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Sardar (1957) – Review


Silver Screen Pictures’ Sardar is a successful box-office film. It was not meant to be anything more than that. The producers make no other pretence. They are pretty near the mark in guessing what their public wants more than anything else, thrill and action and full-blooded comedy. They have accordingly rehashed the story of Helen and Paris to suit the local taste. The picture’s success should satisfy them and bring the industry in its present depression some measure of much-needed confidence.

It is a love story set against a background of tribal feud. The peace between two tribes, Sandal and Gaundal—is disturbed by an incident in which a Sandal is killed by one of the sons of the Gaundal chief. The incident is exploited by Shikra, the evil star that guides the Sandal chief, Murad. The Gaundals make several attempts at conciliation but in vain.

In this atmosphere of tension, Nadir Khan, the youngest and “fairest and wisest” son of the Gaundal chief,crosses the river to persuade Sandals to keep peace. He reaches the other bank after barely escaping drowning, to be picked up by a pretty Sandal girl, Noori. She comes to the rescue of Nadir again when he is thrown into dungeon by Shikra and Murad. When Nadir returns home, Noori is with him.

Among the Sandals, Noori is an unwelcome visitor. The old chief’s apprehensions come true. Noori’s face, like that of Helen, does not launch a thousand ships, for there is no sea between the tribes, but it does set a thousand torches ablaze. The Sandals array their forces before the Gaundal fort. The scene of Hector’s encounter with Achilles is re-enacted, only Paris does not find the vulnerable heel of victorious Achilles. The pledge to return Noori to Gaundals is fulfilled but Shikra’s treachery forces the Sandals to rush back to the fort along with Noori. Shikra then leads a raid on the fort and in the fierce battle which ensues, evil is wiped out and the lovers survive to breathe in peace and

The classic tale has been adapted with thorough practical-mindedness. Alternates and substitutes are in accordance with resources. Both the writer and the director show a sense of assimilation. They have replaced its high and subtle notes by something which is obvious and plain, in order to make it more easily understood and appreciated.

Of their own they put in a strong element of box-office comedy. In treatment they rely completely on the power of tempo and action. It is to their credit that whatever they do, they do not let the
tempo slacken, and the audience is carried away by the action, whether it is heroism or clowning.

The picture owes much of its success to its continuity of action. The director rightly puts more emphasis on this quality than on the technique of composition. Yet there are, here and there, flaws and slips, in continuity, make-up, division of shots, and selection of camera angles, which could have been easily removed. As it is the direction is uneven, but its bright patches show the director could do more.

Year – 1957

Language – Urdu

Country – Pakistan

Producer – Sami Dehalvi

Director – M.S.Dar

Music Director – Chishti

Box-Office Status – Hit

Cast – Sabiha Khanum, Santosh, Ilyas, Nayyar Sultana, Nazar

Miscellaneous Information

Songs List

SongYearSingersMusic DirectorLyricist(s)
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