The following excerpt is from the India Today website –
“Four terrorists attacked 12th Brigade of the army in Uri sector on 18th Sept 2016, Sunday. At around 5.15 am, terrorists attacked the administrative block of the army. Unarmed soldiers were there, refilling diesel in barrels from fuel tanks. Springing a surprise, terrorists lobbed 17 grenades in 3 minutes. This caused a massive fire in the barracks and tents in about 150-metre radius, where 13 jawans were burnt alive instantaneously. Many others received severe burns. Four jawans succumbed to their injuries later in the army hospital. This was the biggest terrorist attack on an army camp in 26 years.”
Now read the above para, once again, but this time, try to visualize the scenes. Unarmed soldiers, burning fleshes, amidst the cries of injured men will flash in front of your eyes. Such ghastly was this act of cowardice, that a fitting reply was the need of the hour. An impertinent response was required. 10 days later, the Indian army did the unthinkable. They entered POK and destroyed terrorist bases and came back, unscathed. ‘Uri – The Surgical Strike’ is the Bollywood version of this retaliatory attack. It’s an important film to have come from Bollywood, which neither spreads propaganda nor does chest-thumping jingoism. It does not highlight the image of any political party. It does allow some fiction into the narrative but only because it’s a movie and needs to be there for the purpose of entertainment.
Technically the film scores very high numbers. The combat sequences, the battle scenes, the guerrilla warfares are shot stylishly and hardly gives you any reason to find loopholes. The last 45 minutes of the film are devoted to the surgical strike and you see glimpses of ‘Zero Dark Thirty’. The credit goes to the undying efforts of cinematographer Mitesh Mirchandani and editor Shivkumar V Panicker. Debutant director Aditya Dhar does extremely well to weave a story around the attacks.
As it’s a war movie, so it kind of a giveaway that much of the characters’ actions stem from the personal loss that they face. But having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed the first hour, depicted by first 3 chapters, which sets up the character and their life. Vicky Kaushal, who plays the protagonist Major Vihan Singh Sheirgill, skillfully portrays the anguish of an army man, riddled with the responsibilities of country and life. More than his dialogues, it’s his eyes that emote the pain of a broken man. Watch out for the funeral sequence, where he along with his regiment, give the final honours for their fallen comrades. It’s a hair raising scene that crumbles you from inside.
Rest of the actors are in fine form. Kirti Kulhari, Yami Gautam, Paresh Rawal (an ode to NSA Ajit Doval), Swaroop Sampat as Vihan’s mother suffering from Alzheimer’s, Rajit Kapoor (as Prime Minister Narendra Modi) and Dhairya Karwa as Capt. Sartaj Singh, are the ones that you remember from the ensemble cast. Mohit Raina makes his debut and does really well in a short appearance. One wishes to see more of this actor. Manasi Parikh Gohil as Vihaan’s sister is efficient and does well. There’s a short sequence involving Indian molls inside the ISI agency and Rakesh Bedi, Rukhsar and Manish Chowdhury shine in it.
‘Uri – The Surgical Strike’ is a film that needs to be watched by everyone. It’s not about ‘Us Vs Them’. Neither it’s about any political party trying to score laurels for the upcoming elections. It’s about the Indian Army and their unyielding tryst to protect and fight for us.
The Cinemawala Rating: 3.5/5