Movie Review : Uri – The Surgical Strike

Uri: The Surgical Strike: Homage to the Indian Army

On the onset I must say “Uri:The Surgical Strike” is a befitting homage to the Indian Army. Debutant Director Aditya Dhar explores the struggles of a soldier to keep our borders safe and the sacrifices his family does to keep us safe. Aditya takes the 2016 surgical attack on POK as the premise and weaves in a story which not only delves on the profession but also the personal life of a soldier.

Aditya mixes fact and fiction in re-creating the events of the surgical strike and molds it in a thriller format which is interesting. The movie starts with a combat sequence and slowly goes to the personal life of the lead protagonist Major Vihaan Shergill (Vicky Kaushal), wherein the movie slows down a bit and you start wondering where the movie is headed, but somehow it recuperates after the Uri incident and the second half is completely dedicated in showing the preparation and finally the execution of the surgical strike.

The story has some adrenaline rush moments and some really emotional moments. All the combat sequences are nail biting and extremely well executed. Amongst the emotional scenes there is one scene wherein Vihaan’s sister Neha (Manasi Parekh Gohil) gets a dead husband’s soiled shirt and asks her brother what she should do as she neither wants to wash it or throw it as it has the fragrance of her dead husband, it was indeed emotional. Aditya tries to be realistic in most parts and in some he just goes the filmi way, especially with some dialogues wherein you really cringe. But overall Aditya manages not to go the chest thumping war drama way or a Pakistan bashing movie. Though I felt where Aditya failed in the writing department is weaving the sequences seamlessly, as it looks a bit scattered and disjointed. I really thought the dialogues could have been better.

It is the performance of Vicky Kaushal as Major Vihaan Shergill that takes the movie into a different level. Vicky proves yet again what a superlative actor he is and he gets into the character so well that you can never imagine any other actor doing that part. Another actor who nails his character is Paresh Rawal who plays the National Security Advisor Govind Bharadwaj modeled on National Security Advisor Ajit Kumar Doval, truly well played. Television actor Mohit Raina makes a solid debut as Major Karan Kashyap, I wish he was given more screen time. Manasi Parekh Gohil as Neha, Vihaan’s sister brings the emotional quotient well as she effortlessly plays her character. Yami Gautam as Intelligence Agent Pallavi Sharma does well in her limited role and does show her mettle. Kirti Kulhari as air force pilot Seerut Kaur has precisely 4 to 5 scenes and I thought she was wasted. Rajat Kapoor as PM Modi looks a bit odd in his white beard make up, but somehow he redeems himself with his earnest performance. Swaroop Sampat as Vihaan’s mother suffering from Alzeimers does her act of a fragile mother well. Rest of the cast also do a good job.

One of the highlight of the movie is the brilliantly executed and choreographed combat sequences, I must mention two technicians who did the good job, one being the cinematographer Mitesh Mirchandani and the second the action director Stefan Richter. The sequences are edge of the seat and nail biting. I will not say it is at par with Hollywood War movies like Zero Dark Thirty or Hurt Locker, but at least it is there, that in itself is no mean achievement.

I must mention the debutant director Aditya Dhar makes an impressive debut, though his product is not flawless but at least the attempt to do something like this and that to convincingly is quite an achievement.

The audience literally stood up at the end of the movie with an applause and slogan of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” that kind of summarizes how the movie connected with the audience. My review or any other critics review just does not matter. It is a must watch movie at least for the sake of our soldiers who lay their lives without a complaint. I will go with Three & a Half Star.

Movie Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Movie Review : Pink

Pink: The New Color of Women’s Liberation

“PINK” as the name suggests is a woman centric theme. But it is far removed from the fun & frolic that you normally associate to the color “PINK”, it is the story of struggles and tribulation of an average Indian women of today…

“PINK” tells the story of three working girls Minal Arora (Tapsee Pannu), Falak Ali (Kirti Kulhari) and Andrea (Andrea Tariang) who stay together in PG accommodation in Delhi. Their life takes a 360 degree pink-movieturn when one night they fall prey to a gang of guys comprising of Rajveer (Angad Bedi), Dumpy (Raashul Tandon) and Vishwa (Tushar Pandey) who take them to a resort at Surajkund and there they try to be physical with them and Minal ends up breaking a glass bottle on Rajveer, post which the girls flee. Next how their lives change for the worst is what the movie is all about…

