Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl Movie Review: Janhvi Kapoor pays an honest tribute despite turbulence

A dream is one that doesn’t let you sleep. This inspiring quote aptly summarises Gunjan Saxena’s life who grew up dreaming of becoming a commercial pilot and later became the first Indian woman Air Force officer to fly in a combat zone during the 1999 Kargil War.
Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl Movie Review: Janhvi Kapoor pays an honest tribute despite turbulence
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Movie: Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl

Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl Director: Sharan Sharma

Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl Cast: Janhvi Kapoor, Pankaj Tripathi, Angad Bedi, Vineet Kumar Singh, Manav Vij

Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl Stars: 3.5/5

The film, Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, features Janhvi Kapoor, Pankaj Tripathi, Angad Bedi, and Vineet Kumar Singh in pivotal roles. The film celebrates Gunjan Saxena’s journey that earned her the name: The Kargil Girl. In the film, Janhvi Kapoor is entrusted with the challenge to play the titular role. Janhvi steps up to the challenge and pleasantly surprises her critics and followers alike. Opting for a de-glam avatar for a film that entirely runs on her shoulder was definitely a risk; especially, when her contemporaries are positioning themselves as divas. 

Through the film, there are hardly any moments when you see Janhvi. It is officer Gunjan that you see struggling through patriarchy, the belief that a girl must be protected, and that it’s a futile exercise to change the mindset of society. Is it a flawless performance? Maybe not, but it definitely is a better performance from someone who has done one commercial and one OTT film.

Sharan Sharma makes his directorial debut with Gunjan Saxena. Sharan has previously dealt an astute hand in films such as Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and Aye Dil Hai Mushkil. In this film, he takes on the additional role of screenwriting, which gives him more grip on the storytelling. 

Since the start of the story, he makes it clear that the war is between mindset and capabilities. To achieve her dream, Gunjan has to fight the stereotypical expectations of society and a protective brother. Her brother, Major Anshuman Saxena (Angad Bedi), despite being an army officer has a patriarchal mindset.
To her rescue comes her father (Pankaj Tripathi), who is determined to push Gunjan to achieve her dreams. Gunjan’s father and her Commanding Officer (Manav Vij) are the only two male characters in the film through which Sharan subtly states: not all men are patriarchal.

The camaraderie between Gunjan and her father is convincing and impactful. Ayesha Raza Mishra as Gunjan’s mother plays her part. Ayesha has imbibed the character well. She plays a mother who is worried about her daughter. But when she is informed her children are serving duty at the warzone, we see a glimpse of the unwavering patriotic side of her.

Angad Bedi as Major Anshuman Saxena has done justice to whatever offered in the film. Viineet Kumar leaves an impact, and Manav Vij has done an impressive job as a commanding officer.

The Director and screenwriter, Sharan, ensures that the length of the film doesn’t become a hindrance to storytelling. He also avoids embellishing the film with over-dramatic and poetic dialogue. He keeps it as real as the characters of the film. Although, the writer should have paid more attention to the fact that in Lucknow, brothers are not called Dada, and neither are Balloons called Fugga in the region! Gunjan Saxena also could have done better in the background score and music department.

Despite being a story that highlights grit, determination, and courage of Air Force officer Gunjan Saxena, the film came in the cross-fire of nepotism debate and meme-makers who believe all movies with star kids must be criticized. How these are itself the antithesis of the Sushant Singh Rajput movement is of course not a debate that is in the ambit of a film review. Maybe, for another time.

Gunjan Saxena is a film that must be appreciated and acknowledged for telling a story that will inspire us in many ways – to dream a dream, fight for it, and fight against all the odds.

ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE: Angad Bedi on wife Neha Dhupia's reaction to his latest film Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl

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Anonymous 5 months ago

Great thing, it's on Netflix. The world has seen it and loved it, I'm not Indian and I don't stay in India and everyone I know that has seen it loved it. Its a shame if Indians don't want to be objective because of the nepotism debate. I'm just grateful that it's on the world stage and its highly appreciated. Janvhi's acting was unexpectedly honest for me, because I was expecting it to be horrible since that's what Indians have said, I was pleasantly surprised to say the least. The storyline was tenacious and resilient. Something good to come out of coronavirus, the movie might have flopped if it was released in Indian cinemas for no other reason than people love to hate nepo kids. Just try to be objective and you will achieve more equity than toeing the path to hate.

Anonymous 5 months ago

Excellent movie, A MUST watch. It is asking India to change it's mind set.

Anonymous 5 months ago

Saw the movie. I liked it in moments. Decent 1 time watch. Loved Pankaj as the supportive, endearing, feminist father every girl hopes for. Janhvi has shown improvement but she has the privilege and blessing to learn and improve on the job while accruing film acting credits. Outsiders have to be excellent to be lucky enough to get selected for their debut film even in a small role. I feel Mrunal Thakur could have elevated this role to another level, added more nuances and layers! She has been directed by Kjo in Ghost Stories, looks closer to the younger Gunjan than Janjvi does and is a much more stronger, natural actress but Kjo still chose Janhvi over Mrunal knowing fully well her capabilities. Oh well.

Anonymous 5 months ago

Nepo kids..........Really?????? What if tomorrow your children want to follow your footsteps?? Will you stop them??? Kangana Ranaut who started all this for her own dirty gains, will she stop her child from entering film line?? It is just like judging a book by its cover. And what about those who are commenting "I will not watch the movie." Its on you , if you don't want to watch don't watch.

Anonymous 5 months ago

Planning to watch for Pankaj Tripati.. he plays a key role. I don’t care if main lead is nepo. Tripati has struggled to prove himself. Boycotting the movie would mean all who are against nepotism is also giving a miss to praise the hard working struggling man. Jahnavi will get 100 such movies with her connection but for him it’s the one chance. Support him guys. Watch for him. Don’t deprive him for not applauding his birthday brilliance.

Anonymous 5 months ago

The PR and reviews for this are clearly nepo machinery in full swing! Unbelievable how this non actor would get a job when there are hundreds of deserving ones! I think either of the dangal girls would’ve been a better choice or hundreds of others whose names we don’t even know! sayani Gupta or many others- but no- just coz this one has a huge PR machinery they will select her inspite of sub par acting! Even Anupama Chopra is compromised! And the other lady in film companion Sucharita obviously been given instructions clearly not to target nepo kids so she conveniently leaves out even mentioning this girl! Why the kid gloves only while reviewing nepos? Sickening! Will not watch!

Anonymous 5 months ago

sadak 2&kargil girl are going to cost netflix&disney hotstar the loss of a lot of subscribers.

Anonymous 5 months ago

i really hope netflix loses out on money becoz of this movie..they will think twice before buying movies the next time..customer in king.

Anonymous 5 months ago

To be honest they have already made money on the movie by selling it to Netflix. Big production houses are very good at making good deals and covering their losses. Now it's up to audiences if they want to make it a hit or not.

Anonymous 5 months ago

Lol reviewers was always praise nepokids! I will boycott all bullywood mafia and nepokids because they are all mediocrity and just overrated by media and PR ! Honestly since the lost of SSR Mumbai became gloomy ! Pv post be a free platform !

Anonymous 5 months ago

F**king paid PR. They create a bubble and expect audience to bow. While I sympathize with whole Sridevi situation, I cannot support Janhvi who cannot act to save her life.

Anonymous 5 months ago

I like a good movie. I am against opportunity stealing. I will watch it if she has done a good job as many other reviewers have claimed. Am not taking this or any media company based review. I heard my friends say Tripathi is amazingly good in this. I would watch it.

Anonymous 5 months ago

The rest of the world is not dumb ! I am from Europe and I will boycott all nepokids and bully mafia movies !

