Certainly India v/s Pakistan is a great commercial bet that will remain forever. What rings in favour of THE GHAZI ATTACK - an unusual war flick that distinct itself from the uncommon phenomenon of war sagas in Indian cinema, is its rare ability to stand out as one of its kind that involves Indian Navy and shows underwater submarine combats between the two nations.
Debutant Sankalp Reddy's Telugu war adventure THE GHAZI ATTACK dubbed in Hindi and Tamil is a rare testimony that big players like Dharma Productions and AA films have the knack to identify the uniqueness of such cinema produced by PVP cinemas and Matinee Entertainment and provide them the required distinctive personality.
Starring BAAHUBALI fame Rana Daggubati along with fine talents like Kay Kay Menon, Atul Kulkarni and late Om Puri, THE GHAZI ATTACK is a grippingly passionate war epic that successfully imposes patriotism in the hearts of the audience and studs itself with brilliantly winning performances and noticeable details.
Sankalp Reddy, Gangaraju Gunnam and Niranjan Reddy penned the script of THE GHAZI ATTACK based on the mysterious sinking of 'PNS Ghazi' during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. Beginning with an unnecessarily long disclaimer by Rana Daggubati, the movie kicks off with the hauntingly impeccable and India's most popular baritone of Mr. Bachchan which establishes the base of this saga that claims to have happened just before the 1971 Indo - Pak war. A cryptic message gets decoded by the Indian Navy at the port of Vishakhapatnam, The Pakistan Navy is planning a naval attack on India and the targets are the south Indian ports of Vishakhapatnam and Madras (today's Chennai). Captain Ranvijay Singh (Kay Kay Menon), an arrogant and smart officer filled with patriotism to the hilt is given the command of Indian submarine, S 21.
Lieutenant-Commander Arjun Varma (Rana Daggubati) is the joint in charge who is primarily send to make sure that captain Ranvijay Singh doesn't do something disastrous in his arrogance.
The objective of the classified mission is to check the presence of the enemy forces under Indian waters. The team of Ranvijay and Arjun gets completed with Executive Officer Devraj (Atul Kulkarni).
During the operation, the presence of Pakistan's most decorated submarine 'PNS Ghazi' is found which is on a mission to destroy India's pride 'INS Vikrant'. The enemy is able to distract Indian Navy's attention and S 21 gets hit by a mine. Down, injured and handicapped by damage occurred to the submarine which can now only move up or down, how the macho Indian brave hearts under the water thwart the enemy's continues attempt to blast S 21 with torpedoes and brilliantly execute a successful counter finds the crux of this absorbing and thrilling story.
THE GHAZI ATTACK introduces a fine talent like Sankalp Reddy who laces this unique war saga with some noticeable detailing. For example props like the head phone etc are marked with Made in USSR stamp. The Submarine gives a real feel and the script is manipulatively targeted to please the masses and successfully induces the required emotion, conflict and the bonding between the three naval officers – Rana, Kay Kay and Atul.
Sankalp Reddy passes the tough test to shoot the entire drama in a submarine and keep the audience on hold; the narration is free flowing like a water and no where the audience feel that they are caged in just one setting. The combat sequences are shot terrifically and make the right impact.
Madhi's camera does a splendid job. The sound effects add to the tension and A. Sreekar Prasad's crisp editing compliments the director's efforts.
Performance are of highest order over here where Kay Kay Menon excels in his brilliant portray of Captain Ranvijay Singh. In the scene where he says Oh My Bleeding Heart.. the actor smartly mocks his known mannerisms to his own benefit and that's the hallmark of a brilliant actor.
Rana Daggubati gives a controlled restrained and winning performance that infuses the passion for our motherland successfully.
Atul Kulkarni is a brilliant actor and here as executive officer, Devraj who is the balancing force between the arrogant Singh and duty bound Verma is just outstandingly remarkable.
And last but not the least, Om Puri in his short role reminds us on the great vacuum that has got created after his sad demise.
And yes, this movie is a song less war thriller.
On the flipside, though it would be inappropriate to compare THE GHAZI ATTACK with the world renowned war sagas, the maker's choice to go half fiction, half historical may be questionable for some.
The winding up should have definitely done in a better way. What on earth Taapsee was doing in this flick. It was so sad to see this remarkable talent doing almost nothing. Poor Naseer also had a minuscule role to play.
All said and done, THE GHAZI ATTACK is a rare phenomenon on Indian screen. We don't have much war epics and further its shows underwater submarine combats and most important in today's Bollywood days - this ode to Mother India doesn't feature the current poster boy of patriotism Akshay Kumar and still its satisfyingly entertaining cinema that rings the right bells on our macho patriotisms meter.
Go for it India.