Happy Sardar (2019) Malayalam Movie Review – Veeyen


‘Happy Sardar’ is a perfect example of how a probably brilliant idea on paper could evolve into a damp squib on screen. There is a fat chance that the romance in it would move you or the comedy in it would have you clutching your stomachs, and sans any real thought or notion, this Sardar and his gang brings you no joy.


For those of you who were eager to find out how jubilant this Sardar and his antics would be, I have got bad news.  Sudeep – Geethika’s directorial debut is a downright familiar romantic comedy that offers us little to crow about, and which on retrospect strikes you as a discordant tune that sets off quite a few errant notes.

Happy Singh (Kalidas Jayaram) is half Punjabi and half Malayali and is blissfully in love with Mary (Merin Philip). Mary is terrified at the future of her romance, since her dad (Siddique) had made her promise that she would marry into her community, unlike her three elder sisters who had ensured a pluralistic family by marrying men from three other religions.

This forms the central conflict in ‘Happy Sardar’ and things gets awry when the young couple sets out to make their respective parents see sense. For the older generation of people however, the disparities and differences are a bit too much to be ignored and while one thing leads to another, Happy and Merin realize that the world is a lot more warped than they had imagined it to be.

This is a story that has been done to death already, and the cultural context is what is expected to make ‘Happy Sardar’ different. While the Punjabi – Malayali love story is in itself compromised by making Happy a half Malayali, the rest of the focus is on how a very traditional Christian family takes to an alliance that arrives all the way from Punjab.

There are some very odd light moments that are scattered here and there in the film, and comedy certainly isn’t the film’s strong point. There are ample does of humour in it without doubt, but not the kind that would let it qualify as a film that has you in splits. The humour is quite uneven, and while it does try out almost all the comic tropes that are at its disposal, the impact that it has on the comedy quotient is ultimately minimal.

The running time of the film is close to one hundred and fifty minutes, and it seems and sounds immensely long for a film of this kind. It should also be mentioned that the film dives headlong into a puddle of melodrama towards the latter half, and all of it only serves to contribute to the joyless effort that it comes across as.

This is yet another downer from Kalidas Jayaram, and despite the young actor giving it his very best, ‘Happy Sardar’ wouldn’t be an impressive addition to his filmography.  Merin Philip looks pretty in a role that precisely requires her to do that, and there are noteworth supporting performances from actors as Siddique, Praveena, Javed Jaffrey and Sharafudeen.

‘Happy Sardar’ comes across as a vibrant affair on screen without doubt,  and cinematographer Abhinandan Ramanujam ensures that the film is a visual treat. The musical score by Gopi Sundar is peppy and adds to the colors that are shed off the screen.

‘Happy Sardar’ is a perfect example of how a probably brilliant idea on paper could evolve into a damp squib on screen. There is a fat chance that the romance in it would move you or the comedy in it would have you clutching your stomachs, and sans any real thought or notion, this Sardar and his gang brings you no joy.


Verdict: Dull Rom-Com


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