Disclaimer : Ignore this post if you haven’t seen the movie.
The desire to avenge injustice is a powerful emotion. What could have remained as a mere newspaper report or a political talking point has appeared on the screens as a movie. When the Uri attack happened, there was widespread anger in the country. Something similar is happening again because of a more heinous attack in Pulwama. In this context, I felt like writing this post.
I watched the movie, thanks to numerous positive reviews on Twitter. So, let me talk about the movie first. It starts off with the army’s operations in the north east. The less hyped surgical strike inside Myanmar has been portrayed very well. The aerial shots and the upbeat background music ensure that the viewer is hooked to the story right from the beginning.
However, every professional gunfight scene seems to be followed by a dramatic one-one fight between the main protagonist and the antagonist. This seems to be Bollywood masala element which has been inserted to make the movie ‘entertaining’. The final scene where the protagonist stabs the terrorist and screams ‘Indian Armyyyyyy’ seemed cringe-worthy. I don’t think men in uniform behave so erratically. This dramatic approach at the end of gunfights could have been avoided.
The movie scores high on cinematography and the script. The two complement each other. The perfection achieved in the gun fight scenes is probably the best in any Indian movie.
Family scenes in the run up to the Uri attack are successful in infusing the mother-son sentiment (though I am not sure if the leader of Uri surgical strike lost a close family member). The schizophrenia induced tension in the protagonist’s personal life seemed to be very similar to that of the Kannada movie ‘Godhi Banna Sadharana Mykattu’.
What I like about this part of the movie is the reluctance of the hero to fall in love with the pretty nurse. They manage to keep things professional. I feel this change in ‘approach’ is probably the best decision taken by the storyteller. The absence of professional distance between the main characters in ‘Lakshya‘ made it less of a war movie and the more of a personal story.
Political/strategic discussions surrounding terror and security issues have been portrayed quite well. The punch line ‘Yeh naya Hindustan hain, yeh ghar me ghusega bhi, aur marega bhi’ will stick in the minds of viewers for a long time. However, the lookalike of Narendra Modi could have been better.
The third aspect of the movie worth noting is that of the tech support given to the army during the operation. It seems quite amusing to portray an intern as the brain behind surveillance of a major military strike does undermine the seriousness of the narrative. Honestly, military drones are not toys and portrayal of DRDO as a bunch of status quoist idiots does not bide well for the organization.
However, I liked the portrayal of the control room. It’s quite cool. Overall, I would give a big thumbs up to the movie and everyone behind it. It’s a breath of fresh air in a jungle of unbearable love stories churned out by Bollywood every year.
Now, let me turn towards more serious issues. The movie was bound to make a serious impact in an election year, given the subject matter it deals with. It has portrayed the current government and its decision makers in positive light. It has also raised expectations from the public on action against terror for all future governments. I personally feel that the call for military action after Pulwama terror attack has been amplified among general public because of the portrayal of surgical strikes in the movie.
Unlike so called ‘liberals’ and ‘peace lovers’, I don’t think that is a bad thing at all. There is no point in pursuing peace with a rogue state like Pakistan. The perpetual proxy war can be ended only through tough military action. Some people might say, ‘families of martyrs will be affect’, ‘you will not die in a military conflict’ , ‘this is stupid nationalism’ etc.
Let me break it down for these idiots. Armed forces were hired to fight. They were not hired to talk about peace. They knew the risk factors involved in their job. Armed forces personnel took their job willingly because they wanted to fight and defend the country. So, the idea of portraying them as cowards who are afraid of death is a shame on part of these idiots.
Secondly, the armed forces are dying unnecessarily in a proxy war because of the ‘peace loving’ nature of India. Therefore, it is important to take a risk and end the asymmetric advantage that Pakistan is enjoying. When people are ready to die for the wrong causes like Jihad, I am sure that many well meaning soldiers are ready to fight for a great nation like India. I sincerely hope that nobody from our side dies in a armed fight. With the right mix of tech and strategy it is very much possible.
Given the quality, timing and subject of the movie, Uri could be the most important movie of the year because of two reasons. It could have a decisive impact on upcoming elections. It has already shaped the public opinion on Pakistan and terrorism in the country. Something serious is going to happen in the coming days. And Uri will be discussed again in a different context by people from all walks of life.