Turban-toting Sikhs wear their pride in their crown and director Anurag Singh, who has given Punjabi film lovers their first superhero with his fantasy adventure Super Singh, doesn’t let us forget it for a second. The concept that Sikhs are selflessly benevolent and eager to help the distressed is re-inforced with sickening intensity.
While it’s sweet at first, it gets cloyingly virtuous toward the second half.
The character Super Singh, played by Diljit Dosanjh, begins on a promising note — an affable Punjabi lad is going through an identity crisis and believes that he is a white person trapped in a brown man’s body. He yearns to fit into Canadian circles and his life revolves around impressing a blonde woman, who dumps him because of their different cultures. Singh has done a neat job of painting the social milieu of Sikhs living in Montreal and Dosanjh is instantly endearing as a misfit. The jokes come easy in the first half and the scenes in which an unsuspecting hero stumbles upon a set of super powers is cheeky. Just like the iconic Hollywood superheroes Superman or Spiderman, the super Punjabi counterpart can swoop down buildings, lift a drowning ferry with passengers on his mighty shoulders and pluck his best pal from dangerous gun-strapped criminals. He doesn’t break a sweat during his brave rescue missions and has a perennial grin that makes it all look like child’s play.
But it’s the second half of Super Singh, in which the superhero reaches his native Punjab, that feels laboured. A predictable storyline and stereotypical villains make it a tedious watch. At 170 minutes, it’s long and would have benefitted from some tight editing.
Sonam Bajwa, who plays Sam’s childhood friend, doesn’t have much to do other than look pretty in pastels and her well-sculpted lips can be a tad distracting. All that cuteness just gets tiring when you realise that a strong storyline isn’t coming to a viewer’s rescue at any point.
Watch this only if you are a fan of Dosanjh or if you are in the mood to indulge in some Punjabi pride.
Film: Super Singh
Language: Punjabi with English and Arabic subtitles
Director: Anurag Singh
Running time: 170 minutes
Stars: Diljit Dosanjh and Sonam Bajwa
Rating: 2 out of 5