Indeed, Gadar is pulp history, and it's not the best picture in its presentation of the warring sides. Set during the 1947 India-Pakistan Partition, the film tells the love story between Tara Singh, a Sikh truck driver, and Sakina, a girl coming from an aristocratic Muslim family. The film presents the atrocities of war during Partition, with particular emphasis on the Punjab riots, where Hindus and Muslims kill each other on each group's migration to their destined country (India/Pakistan). Tara, aiming to kill Muslims, is shocked to find Sakina, whom he used to know years before Partition. He takes her under his protection and gives her shelter in gratitude of her kindness to him before.
Gadar is not a historical film, but it's quite a remarkable epic film in its extraordinary entertainment value. The film is thoroughly watchable and interesting, and it keeps the viewers (well it kept me, for sure) on the edge of their seats for its entire duration. The proceedings move at a fast pace, and even more so as the story unfolds. The romantic portions are beautiful and actually quite subtly done (note the scene where Sakeena helps Tara wear his turban, or the scene where she confesses to him - wonderful). The action that follows is excellent, and their escape later on is one of the most thrilling, entertaining and well-shot sequences of its kind.
The production values in this regard are fantastic. The sets and costumes are excellently chosen to create the desired atmosphere of that era. The film's huge tonal shift from brutal riots to pure romance and marital bliss to action-packed thriller makes the entire experience into quite an exhilarating rollercoaster ride. The traditional music is wonderful, and Uttam Singh can always be counted on to deliver beautiful melodies. Yes, some of the later parts get overblown both emotionally and in terms of the portrayal of the animosity between the two sides which is really a little childish and hard to believe, but it's a movie, and it's all within the context of a mainstream Hindi film.
Sunny Deol is tremendous in the lead role. I've liked him ever since his debut back in 1983 with Betaab, and here he gives a passionate, intense performance both in the early portions where he brilliantly plays Tara's innocent shyness and wholesome personality and in the later parts where he turns into the fierce action star he is known to be. His leading lady, Amisha Patel is luminous in a beautiful performance that remains her best work to this day. I wish she made more use of her tremendous potential. Amrish Puri is excellent because he always is although his part veers into caricature, and Lillete Dubey is very good, too. Tu sum it up, Gadar is a true cinematic experience fulfilling exactly what cinema is all about in the end: entertainment. There's plenty of it here.
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Amongst the communal riots that erupt in the city, Tara shelters a wayward Sakina from a crazed mob and a bond that blossoms into love is created. The two eventually get married and have a son. The happy family, now living in Amritsar, gets the shock of their lives when Sakina learns that her father (Amrish Puri),whom she previously believed died in the riots back in Amritsar, is still alive after seeing his picture in a tattered, old newspaper. Upon contacting him, Sakina's father, now the mayor of Lahore in Pakistan, arranges for his daughter to arrive in Lahore to see him. Sakina leaves for Lahore minus Tara and her son, and upon reaching the city, learns of her father's plans for her - plans that include forcing Sakina to forget about her family and start life anew in Pakistan. Then begins an extraordinary journey which will lead Tara to cross the border into Pakistan to find his love Sakina.—<a href="/cdn-cgi/l/email-protection" class="__cf_email__" data-cfemail="422523342b2c0231372c2c3b">[email protected]</a><a href="/cdn-cgi/l/email-protection" class="__cf_email__" data-cfemail="4c13282923207e7c7c750c352d242323622f2321">[email protected]</a>
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