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CHAAR SAHIBZAADE : RISE OF BANDA SINGH BAHADUR (Punjabi/Hindi) - With no energetic & exciting portrayal, this can strictly be watched for some lesser known historical facts of the early 18th century, but not as any detailed, insightful account of the era. (Review By Bobby Sing)

22 Nov, 2016 | Movie Reviews / 2016 Releases

Coming straight to the point this so called sequel of the widely appreciated animation film CHAAR SAHIBZAADE isn’t any energetic, action-packed, exciting portrayal of the Sikh warrior BANDA SINGH BAHADUR (mostly) shattering the huge expectations. The film also doesn’t offer any detailed representation of the era led by the valiant Sikh and actually fails to compliment the man on his historical achievements made and the triumph achieved. Plus it also tends to becomes ‘quite filmy’ in execution bringing in the vengeance element and thus remains just a casually made film on a quite explosive and potential subject having much to convey.   
At the same time, it does have another hugely important and lesser known revealing account of the planned assassination of the tenth Guru of Sikhs, GURU GOBIND SINGH and his last days spent in Nanded (Maharashtra), finally ending the lineage (succession/sequence) of Sikh Gurus declaring Sri Guru Granth Sahib as ‘the eternal Guru’ forever. Yet the film cannot be referred to as any well-documented, historically informative film if you wish to know about the brave Banda Singh Bahadur in particular.
In actual terms I would like to call this so called sequel conceived and written with A GREED in mind to encash the huge success enjoyed by CHAAR SAHIBZAADE (2014) which was way beyond the expectations of everyone involved. So keeping the same in mind they deliberately kept the title as CHAAR SAHIBZAADE 2 : RISE OF BANDA SINGH BAHADUR which was an intentional mistake made compromising with the main subject actually requiring the entire attention and a completely dedicated/focused film to be exact.
Putting it differently, in order to justify their ‘clever title’ and with a motive of exploiting ‘the successful emotional element’ of the unmatchable young sacrifices, the makers bring back the ‘Chaar Sahibzaade’ again into the narration along with Guru Gobind Singh’s final days and then respectfully give them a considerable amount of time too before coming on to their main subject of ‘The Rise of Banda Singh Bahadur’. As a result almost the complete first half goes into this long deliberate build-up and the film actually comes to its basic subject quite late in the duration, hugely affecting the film’s overall impact and the big expectations.
In more blunt words, instead of explaining the entire relevant background through a voice over in the beginning, the makers intentionally keep the focus on the Guru and his sons and then hurriedly show everything related with Banda Singh Bahadur without going into the much expected details or insights raising the excitement levels. Moreover, many extremely important details like ‘Zafarnama’, ‘the possible meeting of Aurangzeb with Guru Gobind Singh’, ‘The Sikh Raj’s first coin’, ‘the revolts within the forces’ and more get narrated in the end credits voice over (by Om Puri) which ideally should have been there in the film itself reaching out to the each and every person sitting in the theater.
Sadly in the present format I don’t expect everyone to sit quiet and listen to the long end-credits voice-over with patience (as last experienced in film PINK wherein the fabulously narrated poem by Amitabh along the end credits was not heard by a majority of people already gone out of the theater.) In technical terms, the background score is just okay, the animation looks fine without any major innovation tried but the 3D version doesn’t provide you any extra pleasure.  
Making it clear for friends who are not entirely familiar with this specific phase of Sikh history in the early 18th century, the film is just a general presentation of the era and refuses to deal with any descriptive portrayal of those times for its own undisclosed reasons.
For instance, though said to be based on the key years in the life of Banda Singh Bahadur, it doesn’t reveal any major information on how he got transformed from a saint to a soldier, how Guru Gobind Singh convinced or impressed him to leave his entire ‘saadhna’ joining the Khalsa force and what was or probably what would have been the indicative dialogue between the two (of which no authentic documentation is available)?
Personally speaking, I was most interested in the same and the film disappointed me a lot when it completely ignored the ‘so important’ dialogue between Guru Gobind Singh and Madho Das (before getting transformed into Banda Singh Bahadur) which surely would have been as enlightening and uplifting as the sacred dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjun standing in the battle field of MAHABHARAT.
Anyway besides this most important ‘miss’ the film also doesn’t reveal any controversies related with the times of Banda Singh Bahadur and thus is exactly made like the recent biopic DHONI wherein too we are shown the hero in all positive light ignoring or hiding the lesser known grey areas with a purpose.
For example, it doesn’t go into any kind of criticism of Banda Singh Bahadur regarding his questionable ego-trip or the divisions seen in the followers as stated in history books by many renowned historians and therefore gives you an irresponsibly incomplete information about the figure like a very safe and carefully written film presented as a deliberate sequel.
Also in a sequence it goes on interpreting a Gurbani verse in the most wrongly but commonly quoted manner whereas it has much deeper meaning clearly revealing the writers lack of research. In addition, the soundtrack is just average and one of its tracks (rendered by Sukhwinder) takes the clear inspiration for its hook line from the song ‘Wo Kisna Hai’ (KISNA), also interestingly sung by Sukhwinder only. Wonder why he didn’t point it out to the composer mentioned as Rabbi Shergill in the film’s official You Tube jukebox details?
Summing up CHAAR SAHIBZAADE : RISE OF BANDA SINGH BAHADUR is certainly not any film made straight from the heart like the earlier bigger hit widely appreciated all over the globe. This is in fact a much cleverly made ‘business project’ which deliberately mixes the genre of ‘an emotional religious film’ with ‘a historical’ one’ in order to exploit the eager viewers getting some instant returns.
However, I will still like to wholeheartedly praise the film for its clear revelation of Guru Gobind Singh’s death as a divine, blessed soul in a human body suffering from a deep, imperfectly healing wound. Otherwise a large part of the unaware and innocent Sikhs still lovingly believe that the visionary Guru simply vanished into the jungle or thin air one fine day along with his blue horse.
So do watch the film but only considering it as a beginner’s informative step into the crucial part of the history and then go on re-searching for details to get a much finer perspective.
Rating : 2.5 + 0.5 / 5 (with the additional 0.5 for making the important revelation of Guru Gobind Singh’s death.)

Tags : CHAAR SAHEBZAADE : RISE OF BANDA SINGH BAHADUR Review by Bobby Sing, CHAAR SAHEBZAADE 2 Review by Bobby Sing, Chaar Sahibzaade sequel film review by Bobby Sing, Punjabi film about Sikh history, Animation film in Punjabi, Banda Singh Bahadur Animation Film, Guru Gobind Singh and his four brave sons, the Mughal emperors and Sikh Gurus and leaders, Sikhs in the early 18th century.
22 Nov 2016 / Comment ( 0 )
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