Anonymous 5 months ago

All the people who comment here dont go to theatres and watch good content movies. They are only fit for trolling.. Im going to sit and enjoy Gunjan Saxena..

Anonymous 5 months ago

Talentless and cannot act to save her pathetic life.

Anonymous 5 months ago

Boycott nepo talentless kids. These people were dead silent on SSr death until She had to promote her movies. # boycott nepo kids

Anonymous 5 months ago

NO ONE CARES !!!!

Anonymous 5 months ago

I mean who has written this review- Anupama chopra? For heaven's sake, i would rather lay on my bed and stare at walls for hours ....common- i mean actors like Prachi desai & Shobhita Dhulipala would have nailed this to the T and here is Karan and the nepo gang distributing movies to these so called 'stars' as if in langar!! Guys, please lets disown this movie and Sadak- we really need to show these power hungry people that enough is enough!!

Anonymous 5 months ago

Just happy this released on Netflix. Doesn't matter if India doesn't watch. The rest of the world will.

Anonymous 5 months ago

She cannot act even if her life depended on it!

Anonymous 5 months ago

people still watching nepo kids movie with zero talent ?

Anonymous 5 months ago

Yeah De glam avatar....as if she is devoid of make up and others....grow up PV

Anonymous 5 months ago

I think the Helicorpter has give better expressions

Anonymous 5 months ago

Everyone who is calling Janhvi wooden never had any issues with Katrina's blank expressionless face and inability to speak Hindi.

Anonymous 5 months ago

What is criminal is this role could have been elevated by a better performer who is not a star kid. Major middle finger by KaJo to actual actors.

Anonymous 5 months ago

Bullsh*t. Just because she is not Jhanvi, the performancd is noteworthy? That is the most basic of performance: character inhabiting. Juvenile review for what reads as formulaic storytelling. Skip and let Yashraj sink.

Anonymous 5 months ago

Did not watch, will never watch but seeing memes on janhvi expressionless face throughout the movie, how surprising, NOT!!Pv thanks for the laugh, funnier than the memes.

Anonymous 5 months ago

The honest “paid” review

Anonymous 5 months ago

She looked so plastic. Yikes.

Anonymous 5 months ago

Just wait and watch it will be declared hit by themselves only , hold success party and nxt thing you know bag film awards . So every move is already planned by these nepo daddies.

Anonymous 5 months ago

The trailer showed us how capable Jahnavi is. The trailer also showed us how capable Tripathi is. Dont rub on us with the patriotic link. This nepo kid doesnt have the skill for bringing this story. Sad the actual Gunjan Saxena had to be potrayed by this girl. Radhika, Sanya are one of two girls who would have done wonders for this pic. This reviewer also needs to be criticised heavily

Anonymous 5 months ago

Nobody will even believe the fake reviews by media , we know how they work now.Janhvi is a sweet girl but she can't act PERIOD!

Anonymous 5 months ago

Janhvi kapoor CAN act. Understand.? U better understand.. Post it pinkvilla

Anonymous 5 months ago

Amazing film. Janhvi kapoor is wonderful.

Anonymous 5 months ago

I like Jahnvi more as she is not as irritating and desperate as sara Ali and Alia. But this doesn’t mean that she is fit as an actor. The actresses now doesn’t even look like one. They should belong to teen rom coms if ever

Anonymous 5 months ago

Still not gonna watch.. This movie will be a biggg floppppppp.. #boycottnepokids #boycottkaranjohar #justiceforsushantsinghrajput

Anonymous 5 months ago

I saw it. Its such a nice film. A story that needs to be told n seen. Half the ppl who are saying ban bollywood are watching the film. I dont agree with mass judgement. You cannot blame everyone on mere suspicion. That too by a ceryified rabble rouser like Ranaut.

