Gadar 2 review: Sunny Deol's chest-thumping actioner is stale, could have been avoided
Gadar 2 review: Sunny Deol and Ameesha Patel's sequel to 2001 hit is actually a launch vehicle for director Anil Sharma's son Utkarsh.
The hand pump is back and so are the snarls. The kid has grown up, and lands in Pakistan to take the villains head on just like his father did 17 years ago. Gadar 2, a sequel to Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001), is a classic case of old wine in old bottle and offers very little freshness in terms of its character arcs, settings and the premise. Yet, it qualifies to be a one-time watch for its ability to give an adrenaline rush with its action sequences. There are throwbacks to the first film as we see many old characters in addition to a few new faces. Director Anil Sharma, in a bid to take the story forward, makes some changes in the script and coins a story that works in parts and also stays sluggish in some places. (Also read: Gadar 2 and OMG 2 release and review live updates)
While Gadar narrated the love story of Tara Singh (Sunny Deol) and Sakina (Ameesha Patel), Gadar 2 is a tale of hatred between India and Pakistan that refuses to die down, told from the lens of a father's bond with his son. As the fear of war looms large, Lieutenant Colonel Devendra Rawat from Punjab (Gaurav Chopra) asks Tara for his help to deploy his trucks and send immediate ammunition at the border to help Indian soldiers. Fighting the enemies, Tara disappears along with six Indian soldiers. It's later revealed that they are held captive by Pakistan Major General Hamid Iqbal (Manish Wadhwa), who wants to avenge the death of 40 members of his battalion that Tara had slaughtered during the climax sequence of Gadar.
As Charanjit Singh aka Jeete (Utkarsh Sharma) takes it upon himself to find his papaji, he ends up in Pakistan and tries everything to reunite with his father. Things take an ugly turn when Jeete himself gets captured and waits for Tara to come to his rescue. Amid all this, there's a whole chunk in the film when Deol just vanishes from the picture, and returns only to go on a rampage in Pakistan to bring back his son. Jeete also finds his love interest in Pakistan when he meets Muskaan (Simrat Kaur).
Not that I am complaining about the kind of screen time Utkarsh gets, but with all the spotlight on him, Gadar 2 appears to be more of a launch pad for the director's son while using Tara Singh's fandom. Utkarsh is good, if not great, and he shows conviction in his scenes. While the first half shows him as an innocent young guy aspiring to be an actor, the second half projects him as the ultimate action hero — bearded, brooding, rough and tough just like his onscreen father.
Sunny Deol brings back the innocence of his character and his scenes light up the screen. If you look close, Tara is a peace-loving man who resorts to extremely violence only when needed. That's evident from the scenes where he punches a Pakistani cop in the face and doesn't even bother to pick the rifle that could have been of help later. Ameesha is just average and doesn't even try to do anything different than what she did in the first film. In fact, I found her rather bland and soulless. However, Tara and Sakeena's chemistry remains as sweet and pure as you'd expect. Wadhwa, as the antagonist, looks evil and has a strong screen presence.
At 2 hours 50 minutes, Gadar 2 is a tad long and could have been easily shortened by 30 minutes Shaktimaan Talwar's writing is not clever. There's nothing in the dialogues that makes you go wow, and the ones that draw maximum cheer — Hindustan zindabad — we've already heard that before.
What I truly enjoyed and loved was the recreated versions of the songs — Main Nikla Gadi leke and Udd Ja Kale Kaavan. They are the soul of the film and take you back in time. And the additional couple of songs are also a breath of fresh air that don't disappoint. As for valour and patriotic fervour, be assured there is no dearth of chest-thumping patriotism and they do give some whistle-worthy moments. Gadar 2 gives ample scope to both Tara and Jeete to show their might and perform some non-stop action sequences in slo-mo.
Gadar 2 does falter in terms of story and its pace, though it brings back the mass entertainment and that can surely make it a paisa vasool watch.