Giving you hits of adrenaline rush, this Aditya Dhar film is the best gift you can give yourself this new year
Its a film that will haunt you for long after you’ve left the theaters, so much so that even seasoned film critics will have a tough time on reviewing it. Even long before Major Vihaan Singh Shregill motivates his team by screaming ‘How’s the josh?’, you are pumped up with what Uri: The Surgical Strike offers. Starting off with a strong dose of emotions translating to grief and eventually frustration and anger, the film with its to-the-point writing makes you a character. You slip into Shergill’s shoes and become one with him, a major plus of the plot. With every element needed to what you call a blockbuster, this one calls out ‘pride’ in every sequence.
Reported as the ‘deadliest attack on security forces in Kashmir in two decades’, the film is based on the surgical strike Indian govt. undertook following an attack by four heavily armed Pakistani militants at the army base in Uri town of Jammu & Kashmir.
The opening sequence wrenches you, making you wonder on how the army personnel lead their lives, at a time when we don’t realize an iota of their pain.
Now this is an event that we all know details about. But the details we know are trivial. What we don’t know is how it actually happened- right from the stage of ideation to the execution. Of course, the film can’t give you a minute to minute chart of the events, for various dramatic, logistic, and security reasons. But all in all, the screenplay penned by Dhar himself is crisp, well within the boundaries, yet with a high octane cinematic feel associated. The most beautiful part- the way writing has incorporated emotions and family drama amid for the retaliation of Uri attack.
The scenes are crafted with smartness, in a way that even during emotional scenes where there is a dip in the pace of the film, you are not disoriented and you actually feel you needed a breather. Never does the film take you away from the pride it evokes within you, making you ask for more.
There’s scene where the actor accidentally pulls out the pin of the bomb, you get goosebumps. And the sequences that follow are sure to bring tears in your eyes. Magnificent direction. Just when you are soaked in the drama way too much, the interval makes you frown for you don’t want a break in the activity.
Its one of those flicks reminding you of the likes of A Wednesday or The Ghazi Attack, packing in a lot of crucial details, hence remains compelling keeping you at the edge of your seats. Its a thriller in truest sense, where you are asked to surrender as an audience.
While a lot of the times you are blown at how Indian Govt. gave a go to the plan, you are also shocked in a good way at how Indian Army or Para Commandos actually did it. Weaving in important details in nuances that cinematically appeal is what makes the film breathtaking.
What the makers should be credited for is the casting. It has happened in the past that you are forced to believe a certain actor is an armed force officer, while here it comes naturally. The body languages of all actors, including the ones with small roles adds up to the aura. Also, no attempt has been made to malign Pakistan as a country, something for which the makers deserve a pat on their backs.
You would wish you could meet Vicky Kaushal after this to bow down to him personally. Looking at his physical and professional graph ever since Masaan, you can’t help but adore him. He’s not only become an Army personnel physically, but even behaves like one. No wonder you relate to him and move along with him in his journey. He rightly makes every citizen a part of the journey.
Paresh Rawal too is appealing. His character makes some important statements on the government and the mission, and Rawal ensures you feel them with your heart.
Yami Gautam and Kirti Kulhari in their respective brief appearances make an impact, also adding the star appeal. They suit the roles they are in and do not come across as people just put in the film made otherwise for male officers.
Mohit Raina is brilliant and builds a confidence in the character he portrays. Also, he adds emotional depth in the plot, very well. Rajit Kapur, Swaroop Sampat and Mansi Gohil have lent able support too.
Music by Shashwat Sachdev serves right for the album with a mix of peppy, soulful, and upbeat numbers. But where the film wins (and mind you, its probably the strongest point of the film) is the background score. This film deserves to be watched once only to pay attention to the enchanting background score and a flawless sound design by Bishwadeep Chatterjee. Its an exemplary work.
Mitesh Mirchandani’s first rate camera takes you through an intriguing ride where all you do is expect surprises. The very nature of the plot is brilliantly justified with how camera holds its hands. Especially during night sequences or junctures when Indian Army is discreetly conducting it’s operations, you are fascinated by how your eyes have been treated.
Shivkumar Panicker’s editing is full of swift successive structures where one thing leads to another and before you realise, you are drawn deep.
Nenad Zdero and Aditya Kanwar’s art and production design respectively moves parallely with the plot making you feel you are right on the field watching every action live.
Uri: The Surgical Strike is a film that had to come sooner or later. Coming to think of it, the subject is not only important to the nation, but also serves as a great recipe for a film. With every element that clicks with audience, this is rightly on the path of becoming a blockbuster. It offers an insight, it entertains, it fills you with pride for the men who selflessly guard us all day long for every single day. A must watch film, but only in theaters, for a reason you can never understand if you watch it on other screens.