There is a great big debate now going on in India as to whether the new government in Delhi is deliberately underplaying / degrading the Nehru family legacy while hijacking another Indian National Congress icon Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
My readers know well that I have not been a fan of the INC since the sixties of the last century for some very personal reasons and the dislike for them grew just more when I suffered as a victim during the National Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi.
From among the old INC figures some figures however have always meant to be heroes for me like Rajaji, Sardar Patel, Maulana Azad, Kamaraj etc, and so when my friend Ramesh J, not my partner in crime Ramesh T, recommended that I must see the film Sardar on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, I sent for a DVD and have just seen it.
First things first. This film was made and screened in 1993. That is over two decades ago when the INC was firmly in power in most of the country unlike today. So, it is not as though this film has suddenly been revived to showcase the Sardar. Moreover, I was warned that it would be almost three hours long of viewing but I would enjoy the experience. When I had posted in my facebook wall that I had bought the DVD, many people commented that it would be a great experience.
It was. As a person who was born before India became independent and who had grown up with stories of how India won its independence and stories of its great leaders, revisiting many events from my boyhood was a riveting experience. I only regret that I was unable to see the film when it was released. I was really too involved with my career at that point of time to see movies and this was one such missed opportunity. It is never too late and I am glad that Ramesh got me to see this marvellous film with a powerful story about a man who fully deserves all that he is now getting after years of neglect from the Nehru family and its sycophants.
The acting, direction, editing and dialogues/script all merit appreciation and the trouble taken to depict the period with appropriate dress, vehicles, furniture etc is commendable.
I personally believe, that this is a film that every Indian must see and preferably shown in schools to children when they study Indian history and the period of independence and the immediate aftermath.
I really have no choice in the matter. The film gets [rating=6].