They speak normal conversations in rhyme, have names like Tittu and Lovely, and most of them are He-Men with low IQ. The film that proudly says, Sardaar par joke mat karna, aur Sardaar ko joker nahin samajhna, doesn’t exactly walk the talk.
Our hero Rajveer (Ajay Devgn) is used to getting into fights in the neighbourhood London pub. At such time his turban unfurls, taking a life of its own, and smashing people as Devgn stands statue-like. Bit much, no?
But now, Rajveer is leaving London for his hometown in Punjab to sell off his ancestral property. While he knows of a generations-old feud between his family and another powerful family in the village, he's sure all's forgotten in the 25 years he was away.
(Son Of Sardaar derives its plot from the original Tamil film by S Rajamouli called Maryada Ramanna).
The opposite side is headed by patriarch Ranvijay Singh (Sanjay Dutt) who, we are told, can hold a grown man upside down with a single hand. On his wedding day, when the family feud broke out, he swore not to marry till he killed the last of their family members.
So a 25-year-old romance between Ranvijay and fiancee Parmeet (Juhi Chawla, exceptional) remains just that. Even as Parmeet tries convincing him to forget the enmity, Ranvijay is unable to go back on his promise.
So far, so feudal! As Hindi films woud have it Ranvijay's neice (Sonakshi Sinha), new in the village as well, invites Rajveer over to their home. In an interesting turn of events, our hero lands into the home of the people thirsting to murder him. What happens next forms the crux of the story.
The humour is sweet, even if it follows the rhyming sentences formula repeatedly. Sample this – Buddhe ke muh mein toffee, aur mehmanon ke muh se maafi, achi nahin lagti. Sandeep Chowta's background score is interesting, even if distracting. Music by Himesh Reshammiya is average, except the lovely Bichadan song.
The film goes overboard most of the times. To show Sanjay Dutt as the epitome of strength and valor is ridiculous (they even have a lion's roar, when he turns). Then you have the saccharine kid who says things like, Pyaar ho gaya hai sardaar ko.
Ajay Devgn makes for a tepid sardaar. He holds his own at times, but in some portions is unable to hold the scene. Sonakshi Sinha does extremely well—she looks great despite the average styling and gives a superb performance. Sanjay Dutt is likeable in the scenes where he is helpless, but overdoes the macho act in the film. Salman Khan’s cameo entry, as Rajveer's friend, is well-timed, and is short but effective.
Ashwani Dhir, (known for the famous Office Office series), makes a film that's funny, has the stars, the songs, and the emotions.
An internet joke doing the rounds is that SOS will be hated by the critics and loved by the masses. I disagree. This critic thinks it's an above-average watch, but not exceptional at all. And I'm sure the audience will vouch for that! Rating: Three stars