Review of “Breakaway” (Speedy Singhs)

(scroll down to view trailers)

I first came across this trailer after a friend posted it on Facebook. The trailer starts out with the coach asking a group of hockey players what their names are. The protagonist, Vinay Vimani (Raj Singh), points out that they are all “Singhs.”  The movie classifies Singhs to be in five categories: traditional, romantic, desperate, fighter and naughty. The traditional Singh is portrayed as being the outdated father and the “yes man” little brother who keeps his hair. The father is portrayed as being a closed minded individual by stopping Raj from playing hockey; the little brother, who keeps his hair, is seen as trying too hard to impress his dad. Raj, whose hair is cut, is classified as being the romantic “Singh.”The desperate “Singh” is an individual who keeps a dastaar or turban, but he stares at a woman with bad intentions. The fighter “Singh” is a drinker with a haircut who gets in a drunken fight at a club. Sonu plays the naughty “Singh” who makes perverted jokes and acts like an overall lowlife individual. None of the people portrayed are Sikhs, nor are they Singhs. The light in which Singh is portrayed and the actual meaning of Singh and what it represents are exact opposites. Overall the movie ruins the name of the honorary title of Singh and misrepresents Sahib Guru Gobind Singh Ji who gave us the title of Singh and Kaur. It’s advised for all Sikhs to not support this film that disrespects all Sikhs, regardless what stage of Sikhi one is in.

To understand why this movie is highly offensive to ALL Sikhs, it is important to understand the meaning of the word Singh, where it comes from and what it represents. Singh means lion and is the last name given to every Sikh. Singh was the honorary title given to the Khalsa and was a way to instill the spirit of brotherhood, bravery and utmost high moral character at all times. Qazi Nur Muhammad, a poet, refers to Singhs in a rude way, but at the same time he can’t help but show the high merit of the Singhs. In section XLI of his poem, he says:

“Singh is a title. It is not just to call them ‘dogs’ If you do not know the Hindustani language, (I shall tell you that) the word Singh means a lion. Truly, they are like lions in battle and, in times of peace, they surpass Hatim (in generosity). . . Leaving aside their mode of fighting, hear ye another point in which they excel all other fighting people. In no case would they slay a coward, nor would they put an obstacle in the way of a fugitive. They do not plunder the ornaments of a woman. . . They do not make friends with adulterers and housebreakers.”
During British rule over India the testimony of a Singh in court was never questioned because they knew a Singh never lies or commits adultery, makes an honest living and stands up for Truth even if it means death. Now if you contrast the true nature of a Singh and Breakaway it is easier to understand why exactly this movie is highly offensive to Sikhs. Not only is it grossly altering the meaning of Singh, it is also targeting innocent Sikh youth, whether intentional or unintentional, with a message that becoming a “Singh” shown in the movie is actually okay.

Living in the 21st century, it is very easy to get caught up and become a victim to the media’s portrayal of what’s socially acceptable and what’s not. The media sends an indirect message to the youth that life is about sex, drugs and money and if you aren’t pursuing either of the three, you aren’t cool. The Sikh lifestyle goes against this strongly, despite what society says. The movie Breakaway depicts a “Singh’s” part in activities that go against the fundamental lifestyle that a Sikh, let alone a Singh lives. Guru Gobind Singh Ji instructed all Sikhs to not look at the opposite sex with malicious intentions and to treat someone who isn’t your spouse as a brother, sister, mother, father, son and daughter and to maintain high moral character every day. The word Singh represents the long history of the Sikhs and the constant struggle the Sikhs have faced in trying to live a Gurmat and pure lifestyle. This movie in effect directly disrespects not only the Sikh saroop given by Guru Sahib, it also disrespects our Guru Sahib who gave us such bakhshish (blessing) of the word Singh.

