The year is 1971, and the face-offs between Pakistani and Indian soldiers are escalating before the Bangladesh Liberation War finally takes place that year
A still from the film
Gadar 2: The Katha Continues
U/A: Action, drama
Dir: Anil Sharma
Cast: Sunny Deol, Ameesha Patel, Utkarsh Sharma
In times where sequels are a dime a dozen, Gadar 2: The Katha Continues is unusual as it comes 22 years after the mammoth success of the first instalment, Gadar: Ek Prem Katha. The narrative begins with a recap of the first film and introduces us to Tara Singh’s (Sunny Deol) family life with wife Sakeena (Ameesha Patel) and son Charanjeet, aka Jeete (Utkarsh Sharma). The year is 1971, and the face-offs between Pakistani and Indian soldiers are escalating before the Bangladesh Liberation War finally takes place that year.
A turn of events compels the simple truck driver Tara to cross the border and rescue his son from their nemesis, Major General Hamid Iqbal (Manish Wadhwa). How Jeete ends up in the clutches of the fanatical Pakistani army officer isn’t entirely surprising. Whether you have seen Gadar or not, you will know how Gadar 2 will pan out. And that is exactly the problem with this film.
When Gadar emerged as a blockbuster, one heard from a few actors and filmmakers that it was a writer’s film. This time around, it appears as if the writer, Shaktimaan Talwar, was blindly following instructions to repeat the success of the 2001 film. As the captain of this ship, director Anil Sharma chooses to more or less stick to the same template. At the end of it, there isn’t much difference between how Tara brought Sakeena back 22 years ago and how he rescues their college-going son Jeete now. Moreover, Sharma also retains the same treatment, look, feel, and VFX as the first instalment. There are so many ‘kuchh bhi’ moments that this film is not only unintentionally funny but also seems like a mockery of its predecessor. A case in point is the hand-pump sequence.
Deol is in his element, be it when he is romantically singing Udd jaa kaale kaawa, getting emotional about his son, roaring like an angry lion, or smashing enemy soldiers with cannon wheels and electric poles. It is only his presence that makes one bravely sit through the movie and root for the character. Patel’s character could very well be termed as an extended cameo, as most of the action takes place across the border while she waits at home (in Punjab) for her husband and son to return. The actor plays her part like she did two decades ago.
Sharma Jr. i.e. Utkarsh, tries too hard, whether it is at playing Jeete or imitating Hindi cinema’s late legends like Prithviraj Kapoor, Dev Anand, and Rajesh Khanna. At times, especially when Deol is missing from the screen, it feels like Gadar 2 is simply a relaunch vehicle for Utkarsh. Simratt Kaur, as the Pakistani girl Muskaan, who loses her heart to Jeete’s very filmi ways, is passable.
Mushtaq Khan as Gul Khan (Tara Singh’s close friend) and Ehsan Khan lend due support as they reprise their roles from the first instalment. Gaurav Chopra as Lt Col Devendra Rawat and Luv Sinha as Muskaan’s brother Farid play their parts as expected.
The recreated versions of Udd jaa kaale kaawa and Main nikla gaddi leke are pleasing to the ears. The rest of the songs are rather forgettable and don’t even play in your mind the moment you exit the theatre.
All said and done, Gadar 2 gives you the déjà vu feeling, but it is not a pleasant one. You would rather rewatch Gadar: Ek Prem Katha to get over its sequel.