An outstanding recreation of one man’s fight to reclaim his country, Sardar Udham is aesthetically shot and executed with almost perfection without a false note by Shoojit Sircar.
‘What were you doing when you were 23’? Think about it.
Men who fought for India’s freedom were not men of straw. They were men of steel. Tall men, driven by the dream of a free country, they gave it their all — blood, sweat, tears and their lives.
Udham Singh was an orphan who wanted to impart a meaning to his youth. He doggedly pursued O’Dwyer and killed him in the very heart of the British empire, avenging the massacre of thousands of his countrymen by imperialistic hubris and inhumanity. O’Dwyer and his henchman, Dyer, killed people simply because they could! Udham wasn’t driven by hate. He strove to decimate the evil and enroll the world in India’s fight for freedom. For this, he made the ultimate sacrifice, adding gravitas and meaning to his life. He will not be forgotten: a man of mettle, Ram Mohammad Singh Azad wasn’t, isn’t a name, it was, is a nation’s becoming!
The Jallianwala Bagh carnage’s depiction is a tad too long but it is by design. Sircar wants us to live the horror, for unlike Udham who didn’t feel pain (on being tortured by Scotland Yard) because he had seen many faces of death, we need to feel the pain because we haven’t seen death: bloodied, maimed, crawling and jumping into a well. We need to feel the pain!
The film is aesthetically shot and executed with almost perfection. And that brings me to Vicky Kaushal’s performance. A tour de force act in which the actor becomes the protagonist and together they become one!
Sircar and Kaushal, take a bow!