There was a video on YouTube where Karan Johar watches a scene from his very first movie Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and while he was watching the scene he was constantly saying the word “cringe”. But it seems like there are movie makers out there who are still fascinated by those old school dramas. The director duo Sudip and Geethika seem to be still interested in creating movies like those and thus Happy Sardar, the new movie starring Kalidas Jayaram is a cringe-worthy, clueless mix of all those outdated story ideas.
Happy Singh is in love with Mary who is a Knanaya Christian girl from a Kerala family. Happy’s mother is a Malayali Christian and his father is a Sikh. Mary’s father wanted her to marry a Knanaya Christian man as all his other daughters married people from other religions. And Happy’s father never wanted any association with Kerala. So the plan of the duo to convince their parents for their cross-cultural marriage is the story of Happy Sardar.
The Hero singing a song with the heroine in a train, heroine missing a train, heroine’s father can’t accept the hero, hero’s father can’t accept the heroine, but in the end everything will fall in place after a pile of melodrama; this was like the formula of almost all the hit romantic films in the ‘90s. Those Hindi movies I mentioned in the beginning and some of those Kunchako Boban movies like Aniyathipravu, Niram, etc all had this melodramatic fun approach. I am not saying Happy Sardar is as entertaining as those movies. Happy Sardar is one movie you will get when you kind of pick the clichéd moments these movies created back in the ‘90s. And the climax of the movie just goes on and on testing your endurance level. Happy Sardar is so bad that I can’t even think about any possible tweak in the script that could have made it any better.
Kalidas Jayaram is trying hard to be likable here. He doesn’t have that charm or maturity to convince us that he is that lover boy who is deeply in love with this girl. His performance lacks confidence and the directors’ decision to make him say all those Mohanlal references made it all the more annoying. Merin Philip was surprisingly good and I feel she might well have a long run in the industry. Compared to a caricature-like portrayal of Happy Singh by Kalidas Jayaram, Merin’s portrayal of Mary was not at all annoying. Siddique plays the role of the concerned father in a way that has now started to look repetitive. Bollywood actor Javed Jaffrey is there as Happy’s father. Praveena and Mala Parvathy play the roles of the mothers. Balu, Zinil, Vijilesh, Sreenath Bhasi, Siddhi, Anoop Chandran, and several others are there in the elaborate cast and it was Sharafudheen, who seemed to have improvised a lot of his lines for the pointless comedy character, who helped me in reducing my pain of sitting through this dumb romance.
Sudip and Geethika are not interested in creating characters from the base. Every character is way too thin. They are not building a smooth enough path to each scene. The script of this movie seems like a collection of familiar scenes the director duo wanted to recreate from their favorite movies. There is nothing wrong in paying a tribute to your favorite scenes or situations. But you need a solid enough story to make it all engaging. The writing towards the end is extremely terrible and I found myself frequently looking at the watch to know when will they stop stretching the climax. The edits were tacky and it was hard to believe that the man behind movies like Amen and Double Barrel has done the cinematography for this film. The music suited the movie, but the placement of most of the songs was awkward.
Around that 45 minutes mark, Merin Philip’s Mary says she has a headache and now I realize that it was a fourth-wall-breaking moment. Happy Sardar is that film, which will make you wonder what it was in the script that made producer Haseeb Haneef bankroll this project. And dear filmmakers, please stop including Mohanlal references to cover up creative mediocrity.
Around that 45 minutes mark, Merin Philip’s Mary says she has a headache and now I realize that it was a fourth-wall-breaking moment.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended