The Ghazi Attack movie review: India’s first underwater film drowns under its weight

The Ghazi Attack movie review: Rana Daggubati and Kay Kay Menon film could have been an engrossing crisis-at-sea drama but the film is so busy slaying Pakistanis that it loses sight of its core strengths.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5
Written by Shalini Langer | New Delhi | Updated: February 16, 2017 2:31 pm
The Ghazi Attack movie review: The clash between Rana Daggubati and Kay Kay Menon forms the central conflict of Ghazi Attack. The Ghazi Attack movie review: The clash between Rana Daggubati and Kay Kay Menon forms the central conflict of Ghazi Attack.

The Ghazi Attack movie cast: Rana Daggubati, Taapsee Pannu, Kay Kay Menon, Atul Kulkarni, Rahul Singh, Om Puri
The Ghazi Attack movie Director: Sankalp Reddy
The Ghazi Attack movie rating: 1.5 stars

“ALL people associated with this film are law-abiding citizens.” Yes, films have come to that now. The Ghazi Attack starts with this disclaimer, before going on to declare that its intention is not to outrage or offend anybody, that it doesn’t in any manner support the expressions used by its characters, and that it makes no claim to historical accuracy.

Pakistan must be relieved.

Among other things, the film’s lead protagonists make fun of, and then decide to ignore, higher-ups over decisions such as attacking enemy ships that could start a war. “Really, you are that kind of a soldier?” scorns Capt Rann Vijay Singh (Menon, hamming to his heart’s content), advocating a response instead that would gladden many a Trump heart.

The words “surgical strike” don’t get mentioned, but that may only be because, as the promotions point out, this is India’s first underwater war film. Borders are harder to tell on sand, even as Indian and Pakistani submarines indulge in quite a death dance — bobbing up and down sea depths.

Also read | Ghazi movie review: Rana Daggubati & co come up with a perfect torpedo

At the centre of the story lies the mysterious sinking of Pakistani submarine PNS Ghazi during the 1971 war. The film projects it as an INS Rajput vs PNS Ghazi submarine battle — which is disputed — and calls it an Indo-Pak war you don’t know about.

There are stories within stories, and so there is the aggressive Capt Singh, the pragmatic officer Arjun (an impressive Rana Daggubati), Singh’s loyal second-in-command Devaraj (Atul Kulkarni) and two measly Bangladeshi refugees (including Taapsee Pannu) plucked from the sea by the brave Arjun himself.

 

The Ghazi Attack review, The Ghazi Attack Movie review, The Ghazi Attack movie, The Ghazi Attack release, rana daggubati, taapsee pannu, Kay Kay Menon The Ghazi Attack Movie review: The Ghazi Attack cast also includes Taapsee Pannu.

While Singh and Arjun are playing out their power games, with Singh repeatedly mocking Arjun and his “political masters (including Om Puri, as the head of the Eastern Naval Command)”, PNS Ghazi is quietly making its way to the Bay of Bengal. The Navy gets a clue about Pakistan’s designs, and sends in S-21 (INS Rajput) submarine to “just keep a watch”. Which Singh — toting ‘War As I Knew It’ by American General George S Patton — dismisses as stupid, for brave soldiers must attack on sight.

Clearly, some amount of effort has gone into understanding the makings of a submarine, running of a ship, and even firing of torpedoes and laying of landmines at sea. The film doesn’t cut corners on underwater shots of ships damaged, leaking, hissing and sputtering as they turn leeward and starboard, even though the first shot of Singh and Arjun first heading out to sea is Titanically fake. At the same, all Naval soldiers are unshaven, unkempt, and sweat at the possibility of going food-less for a day. A snarling Rahul Singh plays Pakistani captain Razzaq with as much dishevelled splendour.

You know how a film that strategically deploys — literally — Jana Gana Mana, Saare Jahan Se Achcha and the Tricolour will end. But for a while, The Ghazi Attack shows us glimpses of a crisis-at-sea film it could have been.

However, there are too many Pakistanis to slay, and too many torpedoes to fire, to care for niceties. In all, eight-odd are fired, two-odd hit. What happened to the other six? Who is counting?

 

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  1. A
    Arijit Datta Ray
    Jun 27, 2017 at 5:42 pm
    INS Rajput was a surface ship, not a submarine. Indian Navy credits PNS Ghazi's sinking to depth charges laid by INS Rajput. However, Pak Navy insists that it was destroyed by accidental detonation of its own mines. The movie has sought creative liberty of anic proportions thereby diluting the authenticity of the historical element.
    Reply
    1. S
      Sunil
      May 16, 2017 at 2:52 pm
      The author must be mas-turbatinggg while watching movie or kissing some hassssh while writing this review..
      Reply
      1. S
        Sunil
        May 16, 2017 at 2:50 pm
        Indian Express is stan pro, Khan Pro news paper like Bharka Butt from NDTV..These sick s should be kicked out of country with no more delay...these sick fellows are not worth nothing..shame on you you jihadis..
        Reply
        1. V
          VJ
          May 1, 2017 at 6:00 am
          And My name is Vineet Joshi - From Delhi, Normally wont even bother to write comment on any article or news .... This particular piece made me sick from my stomach as this was one of the best sincere effort made by an indian director, and truly succeeded in doing so, thanks to this movie i have something to talk about indian cinema infornt of my foreign freinds, I will very much appreciate if indian movie directors can go for directing these kind of movies... Appreciate the effort made by Director.... Seriously sick of you who posted an article like this and seriously pathetic on behalf of INDIAN EXPRESS NEWS PAPER to allow this head to post it here.... Recruit good critics, having knowledge of Global Cinema...
          Reply
          1. V
            VJ
            May 1, 2017 at 5:51 am
            Bhai , I donot know how much you are educated or how many movies you have seen from hollywood, I just believe this is a very sincere effort of replicating hollywood movie born out of war, We as a indian should really appreciate the effor of the director rather then making article like you ..... Please grow up and have a sense of duty towards your writing , I do understand you would be good for nothing but write critic about bollywood movies, which is totally understandable due to lack of jobs in india. This movie is once in a decade movie, directed by someone in india, which was a total shock for me, as i mostly prefer hollywood flicks.. Sometime try to appreciate the efforts rather then being an looser.
            Reply
            1. K
              karthikeyan s
              May 1, 2017 at 1:15 am
              You stupid fellow Indian Express ... Stupid u r just a stupid .... what an awesome it is... each and every minute we loved it with family.... Jai hind ....Karthikeyan from Chennai
              Reply
              1. F
                FUCK YOU INDIAN EXPRESS!
                Apr 11, 2017 at 5:59 pm
                INDIAN EXPRESS KI MAA KEE CH T! PAGAL BANA RAHE HO KYA HUMKO? YEH FILM ACCHA NAHI HAIN TOH KYA BEFIKRE ACCHA HAIN? HUMSHAKALS ACCHA HAIN? KE BACCHE! PAAP LAGEGA TUM LOGO KO!
                Reply
                1. F
                  FUCK YOU INDIAN EXPRESS!
                  Apr 11, 2017 at 5:59 pm
                  STOP FAAKING MODIFYING MY FAAKING COMMENTS! MADARFAAKARS!
                  Reply
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