The Ghazi Attack movie review: An underwater story half drowned
Director: Sankalp Reddy
Cast: Kay Kay Menon, Rana Daggubati, Atul Kulkarni, Om Puri, Taapsee Pannu
With The Ghazi Attack, director Sankalp Reddy brings you all an untold story of the war between India and Pakistan which happened in 1971 under the seal belt of Vizag. It is a well made film technically but considering the subject of the film, the runtime of 125 minutes is a lot stretched.
As soon as Captain Nanda (Om Puri) gets to know about the PNS Ghazi, a Pakistani war submarine, invading India through the Vishakhapatnam port to acquire East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), he appoints Captain Rann Vijay Singh (Kay Kay Menon), Devaraj (Atul Kulkarni) and Lt. Commander Arjun Varma (Rana Daggubati) to save the Indian naval base. The three officers leave for attack, flanked by the INS Vikrant (S 21), India’s own war submarine. Ananya (Taapsee Pannu) boards S 21 as an emergency doctor.
Situations become palpable when Captain Rann Vijay Singh takes charge of S 21 without consulting his subordinate, Lt. Commander Arjun Varma. Despite of Arjun’s denial, Rann Vijay launches a torpedo at Ghazi. Soon after, in the series of events, Rann Vijay dies and then starts the journey of Arjun and Devaraj’s vendetta to avenge Rann Vijay’s death and to save the Indian submarine.
Director Sankalp Reddy has surely done his best to bring out the reality of this unexplored war tale. However, the movie begins with a long disclaimer that the film is fictitious and has nothing to do with any war between India and Pakistan. Along with Niranjan Reddy and Gunnam Gangaraju, Sankalp has nicely written the film but the biggest hiccup of the film is its length. The first half of the film is so slow that it becomes a yawn fest until Rann Vijay’s death propels proceedings, acting as a hook-point in the film. The film could easily have done off with a good 15 minutes worth of screen-time, especially in the first half. It picks up pace in the second half which is visually gripping too. Dialogues by Azad Alam are good enough to support a mellow patriotic film.
Kay Kay Menon has done a fantabulous job and even Rana Daggubati and Atul Kulkarni are excellent in the film. These three are the backbone of the film. Om Puri and Taapsee Pannu are good in their small roles.
There were films in the recent past that were aimed to invoke patriotism in the viewer. Dangal and Airlift were the best examples in 2016. The Ghazi Attack is nowhere close to them but isn’t avoidable either, considering its untouched war backdrop. One of the highlights of the film is that it doesn’t have any songs forced into the narrative unnecessarily. Cinematography by Maddie is good. The entire film has been shot on croma, which is commendable. For a film predominantly set underwater, it looks very real except for 2-3 odd scenes. One will have an idea if you have seen the making of Titanic or the Indian film Blue that had starred Akshay Kumar and Sanjay Dutt.
The Ghazi Attack is an interesting choice for this weekend unless you aren’t willing to watch a patriotic film which the makers haven’t projected it as at all. But don’t expect the chills you get after seeing films like Border, Chak De India, Rang De Basanti or Dangal. Watch it for its performances and technicalities.