Ghazi Attack Movie Review: Rana is in top form but Kay Kay Menon wins your heart in this scintillating watch
Untold stories have their intrinsic charm and more so if there’s a nationalistic tinge to it. Ghazi Attack looks back on the unknown, unheard underwater war which never found a mention in history. While everything about the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971 is chronicled, this particular story never found its way into press or made its mark in text books. Sometime before the infamous Bangladesh war broke out, the Pakistani submarine PNS Ghazi was sent to the Bay of Bengal to destroy the Indian aircraft carrier INS Vikrant. India puts its best men on the job and set up a secret operation to take down Ghazi. Indian Navy in its official records claimed that Ghazi was overpowered by them but Pakistan maintained that their submarine died an unfortunate death after colliding with landmines. There are multiple theories to the Ghazi episode and yet not much is popularly known.
At no point do the makers of this film claim that what they show is absolute truth. Call it lopsided or patriotic, depending on your political affiliations, film buffs will remember it as a darn good film. Despite a dreary start, it picks pace surprisingly and entraps your attention quickly enough. The film’s cinematography has some fine scenes as you are instantly catapulted into the world of the 70s. As far as the VFX is concerned, it's a half baked job but the canter, dialogues, dressing, demeanour are all reminiscent of a certain era. Director Sankalp Reddy’s eye for detail has helped him recreate an entire submarine with acute precision, retaining the authenticity of the story. A fair amount of research must’ve gone into getting the right palette for the film and we are happy to report, Reddy gets full marks in recreating real events with responsibility. The narrative is solid, with bold strokes of patriotism. It ran the risk of seeming too technical but a strong cast saves the day for the movie.
For starters, watching Om Puri on screen for probably the last time finally synced the news of demise. What a natural! It is heartbreaking that we’ve lost an actor of his stature. In what’s probably one his farewell gifts to Bollywood, he is adequate in his few scenes as the senior Navy official. Rana Daggubati is beautifully understated; he plays it subtle, shifting between aggression and potent calm. Atul Kulkarni, after Raees, again has a marvellous stint. But the film rides on Kay Kay Menon’s shoulders. He is a bereaved man with the soul of a soldier; a true patriot with questionable ways, unwavering courage and a clear intent of attacking anyone who harms his country. He exudes immense confidence and carries himself with unmistakable swagger. Credit him for imbibing the dilemmas of a soldier as well as for bringing on screen the pangs and patience of a broken parent who lost his child to war.
The only weak link in the entire film is Taapsee Pannu, who plays a Bangladeshi refugee. The gratuitous part is a far cry from her feisty role in Pink. While there is nothing wrong with her performance, it seems the director included it only to add the female flair to the film to make it more saleable.
In parts, the film might feel stretched and overdone. Close to the climax, there is a silly scene in which people on the enemy ship can hear the noise from a submarine parked close by. But these are minor issues which one can forgo. If you don’t nitpick and want to watch a genuinely uplifting film, this should be your go-to stop.
We rate the film a 70% on the Pinkvilla Movie Meter.