Films | The Ghazi Attack- Movie Review

The Ghazi Attack- Movie Review

Posted by Vivek on February 20, 2017 | No Comments

FILM – The Ghazi Attack

PRODUCER – Kavin Anne, Param V. Potluri, Pearl V. Potluri, Anvesh Reddy, Venkatramana Reddy, Jagan Mohan Vancha

DIRECTOR – Sankalp Reddy

WRITER – Sankalp Reddy, Niranjan Reddy, Gunnam Gangaraju (story and screenplay), Azad Alam (dialogue)

CAST – Rana Daggubati, Kay Kay Menon, Atul Kulkarni, Om Puri, Nassar, Rahul Singh, Tapsee Pannu

MUSIC – K Krishna Kumar

History, at once large and rich in the expanse of time and space it covers, is always glamorous material for cinema, itself a metonym for time and space travel. The mystique, the romance and the nostalgia of the past lend a sumptuous canvas to draw from and draw on. Sankalp Reddy’s trilingual drama The Ghazi Attack takes its share of romance from an important chunk of Indian history, the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war.

PNS Ghazi was a Pakistani submarine on a mission to destroy INS Vikrant, the Indian Navy’s sole aircraft carrier. Just before the start of the 1971 war Ghazi exploded, before it could find Vikrant but left behind a trail of mystery about its destruction. The film builds a story around this event and gives it a nationalistic good vs evil trendy feel, milking its way to its audience with part logic part jingoism.

The entire film revolves around the combat between Ghazi and INS S21, the Indian submarine acting as a decoy for Vikrant. Ranvijay Singh (Kay Kay Menon), the maverick Captain of the ship takes it upon himself to destroy Ghazi, helmed by an equally maverick and ruthless commander. What follows is a tense underwater battle of loyalties and torpedoes, egos and mines, wits and spirit, a battle equally matched on both sides in all except intent.

Like most films revolving around the Indo-Pak conflict, The Ghazi Attack chooses to take a singularly jingoistic stand, painting the enemy black rather than launch an investigation into the very politics of the conflict. And so we have the Indian commander who is a Sikh, a symbol of bravery and faultless character. The Pakistani commander on the other hand, is a caricature of hate, vitriol and evil expressions as commonly portrayed.

A tight hold on the battle plot leaves little room for the film to meander into peripheral territories. It however leaves enough room for sentimental notions of martyrdom, nationalism, patriotism, rules and personal ethics to creep in, room that the film occupies with a firm stand – nation before everything else. Thankfully, the film indulges in all of its little soppy moments well within the balance of the plot, keeping the tightly knit drama edge-of-the-seat always, visually, mentally and emotionally which is quite satisfying if seen strictly as a thriller.

Kay Kay Menon, Atul Kulkarni and Rana Duggabatti are well-rooted in their characters, appealing and convincing at once. Probably, it is because their human frailties are openly juxtaposed alongside their strengths that one cannot help but care about their fates. Tapsee Pannu has little to do, unless she is read as a metaphor for Bangladesh, the country at the centre of the 197 conflict, rescued by large-hearted, ethical, planned big brother India, in this case Arjun, Duggabatti’s character, who is an epitome of all things good and hence Indian.

At a time, when frail reconciliations between the two countries have turned into open defensiveness again, works of fiction based on history acquire the significance of not only capturing the current mood of the moment but also influencing it. The Ghazi Attack in many ways validates the recent wave of an aggressive nationalistic stand that believes in attack first and peace-making only if on its terms and it threatens the very concepts this nation is built upon. It is something to think about.

Fatema Kagalwala

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