Parmanu Movie Review: John Abraham's hulk act doesn’t do much for this tepid thriller

3 years ago  |  3.6M

 Evidently the best thing in Parmanu is its immaculate writing. So while, it essentially never rises above its flawed performances, the sheer concept and buildup of the movie is worth lauding. It’s rare to ever credit writers for the good screenplay but Saiwyn Quadras and Sanyukta Shaikh create a taut thriller, throwing in a few gratuitous personal subplots but maintaining a singularly patriotic tone. Refreshingly, there is no Pakistan bashing which are a frequent fare in any film with patriotic undertones. Also, the film questions beautifully the claim US lays on the world and how justified is it. But you wish that was used for much effect in the film. In an otherwise shaky narrative, Parmanu is a great story said with little certainty. Director Abhishek Sharma of Tere Bin Laden series assembles a reel-real story that reconstructs the Pokhran operation in which India secretively tested its nuclear weapons, hiding away from the US satellites, with letting no detail of the operation trickle out.

However, the issue that no one seems to care much about is the choice of the story and the implications of nuclear strength. Sharma’s handling, largely jingoistic, remains loyal to the patriotic tone. Commendably, the material is research backed, drawing authenticity with precision. Though very little time is spent in orchestrating the technicalities but the pace makes up for the fractures in the first half. The break neck speed barely allows you to ponder over the trouble spots. So as a thriller, the film delivers despite its constant harping on a unilateral idea of patriotism. 

It doesn’t help that the one leading the pack is the bulky John Abraham. With his limited acting chops, he is unable to come off as anything other than contrived. Added to this is the additional pressure of addressing his marital issues where a wife demands to know of his super-secret mission. Sharma goes a step forward in making the espionage thriller a convenient story that unspools with little trouble and minor glitches. Obviously, the film lacks punch. 

Amidst talk of India’s standing in arms race, the film or its leading man never question the political repercussions of the activity they are helming. Sharma puts his all into staging it as spectacle, paying attention to every minute detail of bomb making. Though John’s Captain Raina is the chest thumping patriot. Sharma carves him as a character of strong will power and wit who commands the authority to assert to a room full of khadi clad politicos the country’s need for nuclear arms. He is misunderstood but Sharma intends his hero to have it as a quality which he uses for effect multiple times over in the story. Shabbily enough, Abraham’s expressions do little for the film, leaving a lot to the rousing background score. There is lack of urgency and fervour in him, making him look like a drag. Diana Penty, his aide, is equally weak with her perfect salon set hair. Their casting is the film’s oddest bit and the fact that they look so perfect, doesn’t blend in with the plot. 

However, Sharma doesn’t bore you. There is enough to enjoy, especially if your knowledge on the subject is limited. It’s debatable whether he tackles the subject with adequate maturity, but you can’t fault the film for being a bore. Some real life footage of world leaders has been used to enhance the feel of the film. Parmanu has a few things going for it, but it’s largely worth skipping. Despite a worthwhile story, it’s a classic case of a film that does nothing for you. It has all the trappings of a mind blowing movie but never makes the cut. 

We rate this movie 55% on the Pinkvilla Movie Meter. 


Anonymous : Atleast Diana tries different films. Most of Bollywood still stuck in repetitive mode.
REPLY 4 3 years ago
Anonymous : Diana was deglam for this role. Even john was in one part. They tried to make them look plain. Not their fault if they are more beautiful than starkids
REPLY 7 3 years ago
Anonymous : Its a good family film. No item song. No blood. No unnecesary violence. No sex scene. No cursing. No skin show. No nepotism.
REPLY 15 3 years ago
Anonymous : no eve teasing no rape. no cliche/no stereotypes there was diversity in the cast and it was based on facts.
REPLY 4 3 years ago
Anonymous : If akshay kumar did this movie this review would be different. Not because hes known as a better actor but because he has connections
REPLY 12 3 years ago
Anonymous : wow thats a very strongly worded review but ridiculously self contradictory. 1.its 'jingoistic' but theres 'no pakistan bashing' and 'beautifully questions US' influence around the world... 2. the film looks odd because the lead pair is too perfect looking with styled hair (its a bollywood movie and we shouldnt be expecting people to be unattractive because of the nature of their profession i mean john and diana ARE actors/ models i would be surprised if they WEREN'T perfect looking) 3. its a 'tepid thriller' but also 'doesn't bore you' but wait its also a 'taut thriller'
REPLY 12 3 years ago
Anonymous : Parmanu with John Abraham deserve 4 star rating. BUT Parmanu with John only deserve 1.5 star because he was such a weak point of the movie and completely ruined all those hard work of the writer, director and the entire team. Sometime being a producer and money spinner doesn't help star-struck expressionless actor.
REPLY 5 3 years ago
Anonymous : you obviously didnt watch parmanu john performed perfectly during the climax scene
REPLY 4 3 years ago
Anonymous : If he was a woman, he would be called an item song material by now because he’s only known for his body and looks. But he’s a man so he’s still called an actor. Sexism at it’s best.
REPLY 21 3 years ago
Anonymous : Exactly!
REPLY 2 3 years ago
Anonymous : John can't act
REPLY 20 3 years ago
Anonymous : Bollywood actors are essentially very lazy, John and the likes of Sonam have been dogged over the years by nbeing wooden actors the worst is Katrina but I don't quite get why they have failed to acknowledge this glaring weakness and hire good acting coaches to help them improve over the years. It's baffling. Am not surprised that he is the weakest link in the movie. PV please post.
REPLY 3 3 years ago