Director: KS Ravindra

Cast: Pawan Kalyan, Kajal Aggarwal, Brahmanandam, Sharad Kelkar, Kabir Duhan Singh, Mukesh Rishi, Rao Ramesh, Urvashi and Brahmaji

Language: Telugu

Rating: 2/5

In KS Ravindra-directed Sardaar Gabbar Singh, Pawan Kalyan is a treat to watch, even in the most cliched scenes and that’s why his fans love him. He knows how to play to the gallery, in his own nonchalant style. And although aware of his limitations as an actor, he pulls off his roles with ease. It’s applicable in the case of his latest outing, which is entertaining in parts, but is so lazily written that it is literally a struggle to sit through the film.

In Sardaar Gabbar Singh, Kalyan has doubled up as a writer, and one wonders if he had learnt anything from his maiden unsuccessful writing attempt in 2003 film Johnny, because his second attempt is worse than the first. The story follows the maverick police officer Gabbar Singh, who has a great sense of humour, and is transferred to the fictional town Rattanpur, where he takes on the oppressive land grabber Bhairav Singh and his gang head on. In a one man versus an army battle, Kalyan delivers pages of dialogues like some kid who has memorized lines for a recital contest in school.

The story, which you can predict quite early on where it’s heading, reminds one of the recent Ravi Teja-starrer Kick 2 among other films. More than the story, it’s the screenplay that’s outright boring, and the scenes are so haphazardly placed, they never flow seamlessly like they ought to.

It follows a simple pattern — action, romance, comedy — with ample crowd-pleasing moments for Kalyan’s fans to celebrate. However, after a point, even a hardcore Pawan Kalyan fan will be squirming in his seat, especially in the second half. Towards the fag end, the film gets even more annoying with the musical face-off with a rival gang. Kalyan dances to a few songs while reprising the famous veena step from his brother Chiranjeevi’s film, Indra.

Even though Pawan Kalyan the actor shines in Sardaar Gabbar Singh, the writer fails miserably, and there’s so much he needs to learn from this debacle. As the gun-toting Sardaar, he fails to hit the bull’s eye.