Written by Ritesh Shah, this court room drama is an interesting watch thanks to the taut script. Ritesh keeps the screenplay very straight and to the point, not digressing a wee bit from the main plot which keeps the audience completely engrossed till the end. Each character especially of the three girls are sculpted with immense minuteness and complete precision. The character of advocate Deepak Sehgal (Amitabh Bachchan) is like a foil on the young helpless girls, I wish Ritesh would have given a bit peep on the Deepak Sehgal’s past but nevertheless the character is so strongly written that it over powers other characters completely.Ritesh does not waste time on clichés and keeps it as realistic as possible. Another character which also impresses throughout, is the character of the defense lawyer played by Piyush Mishra, rather the war of words between Deepak Sehgal and the defense lawyer make the court room proceedings interesting. Another thing which would have made the movie more interesting if Ritesh would have also shown how Deepak Sehgal does his investigation for the case. But overall brilliant writing.

Ritesh Shah’s dialogues lifts the screenplay, especially the court room sequence. The dialogues are taut and gives a message without being preachy. The dialogues have been painstakingly written keeping in mind the character who would say the dialogues making it sound as realistic as possible.
In a nutshell the real hero of the movie is the writing…

Good writing can go down the drain if it is not backed up with some good performances. Amitabh Bachchan as Deepak Sehgal the aging advocate gives a crackling performance, especially in the court room sequences. I must say Amitabh Bachchan is having a blast in his career at this age, first “Piku”, then “Teen” and now “Pink”, all three movies have tapped his potential as an actor to the fullest and you can feel as an audiences that even he is enjoying it….Next actor who impresses and stands high in front of Amitabh Bachchan is Piyush Mishra as the defense lawyer, who successfully makes you hate him, and that I think is no mean task…Piyush Mishra’s verbal war fare with Amitabh’s character are the highlight sequences of the movie. Now the three girls played by Tapsee Pannu as Minal, Kirti Kulhari as Falak and Andrea Tariang as Andrea, all the three do a splendid job but Tapsee Pannu steals the show with her portrayal. After her brief role in “Baby”, Tapsee again shows that she is an actress who should not be taken lightly. Kirti’s character starts as a timid character but later blooms and how, especially her emotional breakdown scene in the court just takes your heart away, definitely a brilliant actress, I hope Kirti gets more opportunities in this glamour stuck Bollywood who give Smita Patil Award to Katrina Kaif (Are we kidding???). Debutant Andrea Tariang has a brief role and not too much of histrionics but her silence says it all and the looks portrays the pathos which a page long dialogue would not justify. Angad Bedi as the spoilt brat Rajveer does his mean act well, though not a longish role but Angad justifies his presence completely. Dhritiman Chaterjee as the judge also does a brilliant job, and brings a meat to a role which in other movie is only confined to saying “Order, Order”. Other actors like Mamta Shankar (Good to see her in a Bollywood Movie), Rushal Tandon, Tushar Pandey, Vijay Verma and Vinod Nagpal also do a brilliant job. Overall the cast justifies the writing to the “T”.

It is said that editing “Makes” or “Breaks” a movie and in “Pink”, Bodhaditya Banerjee’s editing makes the movie taut without any once of sluggishness. Abhik Mukhopadhyay’s cinematography captures vibrancy of Delhi and the grimness of a court room with equal élan.

Now let us talk about the “Captain” of the ship Aniruddha Roy Choudhury, who debuts in Bollywood with “PINK”. After some brilliant movies in Bengali like “Anuranan” & “Antaheen”, Aniruddha does an equally impressive debut with “PINK”. “PINK” not only entertains but also raises a lot of pertinent questions which are like a taboo for a working women, especially if she lives alone, and Aniruddha has very beautifully portrayed a modern day woman and her struggles in a modern yet feudal society of today’s India. Two things that Aniruddha scores as a director, first being straight forward and completely glued to the main plot without falling prey for typical Bollywood trappings and secondly extracting some memorable performances by the entire cast.

A truly brilliant cinema which should not be missed, I will go with Four and a Half stars…

Movie Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)