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Movies Ashdoc's Movie Review---Chaar Sahibzaade ( Hindi 3D )

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Movies Ashdoc's Movie Review---Chaar Sahibzaade ( Hindi 3D )


Movie Critic
Jul 19, 2011
It was a supremely tragic tale of heroism and martyrdom and sacrifice that this land had produced....and my eyes were already brimming with tears even before the movie began....

For those who don't know---the movie deals with the real life martyrdom of the four sons of the last guru of the Sikh religion , called Guru Gobind Singh . Of course , his family was not new to martyrdom---his father Guru Teg Bahadur had laid down his life to prevent the forcible conversion of hindu Kashmiri pandits to Islam by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb .

As Aurangzeb began to reverse the liberal policies established by his greatgrandfather Akbar and start instituting the jizya tax on nonmuslims , he was also bringing about the decline of the Mughal empire---he was destined to be the last great Mughal....

Out of the several forces ( like marathas ) that contributed to this decline , one was the Sikhs under their heroic leader Guru Gobind Singh ; it was he who created the character of what is the Sikh male today---bearded and hirsute , a turbaned person , and above all a warrior who was pledged to stand and fight because his distinct turbaned and bearded appearance gave him away among even a crowd....he could not melt away among the teeming millions....

But this animated movie concentrates only on the martyrdom of the Guru's sons . It does not show the story of the Guru in full .

A massive stumbling block was the fact that religious rules did not allow the walking talking animation of the Guru himself ; he could be shown as an immovable figure , but his animated figure was not allowed to emote or move . To be honest , this fact robs the movie of it's greatest asset---we do not see the fire in his voice when he rouses his soldiers , and the pain he must have doubtlessly felt when he sent his own children to a certain death....
But this very fact also allows his children to come out of the shadow of their illustrious father---if he had been shown emoting and acting , then their characters would have been overwhelmed by his sheer presence in the film .
By not showing the animated version of the Guru doing any 'acting' , the director allowed the children to become what they are intended to be---heroes of the film .

And only when you see the film do you know the true face of heroism---
It consists of two young men ( the Guru's elder sons ) offering themselves for martyrdom in the face of opposition from his soldiers...
It consists of them charging against an infinitely numerically superior enemy and cutting down many more than themselves before dying a heroic death on the battlefield....
It consists of the wives and mothers of those 40 Sikhs who fled away from the Guru shaming them to fight and die---and them fulfilling their wives and mothers' wishes in the end....
It consists of two young children ( the Guru's younger sons ) smiling brightly when betrayed and carried to the mughal camp....
It consists of the two children talking like lions when confronted by the mughal governor....
It consists of the two young sons refusing to convert to Islam and consenting to a suffocating death by being bricked alive....

And you also see the face of deviousness and barbarism in the film---
It consists of the guru's younger sons being betrayed by the very people who pretend to hide them...
It consists of power drunk mughal grandees forcing Islamic religious scholars to issue orders to kill innocent young children in open court...
It consists of evil butchers killing the two children by their hands when suffocation in brick walls is found insufficient to kill them....

It is obvious that the director could have exploded a minefield of religious hatred had he shown the battle of good versus evil in religious colours....
....And it is to his credit that he has not done so , by also showing those muslims who also helped the Sikhs---just to show that it is individuals who are good or bad , not any religion...

The absence of the Guru's voice was partially filled by the voice of actor Om Puri---and his narration did add some depth and emotion to the heroic scenes....

The animation of the various characters was not great , and the 3D effects were minimal....
Obviously the film was going to rely on the depth of the heroism and bravery and self sacrifice in the story to win the hearts and minds of the audience , rather than rely on any 3D effects or any animation .
And to a large extent it did win the hearts and minds , for the whole film came across as a sincere effort to show the unflinching sacrifice of the guru's sons . Music was emotional , and fit for such a film .

Verdict---Very decent effort for me , but for any Sikh or indeed any Punjabi---it's a must see....


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May 11, 2010
Ancient Greece
I watched the movie in its 2D Punjabi version. Being a Sikh, it was a very passionate one for me, I couldn't control my tears, especially during the sequence between Mata Gujri Ji and the younger Sahibzaade. The dialogues and direction are awesome; the animation could have been better, but movies like these are a big fillip to our nascent Indian animation industry. As far as the historical accuracy of the movie is concerned, it goes strictly by the book.

What is heartening is that not only Sikhs, but people from all religions have been turning out in large numbers to watch the movie. The multiplex and two single screens showing the movie in my city have been running houseful shows ever since the movie's release.

If you haven't watched the movie, I suggest you to do it soon, and trust me you wont regret it.

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