Ishaan Khatter and Mrunal Thakur starrer ‘Pippa’ is a biopic war-drama film, which along with the spirit of patriotism, claims to show the pain of a war zone, a PT-75 tank, a family and the life of refugees.
‘Pippa’ is originally based on the book ‘The Burning Chaffees’ by Brigadier Balram Singh Mehta. Following the footsteps of their martyr father, his both sons joined the army. Major Ram lives his life on principles and ideals whereas on the other hand major Balram is stubborn. He does have the passion to be dedicated to the country, but refuses to obey any instructions or authority. And this is the reason for bitterness among two brothers. Whereas their sister may not have gone to the border but was associated with an intelligence agency, which keeps an eye on the activities happening outside and decodes important messages.
The film is named after the PT-76 tanker, fondly called ‘Pippa’ which was piloted by Captain Bally. This shows his affection and fondness for this tanker. But the story of the film does not spend much time on this relationship between man and machine.
After a brief history of the conflict with West and East Pakistan, the film shows how India as a nation chose justice and humanity. It is a decently-crafted war film, which does not just focus on the bravery of Captain Bally but also focuses on his family life and background, his personality and how various people and events influenced his personality. Raja Krishna Menon’s film also put light on India’s nobility and generosity, how the brave soldiers of India gave their all to the call of duty for the neighboring country.
Ishaan Khatter is a good actor. Be it as a courageous young soldier or someone who displays leadership and wisdom, he not only does justice to his character but also shines. Priyanshu Painyuli has done an excellent job in the role of disciplined and brave Major Ram Mehta. Both of them do a wonderful job together on the screen. Be it showing the strained relationship between the brothers or the subsequent changes in this relationship, the chemistry between the two is strong on every front. No hard work has been done on Mrunal Thakur’s character as Radha. There is no backstory to her character, nothing. The way she is shown cracking the secret code at the end seems rushed.
The film has been co-written by Ravinder Randhawa, Tanmay Mohan and Raj Krishna Menon. As per the writing, the film is fine, its pace ended on the same note with which it started. However, the sequences leading up to the battle sometimes lose their pace, but the overall story pulls you in. Direction is of Raja Krishna Menon. One of his specialties is that he puts more emphasis on relationships in his films. Here too he has tried the same in a subtle way and very much succeeded. One of the most beautiful parts of the film is the honesty of the story. The Eastern Front and war scenes have been filmed in an authentic manner without showing horror or atrocities committed on helpless people.
While watching such films, the challenge before the audience is how to get their heart attached to the film and the challenge before the makers is to show something in the initial few minutes that the audience immediately connects with. A.R. Rahman’s music does exactly that. It is one of the few things in the movie to excitedly look out for.
Films have been made on the 1971 war before and will continue to be made in future too. Full of patriotism, sacrifice, passion and courage, this film will take you on a historical and exciting journey of the India-Pakistan war.
‘Pippa’ is now streaming on Amazon Prime.