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Ghazi Review

Ghazi Review
Banner:
Mantinee Entertaiment
Cast:
Rana Daggubati, Taapsee Pannu, Kay Kay Menon, Rahul Singh,
Direction:
Sankalp Reddy
Production:
Mantinee Entertaiment And Pvp Cinema

Ghazi

IndiaGlitz [Wednesday, February 15, 2017 • Telugu] Comments

Ghazi Movie Review

'Ghazi', touted to be India's first submarine war flick, will hit the screens on Feb 17th.  Here is our review:

Story:

Set in the pre-1971 Indo-Pak war era, 'Ghazi' tells the story of how PNS Ghazi was set forth by the Pakistani Navy to destroy INS Vikrant and eventually wipe Vizag out of the map.

Capt. Ranvijay Singh (Kay Kay Menon), Lt. Commander Arjun Varma (Rana), Devraj (Atul Kulakarni) and team are on board S-21 submarine to defend Indian coast from the attacks of the enemy country that has been brutalizing its own people in East Pakistan.

In defending their country, the Indian Navy soldiers have to face a smart, adventurous opponent team led by Razak (brilliantly played by Rahul Singh), who also have the advantage of a superior submarine.

On the other hand, the Indian side may not be adequately modernized, but it has as its strength: a highly motivated team who seek to destroy the enemies against all odds.

The first half is more about how a deviant Ranvijay who doesn't want to ritualistically abide by the rules and Arjun who respects the command and control mechanisms in place go about their genuine, patriotic mission. As the clock keeps ticking and the heroes see their resources dwindling and manpower reducing even as the enemy gets more and more invasive, the second half tells the story of how Arjun Varma rises to the occasion and leads India to a thumping victory in the battle.

Analysis:

A reason why many folks out there admire some Bollywood movies which are based on true incidents is not because they are close to the truth (that is, truth as is known), but because they are high on the nuances.  Debutante Sankalp's 'Ghazi' belongs to this category of movies.

In telling a real-life story, the writers are not bothered much about tracing the events as they happened ('To this day, the truth lies hidden in the waters', the end credits say).  They are concerned with the drama, the emotions, the set-up and the paraphernalia, the travails, the sacrifices that the events lend.

Before giving a thumbs-up to what IS there, let's give the film its due for what IS NOT there.

WHAT IS NOT THERE:

1.  The caricaturing of the enemy soldiers: The villains of 'Ghazi' are not irrational.  They make rational choices and don't let their ambitions get the better of them even in trying circumstances.  In his self-image, Razak is more intelligent than his enemy, but he has his feet firmly on the ground.

The enemies don't talk like routine villains, they behave professionally, they are as motivated as their enemy team.

2.  Overstated emotions:  Usually, our directors don't do thorough research about how professionals behave.  They are shown like those angry young men of 'masala' movies bearing no resemblance to real-life characters!

'Ghazi' is different.  The best moment comes when Arjun Varma stands steadily and calmly, as per the protocol, in front of Ranvijay to tell him that the drill has to be stopped as the submarine is in danger.  There are fires around, the ocean water is forcing into the submarine and here you have the soldier following the protocol.  Can it get more realistic?

3.  Officers discussing basic stuff:  What will happen if and when the submarine goes 300 mts below the surface is not explained by one officer to another officer, as a mediocre director would have shown.  Instead, it's explained by a non-officer to another non-officer, who is not expected to know the magnitude of the problem, through a demonstration using a glass of water and an egg.

The only place where the film could have avoided such a slip-up is where one top brain explains to another top brain as to why West Pakistan has to go through the sea rout to reach East Pakistan.

WHAT IS THERE:

The engaging drama involving Kay Kay Menon and Rana throws up a range of interesting scenes.  Watch Kay Kay say with controlled frustration 'Bleeding heart' when Rana risks his life by diving into the ocean to save the lives of civilians.  Watch Rana explain briefly but forcefully what differentiates a rogue force from a commanded force.  Watch how the team shows reverence to their martyred leader as 'Jo bole so nihal' plays in the background.

Scene after scene, you realize how difficult it is for our heroic soldiers to act spontaneously in the most trying circumstances.  Every time a key character takes a tough call, you are on the edge. 
 
One of the classy moments should be where Rana dares to be shot by his superior without the music director and the screenplay at large indulging his heroism.  At that stage of the film, glorifying one character over another is not the director's concern.

Taapsee Pannu in the role of a Bengali-speaking East Pakistani refugee sings the rebel anthem of the Mukti Bahinis, if only to save herself from being raped by the lecherous Pakistani soldiers.  A scorching moment, this could have been better leveraged.  However, the screenplay here is too sketchy, not letting the soldier Rana show much emotions.

In another scene, you find Rana say that farmers and women live peacefully because they are assured that the soldiers are guarding the country's borders.  It was only a few years ago that Lal Bahadur Shastri had coined 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan'.

The decoding of messages, the precision of the stratagems, the machinations, etc - 'Ghazi' gets them bang on.

The climax could have easily been better.  Razak and team's submarine is bombarded by a torpedo and they vanish before you can even register it.  The screenplay should have allowed enough room for a few dramatic highs.

Madhi's cinematography is brilliant, to say the least.  K's BGM (the film has no songs) is understated, but at times, it is too understated in tune with the screenplay.  Art direction is incredible.

It's every performer's film.  Rana with his subtle act, Kay Kay Menon with his attitude, Atul with his body language and Rahul Singh with his intense expressions do a very good job.  Sathyadev, Bharath Reddy, Ravi Varma, Om Puri, Naaser, Priyadarshi fit the bill.

There could have been more of Chiranjeevi's voice-over, especially during the end credits.

Verdict:

A realistic war film that takes cinematic liberties for good.  Gripping screenplay, endearing performances and excellent technical elements.  Makes for a nice watch.

Rating: 3.25 / 5.0

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