Released in January 2019, just in time for India’s 70th Republic Day and as some might say just in time of the 2019 General Elections, Uri: The Surgical Strike has created quite the buzz on social media with it’s popular Roar of ‘How’s the josh?’ followed by ‘High, Sir!’ The film is poised to create the same buzz at the box office.
Here is a review on how the josh is after watching this cinematic depiction of the 2016 Surgical Strike.
‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’ is a namesake of the surgical strike conducted by India in response to the Uri attacks. Rightly so, ‘based on true events’ are the first words that light up on the screen. The motive of the movie is simple, pay tribute to the Indian forces and stir up feelings of patriotism. It does just that, quite well.
Early on in the movie, the character of Vicky Kaushal is established as the sharp and successful Major Vihaan Shergill. There is absolutely no doubt who the hero is, something that is characteristic to a Bollywood movie. However, unlike a Bollywood movie, the hero in this movie is portrayed tastefully. Major Vihaan Shergill is neither an emotionless-war-crazed-killing-machine nor a pompous egomaniac. The script allows him to play the part of a dutiful son, fun uncle, loving brother and heartbroken friend.
The most important role being inevitably reserved for being a dutiful son to Mother India. To quote directly from the film, this is what the Prime Minster says when he learns that Major Vihaan is taking premature retirement to attend to his ailing mother, ‘Lekin desh bhi toh maa hai’.
Whether it’s Major Vihaan Shergill asking to be included in the Surgical Strike team, ‘Farz aur Farzi mein ek matra ka farak hai’ or Paresh Rawal playing Ajit Doval saying ‘Yeh naya Hindustan hai. Yeh ghar mein ghusega bhi aur marega bhi’ or Vicky Kaushal’s niece calling out the war cry at her fallen father’s funeral, these scenes in the movie know exactly which buttons to push.
The movie tries hard to walk away from typical Bollywood cinema but as the movie progresses this proves to be a futile exercise. Larger than life, hand to hand fight scenes featuring a bulked-up Vicky Kaushal are although not very realistic but are cinematically brilliant. The cinematography of the movie is above par, keeping you hooked and anxious for Major Vihaan Shergill and his men despite being aware of the surgical strike’s outcome.
The addition of a student intern playing a pivotal role in the surgical strike operation through his aerial surveillance invention ‘Garuda’, along with the camaraderie among Major Vihaan Shergill and his team provide light moments in the movie, making it refreshing.
Apart from Vicky Kaushal’s character, screen time is scarce for others in the movie and just sad for female characters. Yami Gautam- despite declaring that she is damn good at her job in the movie- does little to support this claim other than give presentations and put GPS trackers on the clothes of Major Vihaan Shergill’s schizophrenic mother. Kirti Kulhari is another female character, portrayed as a skilled Air Force pilot but her fate in the movie is similar to that of Yami Gautam.
‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’ strives to achieve no-nonsense and hard hitting but tiptoes to dramatic, more than once. This is a movie you should watch for the fallen heroes in the Uri attacks and the brave hearts who conducted the Surgical Strike.
Three and a half stars out of five for this one, the extra half-a-star for Vicky Kaushal’s chemistry with the big screen.