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3 Urbanasian Rating

The Independence Day weekend release, also starring Sanjay Dutt, Sonakshi Sinha, Sharad Kelkar and Ammy Virk, takes a slice out of the 1971 India-Pakistan war.

 Bhuj: The Pride of India
Bhuj: The Pride of India

It follows IAF Squadron leader Vijay Karnik (Ajay Devgn) ensured India’s victory by re-constructing the Bhuj airbase along with the help of 300 women from a local village in Madhapar.

Bhuj: The Pride of India boasts of heavy-duty dialogues that talk of martyrdom, the spirit for patriotism and duties of a soldier. During the Bangladesh liberation war in East Pakistan, the India-Pakistan conflict of 1971 erupted (now Bangladesh). While India aided East Pakistan in overthrowing West Pakistan’s (now Pakistan) dictatorial dictatorship. PAK attacked western India in the hopes of using it as a bargaining chip to negotiate for the captured eastern provinces. As part of the strategy, various Indian aviation bases were bombed.

PAF (Pakistan Air Force) jets launched more than 14 Napalm bombs on the Indian Air Force runway in Bhuj on the night of December 8. The hit rendered the airfield inoperable. As well as the Indian combat aircraft. The IAF had hoped that the Border Security Force (BSF) would reconstruct the airfield, but time was running out and labour was in short supply.

It was during this time that 300 villagers, mostly women from Madhapur in Bhuj. It decided to step in to defend the country by repairing the damaged airbase within 72 hours.

The tone of Indian war films has changed dramatically throughout the years. We’ve come a long way from chest-thumping patriotism to humanising combat heroes and seeing them as humans first.

Even Uri: The Surgical Strike (2019) featured a subdued sense of personal sorrow and anguish, revealing the repercussions of combat behind the high spirits.

War heroes are admired, even venerated, but they are no longer portrayed as indestructible. Their heroism has an element of truth about it. That is not the case in this instance.

The makers of Bhuj state right away in the disclaimer that this is a work of fiction based on true events. This explains the dramatic tone with which it retells history.

This one, too, resorts to hyper-nationalism. Isn’t it true that everything is equal in love and war? Well, not when the film takes the risk of making a military action appear irrational in order to increase the emotional quotient.

The usage of loud bhajans accompanied by dhols at the repaired airfield contradicts sense because it was meant to be a covert operation designed to avoid more bombings.

One might forgive the drama, but in a notion like this, exchanging logic for dramatisation is difficult to swallow. The writing could have been a little more thoughtful. The first half is disjointed, with cameos from various individuals making heroic remarks with little explanation. The events leading up to the attack on Bhuj airbase are depicted in a disorganised manner.

The film, on the other hand, redeems itself in the second half, which features the majority of the action and drama. Thereafter, it’s a suspenseful thriller that keeps you hooked.

The action game (realistic and unrealistic) is on spot, from 120 soldiers protecting

the Vighakot post and safeguarding the country to witnessing a jet rest its front on a truck for landing. Even the visuals of aerial battle keep you interested.

The sound and graphics are designed to be viewed on a large screen. While the visual effects are just passable. The sound is adequate for transporting you to the battlefield. Ajay Devgn has a lot of standard slowmo shots, and he nails the intensity of his character.

Also good are Sanjay Dutt, Sonakshi Sinha, Sharad Kelkar, and Ammy Virk. Navni Parihar as former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is one of the cameos that works. We with all our heart give the films 3 stars.

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