Biopics are the flavor of tinseltown these days and soon after Neerja and Azhar we have another biopic hitting the screens this week – Sarbjit. If Omung Kumar showcased his expertise in storytelling with Mary Kom then Sarbjit confirms the fact that he is no flash in the pan. Based on a real life character Sarbjit featuring the ever so talented Randeep Hooda and beautiful Aishwarya Rai, is an eye opener of a movie. This brother-sister saga will churn your heart and will make you question being a human. Even animals will never put their kind through such atrocities the way one human being might do to another.

Sarbjit Singh (Randeep Hooda) is a farmer who’s a doting brother, husband and father who is humiliated in the most despicable ways in jails in Pakistan for allegedly being Ranjit Singh, the mastermind behind the ghastly Lahore blasts. His stoic sister Dalbir Kaur (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) makes herculean efforts to attain freedom for her brother. Sarbjit’s wife Sukhpreet (Richa Chadha) silently raises two daughters Poonam (Ankita Shrivastava) and Swapan (Shivani Saini) with a hope to see her husband free one day. Dalbir tries out every conceivable option including meeting the Prime Minister of India while Sarbjit desperately collects whatever vestiges of family that he could through stray letters. A Pakistani lawyer Awais Shaikh (Darshan Kumaar) takes over Sarbjit’s case and battles out fanatic forces to try to obtain a semblance of justice for Sarbjit and his beleaguered family.

Writing a screenplay about a real life personality is a Herculean task and one should applaud Utkarshini Vashishtha and Rajesh Beri for the same. The movie is a dark movie with no scope for entertainment but Omung Kumar does a fabulous job with his direction to keep the audience attention captivated. Randeep Hooda has given his career best and gets into the skin of Sarbjit. Some of the torture scenes in the jail will make you squirm in your seats.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan barring few high-octane scenes where she goes overboard with histrionics delivers a strong performance. Richa Chaddha as Sukhpreet does a wonderful job. She knew very well that the movie rests on the shoulders of Aishwarya and Randeep and therefore instead of competing with them for screen presence she does a fabulous job with her limited screen time.

The music by Jeet Ganguly, Shail-Pritesh, Amal Malik and Tanishk Bagchi goes with the mood of the movie. The background is quite gripping and the locales are well captured by the lens of Kiran Deohans. Editing could have been crisper especially in the second half towards the end.

On the whole Sarbjit is a gripping human tale which every Indian should watch.

My Verdict: ****