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'Gadar 2' Review: Makes You Wonder Why You Shouldn't Just Watch 'Gadar' Again

'Gadar 2' stars Ameesha Patel and Sunny Deol in the lead, and hit theatres on 11 August.

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Rating: 1.5/5 Quints

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If one decides to make a sequel, especially to a film that has become a cult classic, you'd assume it's because they have something new to say. Maybe the film will attempt to adjust to today's cinema landscape. It doesn't. 

'Gadar 2' stars Ameesha Patel and Sunny Deol in the lead, and hit theatres on 11 August.

Sunny Deol and Ameesha Patel in a still from Gadar 2.

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

In Gadar: Ek Prem Katha, Sunny Deol's Tara Singh growled and thrashed his way through his enemies to get his wife Sakina (Ameesha Patel) back from her father's (Amrish Puri) house in Pakistan. 

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The same domineering, enraged Tara Singh fills the screen in Gadar 2 as he is on his way to growl and thrash everyone standing in his way to get his son (Utkarsh Sharma) back from Pakistan. The template is so similar that one wonders why there's a second film to say exactly what the first film said. 

'Gadar 2' stars Ameesha Patel and Sunny Deol in the lead, and hit theatres on 11 August.

A still from Gadar 2.

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

Gadar: Ek Prem Katha was criticised for being too loud and flashy and melodramatic and for being an unequivocally jingoistic film. The sequel walks in its predecessor's flawed footsteps. 

It's 1971 and Tara, Sakina, and their son Charanjeet are living happily ever after, even though Tara is disappointed at his son’s career choices. On the other hand, war is on the horizon. One border skirmish later, Tara is presumed to be imprisoned across the border and Jeete (Charanjeet) sets off to rescue him. 

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Sakina (Patel) doesn’t have much to do in the film, especially after the main conflict is kicked off. A love interest is introduced for Jeete as well, Muskaan (Simrat Kaur), a young girl he meets in Pakistan. High emotional heft is demanded of all actors and they deliver. But since literally nothing else is demanded of them, no moments of quiet comfort or subtle resilience, everything comes across as being seeped in melodrama. 

'Gadar 2' stars Ameesha Patel and Sunny Deol in the lead, and hit theatres on 11 August.

A still from Gadar 2.

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

The film doesn't leave space for a viewer to catch their breath and that's not because it has high-octane action sequences that keep you at the edge of your seat. The background score is so loud that words like silence and foley completely lose their meaning; almost every dialogue is punctuated with a soundtrack of its own. 

The one thing working for Gadar 2 is its nostalgia – the songs from Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (the evergreen 'Main Nikla Gaddi Leke' for instance) evoke the same foot-thumping as they did all those years ago. 

The Gadar 2 originals, even though not bad songs, don't have any of that charm. 

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The camerawork in Gadar 2 is stable but that’s about it. There is no distance from the subject; there is no desire to let the story tell itself. For instance, when a bullet is shot and the camera jolts into the shot, it’s disconcerting. When dutch angles are placed randomly across the really long runtime, it’s jarring. 

If you’re a fan of a hypermasculine hero uprooting large infrastructure straight out of the ground, Gadar 2 might pack a punch for you because Tara Singh is all Tara Singh.
'Gadar 2' stars Ameesha Patel and Sunny Deol in the lead, and hit theatres on 11 August.

A still from Gadar 2.

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

The loss of Amrish Puri means that the film doesn’t have a staunch villain keeping it in place. Most of the action scenes come across as nonsensical because it feels like the people on the other side of the fight also want the main father-son duo to win. How, then, is one supposed to feel tension?

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Indian cinema has come a long way from needing to rely on over the top dialogues screamed over an even louder background score; almost pushing the audience to feel what the characters feel. Even the very subtle anti-war messaging in Gadar: Ek Prem Katha is replaced with a ‘me vs you’. 

'Gadar 2' stars Ameesha Patel and Sunny Deol in the lead, and hit theatres on 11 August.

A still from Gadar 2.

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

Think of war films like Shershaah or Pathaan and think of Bollywood masala like Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani. We’re at a place where Indian cinema, while still keeping in touch with Bollywood roots, is evolving into a new sensibility, and is adjusting to its audience. In a time like this, a film that boasts of nothing new brings only that to the table – nothing new. 

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Sunny Deol   ameesha patel   Gadar 2 movie 

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