Sarbjit is a 2016 Indian biographical drama film directed by Omung Kumar. The film features Aishwarya Rai as Dalbir Kaur and Randeep Hooda portrays the title role Sarabjit Singh, an Indian man who was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 1991 and who consequently spent 22 years in prison for alleged terrorism and spying.While Richa Chadda and Darshan Kumar play supporting roles.
Made on a production budget of ₹15 crore and marketed at ₹8 crore, Sarbjit premiered at the 69th Cannes Film Festival and was released on 20 May 2016 to mixed reactions from critics.The film turned out to be a profitable venture at box-office by grossing about ₹43.88 crore worldwide after its two-week run.
Dalbir Kaur (Aishwarya Rai), two years after she suffers the stillbirth of her daughter, leaves her abusive husband Baldev (Ankur Bhatia) and arrives to stay with Sarbjit’s family. She works in a textile mill to support the family alongside Sarbjit. Sarbjit Singh (Randeep Hooda) lives in Bhikhiwind, Punjab with his wife Sukhpreet (Richa Chadda), their two daughters Poonam (Ankita Shrivastav) and Swapandeep (Shiwani Saini) and his father Darji. He works as a farmer and is a loving younger brother.
In 1990, after becoming drunk, Sarbjit accidentally crosses the border and arrives in Pakistan, where he is convicted as an Indian spy. He is alleged as Ranjit Singh, and accused of causing bomb blasts in Lahore. His claims of innocence are ignored and he is tortured for months before he is able to inform his family of his captivity through a letter. In an attempt to appease the Pakistani police, Sarbjit falsely confesses to terrorism and is promptly given a death sentence. Dalbir, determined to free her brother, enlists the help of lawyer Awais Sheikh (Darshan Kumar). Their plea for justice is supported across India and condemned in Pakistan; the media in both countries continues to cover the case, causing Sarbjit’s sentence to be repeatedly delayed.
In 2012, after 22 years of imprisonment, Sarbjit’s family is allowed to visit him in jail. They are heartbroken to witness him as a tortured prisoner but he rejoices in the short-lived reunion. Subsequently, his death sentence commutes to life in prison; having already served nearly twice the length of a standard Pakistani life sentence, it is assumed that he will be pardoned and released imminently. The Pakistani government soon clarifies that the release order they issued was not for Sarbjit, but for a prisoner named Surjeet, devastating Sarbjit’s family. A year later, Sarbjit is attacked in his jail cell by Pakistani prisoners, and is admitted to a local hospital in critical condition, eventually succumbing to a comatose state. His sister, wife and grown daughters visit him but are forced to leave shortly before his death. Sarbjit’s body is delivered to India, where his village and family mourn as they reminisce his life. As the film ends, Dalbir promises that she will always continue trying to fulfill his dying wish of being recognized as an innocent man.
Aishwarya Rai as Dalbir Kaur
Randeep Hooda as Sarbjit Singh Atwal aka Veere / Ranjit Singh
Richa Chadda as Sukhpreet
Darshan Kumar as Awais Sheikh
Shiwani Saini as Swapandeep Kaur
Ankita Shrivastav as Poonam Kaur
Ankur Bhatia as Mandev
Trishaan Singh Maini as Maninder
Charanpreet Singh as Sanjay
Ram Murti Sharma as Darji