Mumbai, Aug 11, 2023- In a scene from the Sunny Deol-starrer ‘Gadar 2’, a huge hand pump abruptly occupies the entire screen space in the middle of a crucial fight sequence between Indians and Pakistanis.
As the audience bursts out laughing, Deol merely looks at the pump — good enough to let us know he is aware of all those who have invented jokes about him and his special talent for yanking pumps off the ground. No spoilers, but as expected, keep your ear plugs safe if you must endure the high-decibel drama at a theatre.
That, in a way, summarises the sequel to ‘Gadar 2’, where despite the familiar territory of Pakistan being the enemy country, it is seen sowing seeds of utmost compassion for Indians not once but quite a few times.
‘Gadar 2’ is yet again a period action drama film directed and produced by Anil Sharma, and written by Shaktimaan Talwar. It need not have been a sequel since the plot is precisely the same — that of an Indian crossing the borders and falling in love with a damsel who is, obviously, a Pakistani.
And you guessed it right! There’s blatant and unashamed jingoism, and muscle flexing that stuns the entire army of Pakistan, and the intrepid Indians manoeuvre their way into the bylanes of Lahore without the fear of getting recognised, let alone being attacked by cops, soldiers and other people gunning for them.
Sunny is back in a role that made history with ‘Gadar: Ek Prem Katha’ tying as the biggest money-spinner along with Aamir Khan’s ‘Lagaan’ — and both films were released on the same day, June 15, 2001.
It’s 1971 and Tara Singh (Deol) and Sakina (Ameesha Patel) are seen living peacefully in Punjab with their son Charanjeet (Utkash Sharma), who, much against his father’s wishes, aspires to be a film star. Singh would have none of it and keeps reprimanding his son from time to time, urging him to study hard.
Soon, when Pakistan attacks India, Deol, who as a transporter operates a fleet of trucks, is asked to cart arms and supplies to the Indian soldiers who were caught unawares. The request is made by Lieutenant Colonel Devendra Rawat (Gaurav Chopra), who has tremendous respect for Singh.
In Lahore, meanwhile, Major General Hamid Iqbal (Manish Wadhwa) hasn’t forgiven Tara for destroying their troops singlehandedly earlier. Later, Singh travels back to the same land in the backdrop of the ‘Crush India’ campaign, in what appears to be a personal mission to save his son Charanjeet ‘Jeete’ Singh who, when his father doesn’t return for three years, is determined to get him back home. He too, like his father, falls for a Pakistani pretty face, Muskaan (Simrat Kaur), and the two swear undying love for each other.
But he is imprisoned and tortured by the Pakistani soldiers under Major General Hamid Iqbal. The fights, the mission, the backdrop and even some of the stars have become familiar faces for all those who would recall the film more than 20 years ago.
If there is something different or fresh in this version, it’s the portrayal of sensitive Pakistanis, both on and off the battlefield, who get teary-eyed imagining an Indian traversing a long distance from India to look for his father.
Or Muskaan’s parents, who in the midst of cross-border tension and brutal attacks, agree to their daughter not sidestepping her love and allow her to navigate through gunfights, bombings and heartless killings of her tribe by two Indians, one of whom is her love interest. All this in the name of love!
Deol’s pagdi is intact as he delivers lines more to check out his lung power, be it in the battlefield, or anywhere else. Even at his home.
Patel, who created a storm in the first part with her innocent looks and pristine beauty, is trying hard to look the same as she did earlier. She doesn’t have much to do, save, to shed copious tears at the drop of a hat. And does she disappoint? Considering she has precious little else to do in this three-hour-long film, she doesn’t!
Utkarsh, who was a child in the earlier version, is all charged up swaying to the beats occasionally. With a slew of gifted actors appearing on the marquee every Friday, he needs to unlearn a lot more if he is serious about a career in films. Najeeb Khan’s photography gives a picture of grime and dust in a frontline combat zone as one would imagine it to look.
And since it has Deol leading the cast, Monty Sharma has no qualms about using ear-splitting sounds at the slightest opportunity whenever the drama on screen ebbs a little or surges.
It seems for any occasion, the extremely artistic composer has only one instruction to follow: blaring cacophony of sounds to complement the over-the-top production!
Film: Gadar 2 (Running in theatres) Duration: 170 minutes
Director: Anil Sharma Cast: Sunny Deol, Ameesha Patel and Utkarsh Sharma.
Cinematography: Najeeb Khan Music: Mithoon Monty Sharma