Sardar Review - A spy thriller that is overlong but reasonably engaging!

PUBLISHED DATE : 21/Oct/2022

Sardar Review - A spy thriller that is overlong but reasonably engaging!

Sardar - A spy thriller that is overlong but reasonably engaging!

Bharath Vijayakumar


P.S. Mithran’s Sardar is about a father and a son. It also has a message regarding a social menace. And it is a spy thriller. There is quite a lot stuffed into Sardar and this is one reason for its runtime of 2 hours and 46 minutes. The film starts off with the focus entirely on Inspector Vijaya Prakash (Karthi). He is a publicity freak who always wears a mischievous grin. We then learn the reason for his eagerness to gain a good name. His father was a traitor who let the country down or that is what everyone around tells him. But more about this comes later. Now it is about Vijaya Prakash and his romantic interest Shalini (Raashii Khanna), a lawyer who fights for the right. These initial scenes aren’t anything new, but Karthi makes it enjoyable. We have the mandatory meeting, flirting and a song. Enters Sameera (Laila), a social activist and things turn serious. She is trying to expose a serious menace and this episode is quite similar to what we saw Sneha do in Mohan Raja’s Vellaikaran. Karthi follows the trail and things start leading to the titular character and the secrets that he is holding.


The Sardar Karthi makes an entry towards the interval with quite some build-up and this segment (again quite typical) is one of the high moments of the film. Post interval, we have an elaborate flashback that explains what Sardar’s mission was and what it has to do with the current happenings. P.S. Mithran ensures that Sardar remains engaging right through. The movie is quite long but it always moves at a rapid pace. After the initial setup there is almost no flab, and the focus is entirely on the core plot. I was assuming that the focus would be back on Vijaya Prakash, and he would be the one saving the day, but it is all Sardar post interval.


The issue with Sardar, like most action and mass films these days is the villain. I really don’t get the idea behind having a North Indian villain speaking Tamil with poor lip sync. This idea of having even foreigners speak in their native language with a dubbed voiceover in Tamil keeps pushing you out of the film. Save Thuppakki, I am not sure if this idea worked in any film. For you to root for the hero, you need to really hate the villain and there needs to be a strong challenge. The second half of Sardar moves at a brisk pace but where is the emotional attachment and a tension filled cat and mouse game? The stakes are high, but a nice seesaw battle with a strong villain would have made Sardar so much better. The emotions in the first half involving Laila and her son works. But the same cannot be said about the second half. Given the enormity of emotions involved, the film should have got us involved a lot more.



Sardar is sufficiently engaging and moves at a brisk pace. But it is overlong and lacks a strong villain. A globe-trotting spy thriller with multiple makeovers is a genre that Tamil cinema keeps floundering. With that in the equation, Sardar does a lot better and is definitely passable even when you aren’t entirely invested.


Rating: 3/5 

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