Very few Indian films have done well in its second instalment and its safe to say that Sardaar Gabbar Singh falls miles short of what it had promised. Pawan Kalyan’s 2012 blockbuster was high non on entertainment; packed with a racy screenplay, smart humour and integrated the elements of Telugu commercial cinema ever so well. There is also the Pawan Kalyan factor, which seamlessly blended through the film but over here, bloodshed and the star power of the erstwhile Telugu superstar overpowers and becomes the central theme of the film while the story and screenplay (Written by Kalyan himself) is contrived.

Sardaar fails to pick up from where Gabbar Singh left. Only Ali’s character is retained and the comedian has a much bigger part to play here, and his avatar here is a refreshing change from some of his previous ventures. Bhramanandam’s case is not, the veteran actor’s bits stick out like a sore thumb and ends up looking cartoonish throughout. The humour misses the mark from start to finish. Gabbar is a modern day Robinhood in the garb of a policeman. The goons soil their pants at very look of him. Sardaar walks with an attitude and can take on scores of men and can either use his fists, his double-barrel gun or nunchucks. The baddies, who are endless in number are no match for the leading protagonist. Also Read: Sardaar Gabbar Singh Teaser: Is Pawan Kalyan trying to ape Dabangg Salman Khan?

The plot is pretty basic: Bairav Singh (Sharad Kelkar), a local prince captures an entire village for mining purposes, thereby leaving the locals to fend for themselves on the streets. From thereon, it pretty much turns into Bairav’s kingdom until Sardaar arrives. The fearless and suave Sardaar is transferred to the neighbouring town of Rattanpur, where law and order has gone to the dogs and Bairav has seized control, including the policeman in the town. There Sardaar meets Arshi (Kajal Aggarwal), a princess hailing from the biggest palace in town is saved by Gabbar from a fatal accident, and it’s love at first sight for both of them. Also Read: Never missed acting as much as writing: Pawan Kalyan

While love blossoms between the lead pair, Sarddar and Bairav lock horns. Bairav also eyes Arshi despite being a married man and having a bitter history with the latter’s family. From the interval block, it is a predictable cat and mouse game between Gabbar and Bairav, with each trying to outwit each other. Pawan Kalyan looks at ease with his role and excels. His charisma and screen presence takes the film throug. Kajal Agarwal, after a hiatus is back and looks ravishing. Her combination scenes with the ‘Power Star’ have come out well. Mukesh Rishi, playing Arshi’s uncle delivers a solid performance.

Tanikella Bharani and Tisca Chopra, talented actors themselves are wasted and so is the aforementioned Bramanandam. Urvashi doesn’t have much to do either. The success of Gabbar Singh was also down to the execution of scenes. The ‘Antakshari Scene’ is now one of the most memorable ones in the Telugu cinema archives. The makes of Sardaar have tried to replicate the formula here too and partially succeed in Pawan Kalyan’s team of cops and Bairav’s henchmen facing each other in a dance-off. Lip sync is way off at several places, even with the Telugu speaking actors. Editing is sloppy at places. The background score is good in parts while none of the songs (Except the “Tauba Tauba” number featuring Laxmi Rai) by Devi Sri Prasad call for a mention.

Kalyan’s large legion of fans will have plenty to cheer. The excessive gore though gets to you after a point and turns into a complete eye-soar. The scope for performance for Kalyan is limited. At times, it turns into a forceful star-dispensing exercise. It only shows how the lack of depth and thought that has gone into the making. The long slo-mo shots and the lead star’s references to his political future are purely for the gallery.

Rating: 2.5/5