Anonymous 5 months ago

This role needs fire. She has none. Only money talks in BW

Anonymous 5 months ago

Pinkvilla waly karan KY chamchy thy aur rahy gy

Anonymous 5 months ago

1) Clicked on the trailer for Youtube. 2) Paused the trailer , no support for the video, 2) **DISLIKE** !! Sorry, no mercy...you lose.

Anonymous 5 months ago

They did a blunder by taking this piece of wood, Jhanvi, she's hopeless!!!

Anonymous 5 months ago

Honestly not everyone who criticizes Janhvi, Ananya and Sara hate all star kids. My parents love Rani, Rekha and Tabu and Mom likes Akshay Khanna, Abhay Deol, Vicky Kaushal, etc all had film/insider connections. Noone complained about nepotism with them cuz they had the talent and charisma to back it up. Most of the star kids of today lack that and still get umpteen undeserving chances that's the issue!

Anonymous 5 months ago

It’s good I saw it

Anonymous 5 months ago

Regardless of its fate. Film will be declared a hit and nepo daddy will throw 'success party'. But audience is smart and won't be fooled

Anonymous 5 months ago

Filmfare award coming her way. No worries Nepodaddy Karan will arrange it for her

Anonymous 5 months ago

To be honest this critic didn't really evaluate Jahnvis performance just skirted around the issue. Oh I forget she is a star kid

Anonymous 5 months ago

Sorry but she still has a long way to go, tried hard but not yet there, its so sad that girls like her get to play dream roles and there are many awesome actresses do not get this type of author backed roles, j surely needs to learn acting, get in to acting school and then come back in movies, I totally agree, Kangana, Vidya, or any other TV actress ‘like Surbhi or Jennifer W d ve nailed this role.

Anonymous 5 months ago

Paid review...such a disgrace

Anonymous 5 months ago

All critics are trying to spend as minimum as possible words to evaluate Janhvi Kapoor, the lead's performance. As if, they are trying to closely guard a premature baby. One popular Biz analyst said, her performance is 'efficient' .Carefully chosen word so that acting prowess is not questioned. Similarly, another popular critic mentioned 'keep in mind its a tough role' as if putting up a disclaimer while selling a Chinese product. LOL. How long will they protect their doe eyed, pampered kiddo from public scrutiny??

Anonymous 5 months ago

ha! what a waste! #boycottbollywood #nepotismmustend

Anonymous 5 months ago

only janta's verdict matters.

Anonymous 5 months ago

here come the paid reviews.

Anonymous 5 months ago

No looks, no talent. We don't want to waste time and money!

Anonymous 5 months ago

Jhanvi can't act PERIOD!

Anonymous 5 months ago

Paid review...so obvious

Anonymous 5 months ago

Tries too hard and fails. Yuck nepokid go away.

Anonymous 5 months ago

Have u seen the trailer ?? its a joke .. Why dont they spend some time in acting classes other than salons and gyms ??

Anonymous 5 months ago

Contemporaries positioning them as divas ? What does Thad have any relevance with the movie ?

Anonymous 5 months ago

That's what I thought!!

Anonymous 5 months ago

That's what I thought!!

Anonymous 5 months ago

Kangana would have nailed this role. Janhvi lacks that intense fire that needed for this role

Anonymous 5 months ago

Seriously???? Who is writing such reviews? Must b paid well

Anonymous 5 months ago

ha ha ha... is this a joke?

Anonymous 5 months ago

I don't think even multiple paid reviews can save this film from sinking. The trailer itself was horrible enough to showcase Janhvi's zero talent in acting. However, Karan won't stop showing his money power by hiring paid critics. Sorry, not gonna insult my sanity by watching Female Arjun Kapoor's film

Anonymous 5 months ago

Nepo product. What a waste.

Anonymous 5 months ago

How much janhvi paid you shes pathetic

Anonymous 5 months ago

Not watching

Anonymous 5 months ago

Nepokids go away...#boycott

Anonymous 5 months ago

Well done jaanu! Keep improving <3