Historically, India has never initiated an attack on it’s foes and we as a country hold great pride in furnishing this fact. Until September 29, 2016, when the Indian Army announced that it had successfully conducted surgical strikes against suspected militants in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. A historical day. Kyuki khamoshi ko kamzori nahi samajhna chahiye.
Based on True Events, Uri: The Surgical Strike is a tribute to the 19 unarmed soldiers who were killed in an army base near the town of Uri in Jammu & Kashmir’s Baramulla district on September 18, 2016. Almost 80 to 100 soldiers were reportedly injured in a gun battle that is said to have lasted for six hours.
The plot of the movie is very apparent. However, the film opens with a happy, singing soldier among other soldiers in a bus moving through the forests of Manipur. The entire bus is blown to shreds in the next jiffy. Within 15 minutes, it already feels like a cannonball ripped through your body. We then have Major Vihan Singh Shergill (Vicky Kaushal), being excellent at the work he does, applies for a retirement due to personal reasons. However his heart and soul still lies at the border where he hatches extreme and meticulous but successful strategies for his team. The aftermath of the Uri attack boils his blood and he makes a decision to go back to the army to avenge and make a statement for his country.
- Performances: This section is going to be very long due to excess talent in the movie, so brace yourselves. Vicky Kaushal is the thread that holds the garland of this movie together. Describing it as his most challenging role, the 5 months of military training undertaken by him to immerse himself fully into this role has clearly paid off well. He does an extremely good job in depicting a man who is clearly traumatized in his head and heart but strongly channels all his energy into his plan for the country. Paresh Rawal is seen playing the role of National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval and induces a slight amount of comedy into this vengeance seeking movie. Nevertheless, he plays the role with full conviction and it can be termed as a ‘phone breaking-ly’ amazing performance. Yami Gautam, who underwent a makeover for her role as Pallavi Sharma/Jasmine – an intelligence officer, just like Kirti Kulhari as Seerat – An Indian Air Force Officer, has a brief role to play. But both actors definitely add brownie points to the subject of the movie. Mohit Raina as Karan Kashyap will bring you to tears with his character of an excellent army personnel, a loving husband and the most fun dad. Mansi Parekh playing the role of Neha Kashyap can be appreciated for her very genuine and true seeming performance. All the other supporting actors – Rajit Kapur, Ivan Rodrigues, Yogesh Soman, Swaroop Sampat, Shishir Sharma, Satyajit Sharma, Raj Babbar, Akashdeep, Ruksar Rehman, Manish Chaudhary, Abrar Zahoor and even the attacking militants have displayed a very raw performance that make you feel like you are very much in on the entire surgical strike plan. Clearly, choosing this cast has proved to be an investment done well.
- Story: To be very honest, the movie could have used a better narration technique. Watching the movie twice would enable you to spot obvious story loopholes.There were dull flowers in the storyline which were being sewn together by forcing in drama. Even the drama wasn’t all that effective in all the areas where it was injected but overall, it did manage to touch the emotion of patriotism which was the very intent of the movie. For the climax, showing the aftermath of the surgical strike could have been a better ending to the movie. But I actually looked into the ceiling of the theatre to thank the invisible stars, for the director did not make the rookie mistake of a cheesy and unrelated romantic sequence in the movie. I was also extremely satisfied by the fact that the Pakistan Intelligence, army personnel and government have not been shown as laid back or inept but in fact put in their best efforts on receiving a hint of the operation. Finally, a movie with some reality! Debutant director Aditya Dhar seems to have been single mindedly focused on the very root of the film, seeking revenge for the meaningless loss and grief inflicted on the country and the families of it’s valiant soldiers.
- Cinematography: I personally do not like watching action movies mostly because you know what the end is – the hero wins so what’s with the booms and bams? The only reason that I went in for this movie was the shuddering patriotism wave I felt after watching the trailer. And must I tell you that my detestation for the genre has completely eroded. Extremely well shot action sequences with apt amount of VFX. Mitesh Mirchandani has left no stones unturned in this part of the film. At no point are you not going to be on your toes to see what logic and mindfulness do the Indian soldiers apply in the action sequences to perfectly acquire their target. Even the sound effects are so diligently put in that you can actually hear the shell casings fall after every round of shooting. In all, they made it seem very real- the shootings, the fights, the blood, the vengeance and it seems to be the perfect parcel sent from India, with love, to its attackers.
The attack in the North East, the combat in PoK, the Gurdaspur attack in July 2015 and the Pathankot Air Force Station attack in January 2016 – the Uri attack forced the Indian authorities into retaliating and this film has successfully depicted the energy of the moment. By the end of the movie, if I ask you, “How’s the josh?” You WILL scream your throat out to say, “High Sir!!”
In conclusion, Ye Naya Hindustaan hai. Hume jawab dena aata hai.
I would rate the movie 4 chirps. An excellent weekend watch!
PS: Do not get startled and throw your popcorn on people when you hear the Desh Bhakts in the crowd screaming Bharat Mata ki Jai!! when the nemesis are attacked. Infact, tag along. It is an experience of a kind.