- Movie Name:Bhuj The Pride of India
- Critics Rating: 3 / 5
- Release Date: August 13, 2021
- Director: Abhishek Dudhaiya
- Genre: War Drama
In the midst of the 1971 Indo-Pak war, the IAF airstrip at Bhuj, Kachchh District of Gujarat was demolished. And it was IAF squadron leader Vijay Karnik (Ajay Devgn), along with 300 women from the local village Madhapar who responded with a stealthy and miraculous reconstruction of the whole airbase in a night. Undoubtedly, Bhuj: The Pride of India is a story that leaves us with a heroic sense of unity in our hearts during the ballad of shells and bullets.
But what is it lacking? It's the execution of the story. Bhuj: The Pride of India has all the elements of a commercial potboiler -- slo mo hero, jingoistic dialogues, drumrolls, emotions and drama but what the makers failed to understand is this pitch might be great for a theatrical experience but these over-the-top components does not impress the OTT audiences.
Abhishek Dudhaiya directorial though leaves us with a spinal feel of a predicament where destruction was answered with construction, that too under a thick shade of resilience. The story is superb but it lacks execution. High sung are the praises of all 300 women to not only avoid the suspicion but adhere to a trek of cobblestones riddled with fatality. The story of those women and how they did it somehow eclipsed under loud drumrolls, war cry and dialogues of the hero.
A credit long overdue under patriotism, Ajay Devgn starrer hits every stop of how an act of phoenix-like courage ignites a firm light of hopefulness in the darkest hour of that period. However, the honest heroism of war heroes that we saw in films like Uri:The surgical strike, LOC, and Border goes completely missing as our war hero here doesn't portray the indomitable spirit.
The film has talents like Ajay Devgan, Sanjay Dutt, Sonakshi Sinha, Sharad Kelkar, Amy Virk and Nora Fatehi who tried hard to keep it pinned. But a weak storyline and scattered approach towards the characters fail to create a bond with the audience. Characters are introduced in flashes with a lot of back and forth movement. Thus creating a confusing mess from the starting itself.
After Ajay Devgn, it's only Sanjay Dutt as Ranchordas Svabhai Ravari 'Pagi' who gets a fair bit of the action in the film. A promising actor like Sharad Kelker who plays officer RK Nair too falls prey to the commercial aspect of the film and gets reduced to firing blanks. Sadly, the women in the film did not get an individual space of their own, they were always shown relying on the men to shore up the lackluster writing. Sonakshi Sinha (Sunderban Jetha Madharpaya) who appears in the final 30 minutes goes unnoticed. Nora Fatehi in the role of a spy Heena Rehman leaves you wondering about her presence in the film.
The cinematography team of the film did some magic and didn’t fail to portray the esteemed image of a brilliant cinematic direction. While the VFX is strictly passable, the sound is competent enough to transport you to the battlefield.
Bhuj: The Pride of India makes it to the must-watch list this Independence Day. It is surely for Ajay Devgn fans but Sharad Kelkar also manages to shine through.