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Uri: The Surgical Strike-A realistic film which will be a hit despite some shortcomings

The new film directed by Aditya Dhar is based upon the real event of a surgical strike in PoK which took place on 28th September 2016. Are you going to watch the film? Decide after going through this review.

Pakistani dictator, General Ziaul Haq initiated the policy of 'a thousand cuts' to destabilize and cripple India. The policy has been continuing since then. India's response, in most of the time, is reactive. However, after 2014, there has been a change in India's policy of countering the devilish activities of Pakistani military establishment and the so-called 'non-state actors', i.e., the terrorists. After the attack on Pathankot air-base and Uri army camp, Indian Para commandos conducted a surgical strike on 28th September 2016 at various launching pads in Pak-occupied Kashmir (PoK). These launching pads were used to infiltrate hard-core, trained terrorists in India. All the launching pads were destroyed, the terrorists eliminated and the Para commandos returned without any casualty.

The graphic details of the background of the strike, actual strike and the aftermath of the strike have been given in the book 'India's Most Fearless: True Stories of Modern Military Heroes' authored by Shiv Aroor and Rahul Singh. Subsequently, Aditya Dhar has directed a film titled 'Uri: The Surgical Strike' based upon the true event described in the book. In this article, let us learn about the film which has hit the theatre on 11th January 2019 (Friday).

The cast of the film

The film has been directed by Aditya Dhar and produced by Ronnie Screwvala. The artistes are Vicky Kaushal, Paresh Rawal, Mohit Raina, Rajit Kapoor, Swaroop Sampat, Kirti Kulhari, Yami Gautam and others. The screenplay is by Aditya Dhar and Cinematography is by Mitesh Mirchandani. The film is edited by Shivkumar V. Panicker. The duration is little more than 2 hours 15 minutes.

The story of the film

The film begins with the ambush of Dogra Regiment soldiers at Manipur-Myanmar border by Naga insurgents. The hero led a group of Para commandos inside Myanmar and destroyed the camp of the Naga terrorists. The team returned without any casualty. Thereafter, he got posting in Delhi to look after his ailing mother. But after some time, the hero lost his brother-in-law, who was also an Army Officer, when the terrorists struck at Uri army camp. Subsequently, the hero successfully led the Indian team of Para commandos in PoK and destroyed terrorist camps located there.

The plus-points of the film

Unlike some unrealistic hero-oriented films recently launched by Mumbai film-industry, this film has been made after some solid research. The acting of the main actors has been good. However, personally, I feel that the acting of veteran actor Paresh Rawal has surpassed the acting of others. The cinematography has been excellent. The weapons used by the Para commandos are more or less realistic. The film has also indicated the importance of HUMINT (human intelligence) and SIGINT (signal intelligence) in such operations. The director has also touched the human emotion angle of soldiers which, although not related to the real event, will make the film popular among common mass. The number of songs is thankfully very less. More importantly, the film clearly depicts the policy change of the Government. It shows a 'New India' which won't limit its activities in 'Kari birodh' (strong protest) after a terrorist attack on Indian soil.

The factual inaccuracies/drawbacks noticed in the film

Those who have good knowledge about the true event (i.e., the surgical strike), will definitely point out the following factual inaccuracies/drawbacks of the film:-
  1. The surgical strikes in Myanmar and in PoK were carried out by two totally different units of Para commandos. But in the film, it has been shown that some of the Para commandos (including the hero) were common in both strikes.
  2. The hero has been shown posted in Delhi after the Myanmar strike, while in actuality, it was not correct.
  3. The drones used in the strike were not newly developed ones as shown in the film.
  4. The ISI official shown in the film (Rakesh Bedi) was a civilian. In actuality, the ISI of Pakistan is a significant arm of the Pakistani Army. That is a major difference between R&AW and ISI.
  5. In the film, it is shown that the commandos were well-aware of their targets. But, in actuality, the commandos were told about their targets at the eleventh hour.
  6. Personally I feel that in such films, there is no need to show human relations angle like love, affection for relatives, etc., which the film has shown in abundance.
  7. The HUMINT acquired by the Indians (as shown in the film) before the strike is not factually correct.
  8. Some characters of the film, like the Alzheimer-affected mother of the hero, the nurse-cum-Intelligence Bureau operative and the lady Airforce officer, etc. were not required. The editing could be better.
  9. The film has failed to correctly project the huge deception exercises undertaken by Indian establishment at different levels like the External Affairs Minister's speech at the UN, the PM's speech at Thiruvananthapuram, the deceptive movement of aircrafts by Indian Air Force at other sectors and the artillery shelling by India in other sectors, etc.

Final take

Despite several shortcomings and factual inaccuracies, the film of Aditya Dhar has many elements which will make it a successful venture. From the initial reaction, it can be stated without doubt that the film would be popular and box-office hit. Such realistic films are required to be made regularly to change the hero-worshipping trend of the Indian audience.

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Author: Umesh18 Jan 2019 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 4

An elaborate and exhaustive review of this movie by the author.

From the review of the movie, it appears that the picture is well made and impressive and has a patriotic note. Generally, the patriotic movies are hit if the Director has taken some pains and undertaken the requisite hard work bringing the desired effect.

The author has brought out certain subtle shortcomings and inaccuracies in the movie. In that context, I would like to mention that whenever we adopt a book or story for making a movie certain changes are brought intentionally and some changes are incorporated unintentionally due to mistakes in editing and revisions. So it is normal to have some of those deficiencies in the movie and an expert historian or critic will very well point out them.

This review has generated much interest in me to see the movie and due to the wide publicity of this movie in the media, people are going to see it and it may be a hit movie soon.

Author: Partha K.22 Jan 2019 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 3

Thanks to Mr. Umesh for reading this review. In this review, I have clearly mentioned that the film would be a hit among cine-going people of India. And the subsequent report suggests that I was correct. The film would be one of the biggest hits of 2019. Till yesterday, it has done business over Rs 65 crores. The acting, cinematography, little bit of research and the dose of patriotism are doing wonders.

However, I have mentioned some factual inaccuracies in my review. Although these are major mistakes, very few people among the audience would be able to point out these inaccuracies.

I do hope that such films are made more frequently so that Indian audience get the taste of action films in the Indian context.

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