The overall message of the movie is clear- ‘Breakaway’ from your lifestyle and become like everyone else. Let it be known that Sikhs will not breakaway from our rich and honorable roots and that there is only one kind of Singh – the Singh of the Guru. Please protest against this movie and don’t let bollywood’s racist movies come to the west.
2:05 she asks why he doesn’t wear a turban and he calls it a “thing”.
1:20 amritdhari Singh and Sikhs sitting around fire. Seems very fishy

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Comments

  1. I saw this film. And I knew it was a film that is based on comedy, and for family, fun, but I didn’t realise it would eventually turn out to be the most rubbish film I’ve ever seen.

    First of all, there’s nothing SINGH about the movie, because, it’s just mighty ducks but with brown asian folks wearing turbans. Infact, I didn’t learn anything that’s to do with sikhism, or it’s roots. Anyone coming out watching that film, in the end wouldn’t know what a sikh is, because the film didn’t even have anything to do with sikhs other than showing sikhs playing ice hockey. The jokes weren’t even funny, I was soo shocked how simple and … familiar the story and script, screenplay is to that of other films.

    There wasn’t anything punjabi about the film either lol. It’s just, some brown folks, and their life about hockey.. Nothing punjabi or sikh about the movie.

    If you going to base this movie about punjabies playing hockey then atleast show them in their respective light… that is.. show more about the background of punjabi culture.. how the culture reflects on the sport they are playing (for example chardhi khala, from sikh legacy..about not giving up, living in high spirits).. that wasn’t portrayed well..

    The only parts of the film that represents punjabi or sikhism, was the appearance (guys with patkha, and the khanda).. it’s just so bad, that you try to think to yourself, who gave the director a degree in movie direction or media?

    It’s just very bad.. even for a film that you wouldn’t want to take seriously, and you’d know it first hand, it’s even worse than that feeling of accepting this film being a flop. It’s beyond terrible.

    I did enjoy the film, but it was just.. too dam simple, and very crap and like.. i’m speechless, because this film could have had potential, even for a mediocore film.. it could have been a good mediocore simple film.. if they didn’t want to put that much effort into it..

    but there’s a good way of doing it.. this way was just terrible.

  2. I have not seen the movie but judging by all the comments, it’s a real pity that the film could not depict a real Guru Ka Sikh. Fair enough the industry wants to turn a few heads and create some controversy, but at least be fair and put in a character who represents hundreds and thousands of Amrit Dhari Sikhs who have sacrificed so much to represent what a true Sikh is, and this comment comes from a non Amrit Dhari who knows very little about Sikhi, so you can’t accuse me of being biased!

  3. Like one of the earlier post said, the reviewer should really watch the entire movie before making any judgement calls based on the two minute trailer.

  4. This movie is offensive to sikhs. No way a real guru ka sikh can support this movie as it doesn’t represent the basic necessity of sikhi – the KESH. Akshay is just spoiling the name of our kaumm and making money. People often mix punjabiat and sikhi, often keep “being punjabi/jaat” above sikhi, while the message should be “be sikh 1st, punjabiat will remain automatically in you.

  5. Speedy Singhs, with the international title Breakaway, is an upcoming comedy-drama film directed by Robert Lieberman. The film stars Vinay Virmani, Russell Peters, Camilla Belle, and Anupam Kher,[2] whilst the film’s co-producer Akshay Kumar, Drake, and Ludacris are set to make cameo appearances.[3]

  6. You should really watch the movie before you judge it. People have done this with Ocean of Pearls as well, but that movie is brilliant, it has shown the struggle a lot of Sikhs have gone through in there lives. Yet people get upset cause they see a Singh cutting his hair, even though it happens so often.

    • The problem isn’t showing Sikhs with their hair cut. It’s the classification that they made of Sikhs that subliminally send a message to the audience (innocent Sikh youth) that being like the characters in the movie is okay and you’re still a Singh.

  7. The comment about turban being called a ‘thing’ was for the girl’s understanding only. Some people don’t even know what a turban is. There was this girl in my class from Spain or Portugal and she referred to same as a ‘cap’, when we know it’s not as easy to wear as a usual cap. I guess turban in this movie is shown as cultural symbol, not a religious one.

  8. Do not support this movie buy buying tickets. Voice your opinion and stay clear from this movie.

    Bollywood mentality films shouldn’t be brought to the west that degrade the Sikh character.

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