Sarbjit is based on the real-life incident of Sarabjit Singh, an Indian farmer who is based in Bhikhiwind, Punjab, near the Indo-Pak border. On a drunken night in 1990, Sarabjit (Randeep Hooda) crosses over the border and is caught by the Pakistani army. After being held captive, he is forced to take the identity of Ranjit Singh, an accused for carrying out bomb blasts in Lahore.
After learning about his disappearance and about being held captive by Pakistan, his sister Dalbir (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) decides to seek justice for her brother. This is a tale of her courage, endurance and love for her falsely convicted brother. The film fails to establish Sarabjit’s character in depth. The film is focused on his sister and her struggle minus the political angle from the Indian side.
The best written scenes in Sarbjit would be where Sarabjit loses his patience and shouts at his sister explaining how miserable his life in the jail is. The other would be Richa Chadha, who plays Sarabjit’s wife, giving a peace of mind to Dalbir’s character after she has lost all faith in her cause to free her brother.
Towards the end, the film takes a turn into becoming a campaign of sorts for freeing falsely convicted prisoners in both countries. Now, this comes as a little shocking since Sarabjit himself was neither proved to be a spy or a terrorist and involving other cases is definitely a risky move.
However, the main villain of this story is its editing team who didn’t know how to give the narrative a coherent flow. As we hiccupped our way through the trials of the slain hero’s life, you realize there is little to take back home with you. Amidst the shabbily cut scenes, the overdone rona-dhona, the persistent melodrama, the preachy vein, it is clear that the film’s writing makes the effort an inefficacious one.
And yet, only and only for Randeep’s sparkling performance, we suggest you don’t miss Sarbjit. He makes his pain your own with his pitch-perfect rendering. Well, only if good intentions could make good films, Randeep’s efforts wouldn’t be lost in the dance and drama of this humdrum feat. For all the effort he has put into this movie, he definitely deserved better.