Written and Directed by: Sankalp
Cast: Kay Kay Menon, Rana Daggubati, Atul Kulkarni, Taapsee Pannu
Watching war films is always a thrilling affair but it takes a real careful and studious approach to bring that spontaneous experience alive on screen. ‘The Ghazi Attack’ is an ordinary attempt to showcase the real story of bravery of our soldiers. India’s first war-at-sea movie, The Ghazi Attack is based on a true story. It’s not a sharp movie but I do hope Bollywood will start making more war films as this genre is mostly untouched by our filmmakers.
In 1971, Pakistani submarine PNS Ghazi enters the Indian waters to attack our grand and brave INS Vikrant but Indian submarine S-21 boldly stands up to stop the Ghazi attack. Written and directed by Sankalp, the story of this under-ocean thriller is interesting. A premise of two countries at war, their moves and counter moves to tackle each other, hiding and faking the positions of their submarines to have an upper hand and the torpedoes firing the terror in sea – all these are natural ingredients for the success of a war film. Yet Sankalp’s script couldn’t’ create that magic.
It’s understandable that there is some conflict of leadership and decision making between two officers but then the fight between Kay Kay Menon and Rana Daggubati over attack and defence is stretched too far and at one point, one might wonder, who is the enemy here? The Pakistani submarine is on a war front but these two officers are engrossed in proving themselves right. Sankalp needed to short down that aspect and focus on the core war theme.
Image Source: Dharma Productions
Direction of the film is linear. Sankalp doesn’t add much thought in storytelling. The whole mission is told to us in the first scene right away which kind of takes away all the fun of secrecy of the battle. What he should have done is directly start the film from the submarine and the face-off between the two ships and let us discover the plot and mission through the battle.
The screenplay is the weakest aspect of the movie. The dialogues are very predictable and dull; even the talks about bravery and fighting for the country don’t add much inspiration to the scenes. Rana diving into the ocean to save people, civilians on ship, prolonged debate between two leading officers lessen the excitement of the war situation. The film’s run time exceeds due to the final act. Even the actual action that happens with all the torpedoes getting fired is executed very poorly. The most disappointing thing is that despite having a true and amazing story at hand, the director fails to make it a gripping one.
I am a big fan of Kay Kay Menon’s acting. He delivers the role of an aggressive Captain Ranvijay Singh with full passion. He looks smart with always trying to get one step ahead of the enemy and convincingly portrays the leadership on the ship. Rana Daggubati is a heavy performer. His intensity and firmness is good to watch on screen. Atul Kulkarni honestly performs as the executive officer of the submarine. He shows a good emotional side and also stays aggressive whenever required. The only worry with Atul’s role is his voice is not authoritative so when he gives an order, it doesn’t feel that sharp. Naval officers have commanding voice. Nonetheless, he adds energy to the narrative.
‘The Ghazi Attack’ is a weakly executed film. The tedious writing and dreadful direction drowns the true story of bravery. The movie lacks that thrill of war action and eventually, it becomes just an average experience.