In films, love story, comedy, porn and War never gets out of circulation. In India, we have a dearth of good war films. We had Haqeeqat in 1964 directed by Chetan Anand, 1972 was the Ramanand Sagar directed Lalkar, 1997 came J.P. Dutta directed Border, 2017 gave us Ghaazi Attack and now in 2019 the debut venture of Aditya Dhar, ‘URI- THE SURGICAL STRIKE’. These films are a different genre than films like Raazi, Vijeta, Laqshya, Shaurya, which are Armed, forced based movies.
URI-THE SURGICAL STRIKE WILL GROW WITH VIEWERS WOM.
Starting with an 8 Crore opening day collection may be nothing to write home about. However, I hope and predict that it will rake in good audience review and will ride the newly found patriotism. Please go out and see the movie. Don’t let it remain a metro multiplex phenomenon. It has the potential of doing good business in the single screen too.
I love the understated portrayal of human emotions and reaction. There is no heavy-duty loud mouthing of dialogues just because it is a war movie. And I enjoyed the whole set up until the end. In spite of a debut directional venture, the Aditya Dhar keeps you glued to the seat.
I hope it proves me right and delivers on the confidence and faith in audience choice. With only Accidental Prime Minister as a major worth release, it should do well. If it holds through the week, we definitely will have a sleeper hit.
URI- A NEW DIMENSION OF NATIONALISM.
There is an expectation of jingoism when you get to watch the movie. Truthfully there is an additional pride, the spine a bit more erect and the chest out while singing the National Anthem before the film. Surprise there is no shot of Tiranga through the movie, and yet the nationalistic pride and patriotism is all over it. There are many movements when the whole hall goes wild, and you can hear clapping everywhere. It also has high emotionally charged scenes bringing involuntary emotional tears to the eyes.
Vicky Kaushal carries the film on his able shoulders, and it will do a lot of good to him. His talent was earlier in display in Sanju and Raazi. lent was already After Akshay and Sunil Shetty, we have an actor on whom the uniform sits so well.
Mohit Raina is impressive in his short appearance. Swaroop Sampat as his Alzheimer-afflicted mother has the briefest of appearance, but you won’t forget her..Yamni Gautam the intelligence officer and Kirti Kulhari the Helicopter pilot complete the empowered female cast. Akashdeep Arora as the young intern at DSRO is impressive.
Speaking of the politician. Paresh Rawal as Ajit Doval, the National Security Advisor, sleepwalks through his role while Rajit Kapoor as PM Modi plays it much safe. I don’t know the name of the actor playing Ex-Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar- but this one is a perfect match.
I usually refrain from speaking about cinematography. But, in case of URI, one must compliment Uri is shot with astounding finesse by cinematographer Mitesh Mirchandani. Love the way every frame talks without exaggeration. There is fluidity on screen. And it makes for viewing pleasure.
URI HAS FEW STEREOTYPED MOMENTS.
There are enough stereotyped moments. Like an NLP exercise, Each one of them is planted well in advance. You are ready for them. However, they still manage to surprise you. A convoy is passing through the jungles in north-east, a soldier is singing, the unit is enjoying, and the next moment there is a blast, they have been ambushed. The kid wants to get faster to her black belt, remembers the dad’s battalion war cry, dad is posted out, his unit is under attack, he dies. At the funeral, the daughter salutes his remains and gives the war cry all her lung power. The glance between two colleagues that says nothing means nothing. The story of martyrdom and the punishment of desk posting that precedes heroics later. The conflict between the mother and motherland. Everything placed in the right frame.
In September 2016, armed terrorist attacked a Military base in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir. 19 Indian soldiers were killed in the attack and several others injured. On September 29, 11 days after the incident, the Indian Army retaliated with a series of synchronised surgical strikes against terrorist camps in Pak Occupied Kashmir.
The film is based on these surgical strikes. The movie takes full creative license creating a fictional story of human emotions and patriotism without affecting the event sanctity and expected Adrenaline push. Chemically speaking, URI may not push endorphins, dopamine and serotonin levels. But, a happy smile of National pride at the end of the movie will show that the oxytocin level will go a few notches up. It could have gone up if they could have managed to play the National Anthem at the end instead of at the start of the movie.
URI- A BONUS TO BJP?
Team BJP should be happy with the bonus branding of a caring Government that does not hold punches. It’s nearing election time. Unless BJP is using this as a clever marketing ploy or has some internal behind the scene interest in it, I will call it bonus publicity and revival of their strongest moment of taking the enemy head-on with Surgical strike. Otherwise, The Accidental Prime Minister, URI and the recently announced Modi make for a surprise package full of coincidences.
STAR CAST: Vicky Kaushal, Mohit Raina, Yami Gautam, Paresh Rawal, Kirti Kulhari. DIRECTION: Aditya Dhar PRODUCED BY Ronnie Screwvala.