"Captivates the audience!!!"
Ever since partition, our nation have constantly seen unrest at its borders as Pakistan never lost an opportunity to needle us. This has led to four fledged battles with them in 1947, 1965, 1971 & 1999; & even though we faced serious casualties, our brave soldiers ensured that we could still feel safe within our country.
The war of 1971 was unique in the sense that it wasn't fought over the Kashmir issue but due to the differences between East & West Pakistan, which eventually led to the formation of Bangladesh. One of the contributing factors for India being part of that war was the sinking of Pakistani submarine, PNS Ghazi off the east coast by INS Rajput. So this week we have Sankalp Reddy's "The Ghazi Attack" hitting the screens which is inspired from that event & hopefully it will be able to give us a gripping account as to what must have happened on that day.
The year is 1971 & India was keeping a close watch on Pakistan who was flexing their muscles on its brothers in East Pakistan, who was fighting for liberation. In order to send supplies to its forces, Pakistan decides to use the sea route but in order to do so they had to negate the threat posted by INS Vikrant. The task is entrusted to Commander Razaq (Rahul Singh) & his crew of PNS Ghazi. Indian Intelligence gets wind of it & the Eastern Naval Command at Vishakhapatnam assign S21 under the leadership of Captain Rannvijay Singh to patrol the region. As Rannvijay is known for his impulsive, hot headed nature, Lt Commander Arjun Varma (Rana Daggubati) is also accorded equal responsibilities to ensure orders are followed as per the book. This naturally causes sparks to fly between the two as Executive Officer, Devraj (Atul Kulkarni) plays peace broker. In due time, S21 locates Ghazi but how they went about their task with two contrast characters at the helm forms the crux of the movie.
Scripted & directed by debutant Sankalp Reddy, "The Ghazi Attack" is the first submarine war movie that has been made in our country. With regard to the story, it was mentioned in the credits itself that it is a fictional creation of an incident that has been shrouded by mystery. Whatever might be the case, the story is brilliantly conveyed & executed as well. The tension is palpable & provides an edge of the seat experience for the audience in majority of the sequences in the second half. Though I found the patriotic fervour a bit too overpowering & artificial in the end, it had all the other emotions in apt measure & the director made sure that he didnt squeeze in any romantic angle or song-dance sequence into the proceedings. The interiors of the submarine were well depicted but the special effects & Madhi's visuals could have been better.
Rana Daggubati has acted in a mature & restrained manner which was apt for the character. Kay Kay Menon was excellent as the impulsive Captain who didnt care a shit about orders. Atul Kulkarni also deserves praise for a convincing performance while the rest of the cast seemed adequate. The reason for including Taapsee defies logic as she had nothing to do apart from look shell shocked in the doorways.
Verdict: Having seen movies like "Crimson Tide", "K21", etc, this one would feel amateurish at times, but it is absolutely unfair to make such a comparison due to the disparity in production costs. However, on saying that Sankalp succeeds in making a movie which is both engrossing & interesting. It might not take the box-office by storm but it's definitely worth checking out. In short, dont miss it!!!
Ghazi Attack..fictional and no history
1. Bollywoods first war at sea film after glorifying the army for so many years..(Border still remains the best I have seen) It’s a very mysterious and controversial piece of our historic victory in 1971 on our over-friendly neighborhood which was classified to begin with. Shot splendidly inside what looks like a real submarine, the mounting is very impressive and the screenplay is tight with engaging sequences.
2. Tense moments in the second half which remind you of the titanic when the Indian submarine hits a mine laid by the Pakistani vessel..
3. Clever dodge sequences of missiles between INS 21 and PNS Ghazi frustrating the captain of enemy sub to shout: saala commander Hai ke lift man hai? This is the dialogue of the century
4. Gripping piece of photography inside the hydraulics Chamber of the sub and awesome special effects though not comparable to the crimson tide.
5. Performances – KK after his life’s worst look and role in The flying jatt rediscovers the Rakesh Maria of black Friday as a hot headed sharp naval captain. Good to watch Atul Kulkarni uback on screen after a hiatus in Raees and this one (with more screen time) but om puri n nasser are wasted. Rana Darukibatti gets some dialogues and action in the second half after KK dies.
Now why its also disappointing?
1. Taapsee ponnu – PNS ghazi and INS 21 had more torpedoes than she had screen time and dialogues in the movie.. She’s the only girl in the movie..
2. There’s a 2 minute disclaimer read out before the film begins where reference to creative liberty is given and that’s the most disappointing thing to know as the sub surfaces.
3. There are references clearly to INS Vikrant but why INS Rajput is referred as INS 21 nobody knows.. In the end, You again take pot shots at history which is easily available on Google n wiki.. But the moot point here is how badly history is tweaked here in the name of creative liberties.. Frankly if the director had just followed history it could have been one helluva movie coz the star cast was awesome.
4. PNS ghazi was sent to destroy INS Vikrant stationed near the bay of Bengal border with bangla so that supplies route to Chittagong was clear.. This is the message with which the film starts..now why no reference to Vikrant was made by INS and why S21 was sent is left to your imagination… No worries.. Creative liberty taken..
6. In the second half, there’s absolutely no communication between PNS ghazi n pak naval command and suddenly the captain decides to bomb Vizag. No talk about Vikrant here.. For no reason..no worries.. Creative liberty taken
6. The whole track of ins Rajput being intercepted as ins Vikrant and the intelligence shown by the Indian Navy to park ins Vikrant in the Andaman n fool the PNS is missed here…no worries.. Creative liberty taken
7. The movie dint have many patriotic dialogues which can give you goosebumps and the essence of singing saare Jahan se achcha and Jana gana mana was missing. Emotions are high when kk was on screen but on his exit the film also exits from its course and enters unchartered territory.
I would first request all to read some piece of war history before they make and watch such movies (including Karan Johar who has forgotten how to make evergreen movies and is now solely waiting for SSRs Baahubali to bail him out)..all in all, a big salute to the Indian Navy