The Ghazi Attack

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The Ghazi Attack
The Ghazi Attack

“THE GHAZI ATTACK” is jingoistic, but distinct and engaging!

Providing a believable submarine experience for perhaps the first time in Indian Cinema, THE GHAZI ATTACK is watchable for its this very uniqueness. However, lacking subtlety and nuances, the film is every bit melodramatic and overtly flag-waving in its narration. Nevertheless, with a gripping screenplay, the film makes for a good and informative one-time watch.

The story (disputably true) is set in 1971, when a Pakistani submarine, “PNS Ghazi”, ventured into Indian waters with the ambition of destroying the Indian “INS Vikrant”. But it was the heroes aboard the Indian submarine S-21, who stopped it. The film showcases this war, very few know about.

The film, directed by debutant Sankalp Reddy, explores the mysterious circumstances under which the PNS Ghazi sank off the coast of Visakhapatnam in 1971. It showcases the team which remained underwater for 18 days in a desperate quasi-war situation with Pakistan. Visually well-mounted, this film gives you a great insight into the tense naval war scenario and literally absorbs you into its large submarine war machine. The graphics, although far from perfect, are decent enough for its budget and you’re transported into the world on screen. The pacing too is swell, and you’re kept glued to the developments all the time.

Where director Reddy fails, is the subtlety in execution of the subject. Broad strokes are used everywhere and never are you let inside the minds of the people on board. Even the treatment of emotions is loud and over the top, reducing most characters, especially the Pakistanis and the top naval officers into caricatures. If this could’ve been handled in a more refined manner, believe you me, the film would’ve been a gem. Also there’s the famous fanatic patriotism that hardly touches those chords within you.

The performances are good. Kay Kay Menon as the aggressive naval commander is quite good, although his role longs for better writing. Atul Kulkarni is as balanced as ever and hits just the right notes each time. Rana Daggubati is okay, and does decent work by his standards. Taapsee Pannu is wasted in an irrelevant role. Late Om Puri appears for perhaps the last time, but for a very brief duration. All others are adequate.

In all, THE GHAZI ATTACK is novel in its subject and presentation, but only average in its execution. I still recommend watching it for the unique submarine experience it provides you with.

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