Ghazi Review, What’s Behind: Ghazi, the title sounds different and central plot is surely not the regular one which we commonly find in Telugu cinemas. The 1971 Indo-Pak war based film is releasing today in theaters thought it has got certain fiction cinematic liberties added. From debutant director Sankalp and huge production firms like PVP Cinema, Matinee Entertainment, obviously ‘Ghazi’ holds our attention. Let us see, what ‘Ghazi’ is all about?
Ghazi Story: During the times of East Pakistan’s fight for complete independence, West Pakistan Military Junta parcels an illegal arms consignment to Chittagong, East Pakistan on sea route via Indian harbors Madras, Visakhatapnam and Paradip using submarine PNS Ghazi. En-route, Ghazi is also tasked to destroy INS Vikrant, India’s first and powerful aircraft carrier stationed at Visakhapatnam. India’s intelligence agency RAW deciphers Pakistan’s plan informing it to Naval chief. Thus a classified mission is initiated with our Indian submarine S21 having aggressive Captain Rann Vijay Singh (Kay Kay Menon), Lt. Commander Arjun Varma (Rana), most experienced Devaraj (Atul Kulkarni) and others on board. At a penultimate moment when mission did not perceive suspicious happenings beneath sea, Ghazi blasts a merchant ship and moves forward to attack Visakhapatnam. What’s the intelligent cat and mouse game between S 21 and PNS Ghazi, who finally won is rest.
Ghazi Artists and Technicians: As a story or script, ‘Ghazi’ is colossal challenge for writer, director Sankalp and mammoth task for producers to believe in subject, invest, execute and arrange the release because Indian cinema hasn’t got cross references for undersea backdrops and so is doubtful trust producers have on such novel genre. PVP Cinema and Matinee Entertainment have to be thoroughly appreciated for offering such Hollywood standard visual experience. Penning the whole idea and script into a book form by Sankalp, every minute detailing is well worked out. Obviously, this gave an authentic underwater feel for ‘Ghazi’ and audience are made to sense, experience the uncertainty in war. From a debutant director, a product of this quality is definitely more than an achievement. Gunnam Gangaraju’s writing is moderately
Madhi’s camera becomes our eye as it pans through S21 and Ghazi submarine compartments. Unique color tone used throughout narrative kept our attention fastened to screen. CG work is astonishing at places and menial at other. Sreekar Prasad’s editing needs speciportal mention because he kept the mood sustained restricting runtime to just 2 hours. Background score by K is gripping enhancing the patriotic spirit at crucial phases. Production design is awesome and all-in-all ‘Ghazi’ is technically a trend setting movie in contemporary Indian cinema. Cheers to producers PVP and Niranjan Reddy.
Onto performances, Rana hasn’t got much to explode in first half serving sub-ordinate to Kay Kay Menon on rampage. Rana fits perfectly into Navy Officer costume with a superior body language and fitness. Leadership and heroic qualities in Rana get highlighted in second half. Kay Kay Menon nailed it off in a sensitively rebellious attitude character. Atul Kulkarni’s grace made every scene more impactful. Refugee Ananya character does not require a glamorous Tapsee and she is wasted. Late Om Puri, Nasser, Milind Gunaji and others at naval headquarters were authentic. Sathya Dev, Bharath Reddy, Ravi Varma, Priyadarshi did their part. Rahul Singh did his part as Pakistan Captain. Rest may not need a big mention.
Ghazi Rating Analysis: To start off, Ghazi is not a routine film with run-of-the-mill commercial stuff. This is an adventurous attempt ever made on Indian cinema circuit till date. Having done with wars on ground and air, this is action beneath the sea arousing patriotic fervor. However, Sankalp’s execution seems to have got few inherent flaws within the plot which may not help the movie to drive till lowest section of audience. Technical detailing on submarine mechanism and torpedo shooting with respect to depth factor have become trigonometric equations lacking in sufficient depth to generate emotional jugal-bandi between India and Pakistan.
Sankalp being a technical graduate, his effort and enthusiasm to work for altogether a different level Telugu cinema should be respected. Little more drama and proper care in torpedo firing scenes could have made the product more effective. His cinematic sense in thrilling the audience till edge of the seat went in vain wherein presentation of torpedoes missing respective targets is poorly designed. Towards climax, a torpedo rupturing PNS Ghazi rudder wasn’t syncing with overall film standards.
Sankalp begins the film on a substantial note with Chiranjeevi voice over elucidating the East Pakistan freedom scenario. Soon into the Karachi naval base, Pakistan launching the operation with Ghazi and Indian RAW agent informing the same to Indian Naval chief involved the audience deep into concept. Rana, Kay Kay Menon, Atul Kulkarni’s entry and the classified mission appeared so genuine. Once Kay Kay Menon began to command the show, everything went smoothly like Tapsee episode, mock drill and S21 getting into deeper waters are amazing. Pakistan navy’s first action followed by installing mines is a beautiful interval block.
Into second half, Rana jumps into driver seat. As the conflict becomes open, S21 Vs Ghazi attacks lacked in required intelligence levels. Ghazi falls into a looping repetitive mode till the final hour Rana decides to blast the torpedo from front. Scenes stuffed with patriotism appeared to be forced. Finally, the film ends on a hurried note which isn’t really accepted.
Commercial equations apart, Ghazi can be an immersive journey for those audiences who love technical brilliance, startling performances and passionate film making. Despite there are tedious moments in second half, overall it makes us feel proud because Telugu cinema is growing big on International scale. While the reactions from B, C class center audience would be exciting to know for, metros will surely love the film. CJ rates Ghazi with 3 stars congratulating team for inspiring new age film makers to pick those untouched and impeccable stories sunk in history.
CineDhol Ghazi Verdict: Brave Effort
CineDhol Ghazi Rating: 3/5
Reviewed by Srivaas