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Review Punjabi

Ik Sandhu Hunda Si review: Mindless film that promotes toxic masculinity and glorifies violence

Release Date: 28 Feb 2020

Cinestaan Rating

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Sukhpreet Kahlon

Gippy Grewal makes an unconvincing action hero in a film that justifies violence that stems from bruised egos and small insults.

The poster for the film Ik Sandhu Hunda Si gives one a fair idea what the film will be about. Gippy Grewal stands with his back to the camera, hockey stick in hand, as some shadowy figures approach.

Grewal plays college student Sandhu who, along with pals Grewal, Kang and Gill, has significant clout among the students as he basically bashes up anyone who crosses his path. There are some cursory remarks made about him being a nice guy at heart, but we don’t see that much.

There is the typical gang whose ringmaster is Kaala (Vikramjeet Virk), supported by an MLA Jagga (Pawan Malhotra), who wants to win the student elections. To thwart Kaala’s plan, Sandhu puts up his own candidate, Grewal. There is much posturing and egos are bruised, which leads to scuffles and choreographed action sequences in slow motion.

Then Sandhu falls in love with Simran (Neha Sharma), who happens to be Jagga’s sister. Sounds familiar? Can you guess the ending? Yes, because we have seen this plot play out in innumerable films in the 1990s. Yet it mystifyingly persists!

Directed by Rakesh Mehta, the film offers nothing new. It is ostensibly about taking a hard look at the murky world of student politics that is fuelled by the fire of youth and blind desire for power but gets reduced to vengeance being exacted for slights and insults.

The film also quickly does away with the theme of student politics. The second half is all about the love story, which involves more fight scenes in slow motion where villains go flying high up in the air with one punch. In all this, much like what is happening in the country, the police stand around like mute spectators, dancing to the tune of politicians.

Grewal makes an unconvincing action hero and only shines in the comic scenes that are few and far between. Neha Sharma has acted well and looks gorgeous in her stylish costumes but has little to do in this story about men and violence. Pawan Malhotra continues his streak of understated villainy and is always a delight to watch. But the real revelation is Vikramjeet Virk, who is impressive, both in stature and performance, as the formidable villain desperate to teach Sandhu a lesson.

The romantic melody 'Galib', sung by B Praak, stands out along with the fun, foot-tapping number, 'Ginti'.

I wish the film had stressed more on ideas of friendship in a positive way instead of saying that the true test of friendship is to bash up one’s opponents. Or perhaps this is just a sign of the trigger-happy violent times that we live in.


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