Feature Name: Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl
Directed By: Sharan Sharma
Cast: Janhvi Kapoor, Pankaj Tripathi, Angad Bedi, Vineet Kumar Singh, Manav Vij
Run Time: 1h 48m
The film showcase the story of a strong women. Her journey from an aspiring aviator to India’s first female combat pilot in the Kargil War. The story starts as Gunjan harboured dreams of becoming a pilot from a young age. While her father gave her wings to fly, she faced numerous obstacles throughout her life.
From a misogynist brother (Angad Singh Bedi) who thought his sister was only good for serving people tea and coffee on the flight to lack of funds to enroll herself in a flight school- problems were in plenty.
But Gunjan encouraged greatly by her father, and her determination makes it the Indian Air Force as one of the first few female pilots.
The beauty of writers Nikhil Mehrotra and Sharan Sharma lie in the way they approach the story of Gunjan Sharma, devoid of any frills. The story is of a girl’s struggle to become one of the most celebrated IAF officers and the writers never deviate from the main plot. Director Sharan Sharma, who takes a stab at spearheading his first full-length feature, seems to have done a good job in the making.
The film is nearly 2 hours long and the director packs in a lot of stuff in that duration. How Gunjan got introduced to the idea of becoming a pilot to her early school days as a student who topped her class, to her training in the IAF- A lot is shown in the film.
Despite the detailing, the film never appears too stretched. Shot by the R Dee, the film captures the valleys, (supposed to be Kargil and Dras sector) well. I wish it had got a theatrical release, the war scenes would have looked grand on the big screen.
On OTT, the impact of the battle scenes lessens to an extent. It was made for the big screen anyway but had to opt for a digital release due to the pandemic.
The film ultimately scores because of its content that effectively highlights the misogyny of the IAF in the 1990s. ‘Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl’ is also a poignant story of a father and his daughter- both dreamers who refuse to back down.
Talking about the performance, Janhvi Kapoor in the titular role secures a smooth landing. She injects grace and vulnerability in spades. The stirring drama takes you into a world in which woman is fighting. It’s for her place on earth and in the skies.
People says that girls are always attached to one person in the family and it’s their dad. The story had not doubt a loving father played by Pankaj Tripathi. He has totally surprised each and everyone in the film. And has proved that he is excellent in what ever he does whether it’s being a villain in Sacred Game or being a supportive father in Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl.
The two bad ass in the show – Viineet Kumar as an experienced fighter pilot does his job of being a sexist cad neatly. His constantly discouraging and proving to be a hindrance in Gunjan’s journey. For her to becoming a pilot and he deliver well in his role.
Maanav Vij has a positive and support role in Gunjan’s Journey. He was the perfect one with the positive thought that shows that not ever person is bad. Right from his entry in the scene till the time he set Gunjan to the Kargil War he has done great justice to his role.
While on the other hand, Angad Bedi as the beefy, sexist but inherently good-hearted brother of Saxena is serviceable. He is inherently inflexible, his toxic masculinity isn’t offensive and that’s a problem. He was definately the perfect selection for the role.
The movies soars when it tackles the father-daughter dynamic and gives out a strong message. You can watch the film on Netflix. We with all our heart give the film 3.5 stars.