Shivam’s review published on Letterboxd:
Shoojit Sircar just shot way up on my list to be the person I want to meet before I die, and I cannot say anything more about this film with my small status. Just the film we need.
There is a rhythmic tone to this whole film from start to just before the climax, where the rhythm is instantly broken like a thread hanging on a seriously depressing hold. Sardar Udham is a film made for people who don't know about one of the darkest chapters in Indian history but also ironically very targeted towards Indians to wake up and realise that it has 75% of it's youth currently rotting away while not being able to contribute into the freedom which HSRA envisioned. The film makes the point that the smallest of events that are forgotten in history played a role in matrix. Not just this shooting, but the bomb on charriots of bangal by Anirban, Chittagong stand and countless others - which are left behind as just footnotes by us Indians too. It is a shame that we have allowed the narrow lane of Jallianwala Bagh to be rebuilt into a sort of amusement park now with lightings/ music and widening it by 7× — completely whitewashing the blood that left it's print there and the symbolism of that narrow lane.
Udham Singh reinforces it that there is a stark difference between senseless violence and representative rebellion. It never propogates violence but knows that there are times when pacifism is not the only straw to hold — it uses that as a form of justice and representation by making general dyer the face of evil, instead of a sole perpetrator. It also shows that violence breeds violence and that it should be the last attempt with making a contrast between the use of violence for instating fear (dyer) and need of violence for making a statement and opening deaf ears.
Make no mistake, the film is far from a factual retelling of sardar udham's life as there is a darth of paper trail and he is still a mystery. But, what it gives Udham Singh and countless others who were killed in the massacre their identity (the credit roll out includes literally everyone) which we denied them for a long time. Sircar by using an almost hour long, excruciatingly painful retelling of massacre forced us to see and step out of the bubble instantly as to what still happens in countless protests such as CAA/ Farmer's/ Teacher's — where we sleep at our house and countless keep dying by the hands of state. The difference is that Udham Singh not just grieved for one night, he remembered it for years whereas we as a dying democracy are just research material of short memory and nothing else.
P.S I would've preferred it if in the last scene after bathing and his new birth Udham (Vicky Kaushal) would've looked directly/ glimpsed towards the audience through the screen as a passing torch to let the fire burn for revolution.