar’.

At one point, we hear a young rebel speaking about how they cannot be biased or casteist or communal, and how ‘equality for all’ is the most important thing. Had things been different, if those young rebels had lived long enough to shape India, would their ideas have made the country a different place? When Udham Singh is repeatedly asked his name, and brutally tortured for his silence, he puts out his hand which has the tattoo on it: Ram Mohammad Singh Azad. Will that mixed name be given any importance in today’s India? And is this the country for which those young rebels laid down their lives? It is worth thinking deeply.