Oomang Kumar’s latest venture, Sarbjit, is the real life story of a farmer who was wrongfully convicted in Pakistan and died after a fatal assault inside jail. However the movie may as well have been called Dalbir Kaur, his sister, for the amount of footage she and her fight against the system to prove his innocence got, in the movie.
Given the very real context of the plot, the movie is turned into a typical Bollywood almost fictitious, drum-beating melodramatic saga that suffers from an overly-worked-up lead actor. Her pronunciation of punjabi is more put on than her giggles on David Letterman’s show! For all the screaming and chest beating dialogues, Aish fails to bring the character to life. It just got tiring after a point.
Randeep Hooda and Richa Chaddha are superb beyond words. Richa as the quite wife delivers her 5 minutes of limelight with more elan than Aish does in the three hours. Randeep’s weight loss to suit the character, his endearing love for his sister and his wife make him so very believable and makes the heart bleed.
Despite the heavy, tragic air of the film, there are a few subtle moments – the flashback scenes of Sarabjit with his family dancing and having fun are heart warming. Then there was a delicately executed scene where we see a grieving Aishwarya clinging on to her still-born child. Randeep convinces her to give up the infant’s body. In another rare engaging scene where Sarbjit’s family goes to meet him in jail. The frisking of the women in his family is disturbing and is perhaps the only other scene where Aish looks authentic.
So, seriously, in spite of its real context, Oomung fails to deliver what could have been a moving, poignant and impactful film.