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.
The plot is inspired by true events that led to the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war. The first half establishes the milieu and incidents through actor Suriya’s voice over. We are introduced to the main characters- Captain Ranvijay Singh (Kay Kay Menon), Lt.Commander Arjun Varma (Rana) and Devraj(Atul Kulakarni) who are on a mission on S21, an Indian submarine.
The film explores the untold story of the mysterious circumstances under which S21 remain underwater for 18 days and how the Pakistan Navy’s flagship submarine PNS Ghazi, which was on a secret mission commits the cardinal mistake of crossing Indian waters and sank off the coast of Visakhapatnam.
Debutant director Sankalp and his team has done good research and re-constructed this extraordinary story. The underwater scenes and firing of Torpedoes shot with miniature models looks so realistic, and is so skilfully blended into war scenes, that we think they were real. The real heroes of the film are cameraman Mathi, editor Sreekar Prasad VFX team and K who was in charge of music who deserves a standing ovation.
Kay Kay Menon as the brash and brilliant officer who is loyal till the end sure knows his drill. He is awesome, especially in the scenes where a dispute over leadership erupts between him and Rana. Rana, as the cool headed Arjun underplays when Kay Kay is around but takes charge in the second half and takes the movie to the winning post with his intense body language and natural charm. Atul Kulkarni is impressive. Late Om Puri, Nassar and Taapsee are excellent actors stranded without characters to play!
Among the spoilers, the lip sync of lead actors stands out especially in close-up scenes but it is quite dismissible in a tri-lingual war film. On the whole, a brilliant film about submarines and war underwater-something we’ve not seen in Indian cinema so far. Just sit back and enjoy the experience.
Watch the trailer here: