Ae Watan Mere Watan Movie Review Rating:

Star Cast: Sara Ali Khan, Abhay Verma, Sparsh Shrivastava, Emraan Hashmi, Alexx O’Nell, Sachin Khedekar, Anand Tiwari & others

Director: Kannan Iyer

Ae Watan Mere Watan Review: Sara Ali Khan Breaks Her Diva Mould To Turn A Hero & Deserves Distinction For Learning This History Lesson By Heart & Soul, PS Emraan Hashmi, Oh You Beauty!
Ae Watan Mere Watan Review Out: Sara Ali Khan Lives Usha Mehta On-Screen (Photo Credit –Amazon Prime Video)

What’s Good: An unheard tale from the pages of history that needs your acknowledgment, love, and applause.

What’s Bad: Nothing in particular, but the fact that the film doesn’t leave an impact as strong as it should have is underwhelming.

Loo Break: Anytime you want. Your screen, your Amazon Prime Video account, your rules.

Watch or Not?: Definitely Yes.

Language: Hindi with English subtitles.

Available On: Amazon Prime Video

Runtime: 2 hours 13 minutes


User Rating:

Jai Hind. Two words. Seven letters. But holds 1.44 billion together. When you chant Vande Mataram or must have sung Saare Jahan Se Accha Hindostan Hamara in your school prayers or music classes, you must have felt how it cemented a patriotic emotion in you every single day. And that emotion overrules and overpowers everything. Period. Is Ae Watan Mere Watan the best patriotic tale you might have heard? No. Is it Sara Ali Khan’s career best? Yes.

The film is the story of an unsung hero from the pages of history books, and the most important battle India fought was the Independence War of 1947, which began way before 1857. So, while there might have been a million heroes who sacrificed a lot for the freedom struggle of India, most of them remain unsung.

Karan Johar‘s Dharmatic Entertainment, led by Apoorva Mehta and Somen Mishra, decided to bring the story of an unsung hero from the unheard tales of history in Ae Watan Mere Watan. Usha Mehta, played by Sara Ali Khan, started Congress Radio, which bumped the freedom struggle at a time when the British Government banned Congress and put its leaders behind bars. At such a time, a 22-year-old girl, Usha Mehta, decided to unite the nation through the voices of the leaders.

Any such story of an unsung hero needs to be told on priority, and we need to cherish them and acknowledge them since we owe them a lot.

Ae Watan Mere Watan Review: Sara Ali Khan Breaks Her Diva Mould To Turn A Hero & Deserves Distinction For Learning This History Lesson By Heart & Soul, PS Emraan Hashmi, Oh You Beauty!
Sara Ali Khan Delivers Her Career Best With Ae Watan Mere Watan (Photo Credit –Amazon Prime Video)

Ae Watan Mere Watan Movie Review: Script Analysis

The film was researched from a play by Amatya Goradia and Pritesh Sodhia called Kharr Kharr. The story has then been put together by Darab Farooqui & Kannan Iyer to translate the journey of a young girl who was courageous enough to look into the eye of the British Government and tell them that her radio station needs to stop over her dead body. A girl who is young but not naive, who is Gandhian but uses her mind rather than follow without questioning. A girl who realized that Karo Ya Maro (Do or Die) was actually the need of the hour, and then she chose an informed path with all the awareness she could gather!

Ae Watan Mere Watan has been scripted beautifully. Again, it is a story of just another freedom fighter’s contribution towards the freedom struggle rather than being the story of the freedom struggle. So, you need to set up your mind to watch a struggling journey rather than a heroic tale.

The journey of Usha Mehta is depicted in a powerful story of a bunch of youths setting up a radio station and realizing the importance of communication when Britishers were trying to cut them off from each other. The essence of this story is the simplistic approach rather than being high on energy. The best part of this simplistic tale is the not-so-heroic dialogues by Darab Farooqui, which subtly cements the connection with the story rather than getting high on patriotic dialogues.

Ae Watan Mere Watan Movie Review: Star Performance

It definitely took a Kannan Iyer to carve the performer in Sara Ali Khan, and while Ae Watan Mere Watan is definitely her best work to date, she has lived Usha Mehta on screen, and her sincerity reflects and metamorphoses beautifully. One might argue about the overdramatic expressions, but honestly, considering Sara’s effort to bring life to Usha Mehta is praiseworthy.

More importantly, Sara’s Usha has been very strategically placed with two strong pillars – Sparsh Shrivastava’s Fahad and Abhay Verma’s Kaushik. Together, the trio is strong enough to hold your attention throughout.

Emraan Hashmi as Ram Manohar Lohia truly becomes the anchor of this film. Just as Krishna guided Arjuna and took the responsibility to drive his chariot himself, Emraan Hashmi lets Sara Ali Khan shine while he transfers his infectious and oh-so-powerful performance on the screen.

Sparsh Shrivastava and Abhay Verma, two young boys with two different perspectives, also bring a perfect balance to the perspective. One wants to win the race to death while competing with Usha, and the other feels that if everyone dies for the nation, then who remains to fight for the nation? While Fahad is physically disabled due to polio, his strength lies in his determination and willingness to die for the nation. Meanwhile, Abhay Verma’s Kaushik is a simple boy in his 20s who probably prioritizes his love for Usha over his love for the nation. He can die for the nation, but only to save Usha. The torn lover struggling to find his place in Usha’s world has been delivered beautifully by the actor.

Ae Watan Mere Watan Review: Sara Ali Khan Breaks Her Diva Mould To Turn A Hero & Deserves Distinction For Learning This History Lesson By Heart & Soul, PS Emraan Hashmi, Oh You Beauty!
Sparsh Shrivastava, Abhay Verma & Emraan Hashmi’s Presence Uplifts Ae Watan Mere  (Photo Credit –Amazon Prime Video)

Ae Watan Mere Watan Movie Review: Direction, Music

Indian Independence Movement is one of the most intriguing yet one of the least told events in history. Why least told? Since there are millions of stories lying covered. It was a movement where everyone probably turned into a hero but remained unsung. So, any story from the era we could not witness but have lived through heartfelt story like The Legend of Bhagat Singh, a gruesome story like Khamosh Pani, a gut-wrenching tale of Pinjar, a motivational retelling in Rang De Basanti, biographical stories about the freedom heroes in Gandhi, Sardar, Mangal Pandey and more have always made us feel a strong urge to stay connected to these stories.

However, while these heroic tales are celebrated, there are millions of tales that need to be dug and told to the world. Not because they are important but just because they need to be remembered. These unsung heroes need to be acknowledged and thanked for whatever they could do in their capacity to make this country happen for us! Kannan Iyer’s film tries to stay true to the tale of a young girl and her journey to becoming a strategic freedom fighter despite being a Gandhian.

Iyer perfectly delivers Usha’s dilemma when she asks Ram Manohar Lohia if what they are doing is right since it does not resonate with Gandhian principles. A young girl who is so aware of what she is doing and still chooses what needs to be done despite weighing right and wrong has been done with such efficacy that it’s impressive. She follows her mentor, Lohia, reasoning that Gandhi might suggest the path of truth, but the path towards what is right might be totally different and definitely required. She followed Gandhi but trusted Lohia’s vision and took a call on her dilemmas of ‘Satya’ Vs ‘Sahi.’

However, the music of the film by Akashdeep Sengupta, Shashi Suman, and Mukund Suryavanshi in the songs does not create much impact. Even the title track lacks the strength to enter your nerves and stay there, which usually patriotic songs do.

Ae Watan Mere Watan Movie Review: What Works

Ae Watan Mere Watan Review: Sara Ali Khan Breaks Her Diva Mould To Turn A Hero & Deserves Distinction For Learning This History Lesson By Heart & Soul, PS Emraan Hashmi, Oh You Beauty!
Emraan Hashmi Plays Ram Manohar Lohia In Ae Watan Mere Watan (Photo Credit –Amazon Prime Video)

Three things basically work for Ae Watan Mere Watan. The tone of the film is set in the first 10 minutes. Secondly, Sara Ali Khan, as Usha Mehta, does not struggle at all. Surprisingly, her easy-to-figure-out dramatic expressions do not impact the film. In fact, they complement it, and we have no idea how Kannan Iyer has made her pull this off with such magical brilliance. Thirdly, Emraan Hashmi holds this film so tight that despite a loophole or two or the strings loosening up, he makes up for most of the flaws!

Ae Watan Mere Watan Movie Review: What Doesn’t Work

Sadly, Usha Mehta and Kaushik’s story does not create the pathos it should have. Despite Abhay Verma delivering a brilliant performance, it seemed like a forced narrative that was extended unnecessarily, and the screen time could have been given to build up a stronger screenplay that could actually impact in a far better way. For instance, the father-daughter bond stays unexplored. The reason the father’s final monologue about unsung heroes being greater than the celebrated ones could not make much sense since it is a flawed perspective but needed a strong connection between Usha Mehta and her father on-screen (played by Sachin Khedekar) to offer a strong narrative to this flawed yet contextual perspective.

Ae Watan Mere Watan Movie Review: The Last Word

When Sara Ali Khan, for the first time, introduces Congress Radio, ‘Hindustan Mein Kahin Se, Kahin Se Hindustan Mein,’ you absolutely want to root for her. Only if this story could have turned into an iconic tale to be treasured; sadly, it does not match the frequency of such classics!

3.5 stars.

Ae Watan Mere Watan Trailer

Ae Watan Mere Watan is streaming on Amazon Prime Video from March 21, 2024.

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