Perhaps for the first time in India, a movie has been made about submarine warfare with The Ghazi Attack. A trilingual directed by debutante Sankalp Reddy, The Ghazi Attack stars Rana Daggubati, Taapsee Pannu, Kay Kay Menon, Atul Kulkarni and Rahul Singh with Nasser, the late Om Puri and Milind Gunaji in smaller roles. The Ghazi Attack is a fictional take on the real life incident of the sinking of the Pakistani submarine PNS Ghazi during the 1971 Indo Pak war, which the Indian army had taken credit for. Karan Johar is backing the movie in Bollywood, and thanks to his support, The Ghazi Attack is definitely getting the right kind of attention here. The movie, while having its flaws, is a movie that’s very different from the usual cinema we are accustomed to in India and needs encouragement so that more directors attempt movies like these.
Thankfully, even the reviews have been kind to The Ghazi Attack, with many praising the director’s eye for detail and good performances. Here are favourable ones…
“The production design appears exceptional, because it’s unexpected. We don’t make such movies in India, even while we’ve been watching such from the West since forever (Das Boot came out in 1981, for God’s sake!). The captain of this sturdy ship, or director (Sankalp Reddy), as it were, I’m told, is a young first-time filmmaker from Hyderabad. Now that’s the guy to watch out for. As is his debut. Of course.”
“Despite its flaws, The Ghazi Attack is one of a kind cinema for us and is an engaging watch for sure. Boasted by fine performances and deft filmmaking, The Ghazi Attack delivers on its premise of being a trendsetter in its genre. Recommended!”
“Three rousing cheers to producer PVP Cinemas for pumping in so much money, effort and technical expertise which has resulted in such a challenging piece of work as The Ghazi Attack. The film is terrific, especially the second half, where we are sucked automatically into the narrative and gives us a feel that we are inside the submarine fighting the enemy. Ultimately the film has a powerful message of human spirit. The patriotism we go through is neither mawkish or overblown.”
“Shot splendidly inside what looks like a real submarine, Ghazi has been mounted with a fair degree of authenticity and scripted quite impressively. Admittedly, the film may not be comparable to some of Hollywood’s unforgettable war classics, like Von Ryan’s Express and Battle of the Bulge – just to name two. But given the kind of handicaps Indian cinema faces in terms of budget and special effects, Ghazi is remarkable in the way it presents some of the most tense moments when the Indian submarine hits a landmine planted by the Pakistani vessel.”
“Ghazi stays true to its genre, not giving in to mainstream commercial elements. That itself is commendable, considering we get very few of that kind in Telugu cinema. For a couple of minutes, you’ll see Rana indulge in something heroic when he goes looking for survivors of a wrecked ship, which Menon scoffs at. But even that is neatly worked into the plot.”
But not every review has been kind to the movie. Here are some of the not so positive ones…
“One might be taken up a bit with the obvious novelty of the genre – The Ghazi Attack is India’s first underwater war film. However, the fierce conflict off the coast of Vizag is reduced to simple us-and-them binaries. As a result, the film plays out strictly by numbers. There is never any doubt who will have the last laugh. As the film nears its business end, the filmmaker dutifully whips out not only the national anthem but also a rousing rendition of Saare jahaan se achcha and the inevitable raspy Bharat Mata Ki Jai war cry.”
“You know how a film that strategically deploys — literally — Jana Gana Mana, Saare Jahan Se Achcha and the Tricolour will end. But for a while, The Ghazi Attack shows us glimpses of a crisis-at-sea film it could have been. However, there are too many Pakistanis to slay, and too many torpedoes to fire, to care for niceties. In all, eight-odd are fired, two-odd hit. What happened to the other six? Who is counting?”
If you are interested in what BollywoodLife has to say about the movie, here’s our review…
So have you seen The Ghazi Attack? What’s your take on it?