When someone tries to tell you. story you haven’t heard before, it catches your attention instantly. The Ghazi Attack starring Kay Kay Menon, Rana Daggubati, Atul Kulkarni and Taapsee Pannu is one such film. Right from the posters to its trailer, the movie had everyone intrigued, as this was not only an unknown tale but also the first submarine based war film. So did The Ghazi Attack live up to all that buzz around it? Let’s find out
What’s its about
The Ghazi Attack is a true story based on the mysterious events that took place just before the 1971 Indo-Pak war broke out. PNS Ghazi had set out to destroy the one and only Indian aircraft carrier – INS Vikrant. That’s when S-21, another submarine was sent out to stop Ghazi. It was a classified mission that no one knew of. While Indian Navy has claimed to have destroyed to PNS Ghazi, Pakistan Navy believe the PNS Ghazi exploded as it collided with its own landmines. Till date, the truth remains hidden.
The cinematography effortlessly transports you to that time period when this classified mission took place. It’s almost as if you are inside the S-21 submarine and fighting the war yourself. The director convinces you of the magnitude of the story, makes you feel its impact just like PNS Ghazi felt it when S21 launched a torpedo at it. The director has paid special attention to the minute details, like the knobs on the engine, document papers, the surge of waves when a torpedo is launched, pipe bursts when one part of the submarine gets hit by a landmine. The scene where S21 gets hit by the land mine actually makes you reach out to the screen, it’s so real, you wish to stop it yourself. The attack and the counter attack was fast paced and gripping. Sankalp was clear, he was here to tell a story and not beat around the bush. The little additions the director made to make this seem more a film, less a documentary, added to story and didn’t seem forced. Also, each attack by both submarines was explained well without making it seem like a classroom lesson. Coming to the characters, Kay Kay Menon’s role was most interesting. Beneath all that bravado and cheekiness, there was a broken father who never forgot his son’s death. His character was subtly layered, and each layer came out in the open as the movie progressed. Rana Daggubati’s character rose to the occasion in the second half, displaying his bravery at the right time. Atul Kulkarni was prefect in his part, calm when he had to be, aggressive when it was needed. He added valuably to the team on the ship. At every tense or anxious moment in the story, the background score made its presence felt reflecting our own feelings. Apart from story and the characters keep us, one couldn’t help feel wistful on watching the late actor Om Puri on screen. His scenes triggered a bitter-sweet memory, for us fans. All in all, it was a story well told with breathtaking visuals. Also read: Here’s all you need to know about the real story of Rana Daggubati and Taapsee Pannu’s The Ghazi Attack
Right from the lead cast – Rana, Atul, Kay Kay to even the submarine engine drivers, everyone had a role to play but for Taapsee Pannu. Her character was a complete waste, as she was rescued out of nowhere and conveniently happened to be a doctor. She may have just had four dialogues. The story would have been the same with or without her. No difference. While Rana’s persona was impressive, his voice was a major put off. At certain instances, his body language and his voice weren’t in sync. While the story was interesting, certain sequences in the end dampened the impact of the movie. The Pakistani Captain’s plans conveniently went wrong and that fizzled out the victory to an extent.
What to do
If you want to see an inspiring story into which great effort has been put in to make it as real as possible, The Ghazi Attack is definitely for you. Also, there’s Kay Kay Menon.
Reviewed by karthika raveendran
**** Very good