Director: Abhishek Dudhaiya
Available On: Disney+ Hotstar
What’s Good: “If you know you’re wasting your time, waste less of it”, that’s the noble motto Bhuj makers have followed by keeping it just around 110 minutes
What’s Bad: It’s still 110 minutes to waste
Loo Break: I mean, you’ve 110 minutes
Watch or Not?: Even if you’ve 110 minutes in spare to waste, don’t!
Covering the ‘Bhuj’ disaster that happened during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, the story starts by explaining the existence of West Pakistan & East Pakistan, and it covers the brief period which helped in the latter turning into Bangladesh. The sudden attack on Bhuj’s airbase is led by IAF squadron leader Vijay Karnik and his team. Taking the non-linear route, the first half of the film unveils the cover from the reasons why Bhuj was attacked.
The second half majorly focuses on the solutions Karnik & his men come up with to minimise the damage of the second attack, which is about to happen on the base. Karnik gets the help of Sunderben (Sonakshi Sinha) & other villagers to build the damaged-in-attack runway so that the Indian army could land to back them up. All leads to the one final attack taking us what all went through in the most overstated way.
Bhuj: The Pride of India Movie Review: Script Analysis
The story was never a problem of Bhuj, and it had every ingredient of being a masala period drama; the real issue lies in the way writers Abhishek Dudhaiya, Raman Kumar, Ritesh Shah, Pooja Bhavoria decide to execute the idea. Clocking at just around 110 minutes, the haywire narration never lets you enjoy the pace, which is too fast to consume the over-the-top drama it serves as a slider. It suffers from an ‘it’s too fast yet too slow’ kind of a screenplay disaster.
In the climax, the makers decide to *spoiler* land a plane suffering from a malfunctioned front-wheel with the help of a truck driven by Ajay Devgn. Ironically, the plane is the superabundance in the story, which makers land with the help of the truck, i.e. our pint-sized brains. With the dialogues “Hindustan ko humne 400 saal apne joote ki nok pe rakha hai…” in the first 10 minutes, it’s clear the way the story is moving towards.
Even Shershaah had the usual army-movie cliches, but this entire film is an army-movie cliche. A scene conveniently registers of a fighter pilot mentioning about his old mother’s knee surgery & he gets killed in the immediate next one. I can totally see how the makers wanted to apply the ‘Tanhaji’ formula here by adding masala to an existing period-drama genre, only to fail miserably this time around.
Aseem Bajaj’s decent camerawork fails to survive the damage done by many VFX blunders throughout. Dharmendra Sharma’s editing is all across the board as it lacks seamless continuity dampening any possible intrigue. The abrupt cuts in between give you the feeling that this must be a really long film, only to edit it down to 110 minutes hastily.
Bhuj: The Pride of India Movie Review: Star Performance
This was a tailor-made role for Ajay Devgn, which is now a lost opportunity. He’s a master at mailing such characters, but the uncalled-for melodrama takes away any impact created by his performance. The same goes for Sharad Kelkar, whose character could’ve been seeti-maar in a well-written script. But here, he’s restricted to be a bland one adding nothing substantial to an already ho-hum script.
Sanjay Dutt tries too hard to be a part of at least one good film post his comeback, but he’ll have to wait till KGF 2. Sonakshi Sinha is wasted with her character supporting just one sub-plot and that too, a weak one. Nora Fatehi is a misfit & nothing from her accent to her physical attributes work towards building her character better. Ammy Virk, despite living a pretty unidimensional character, leaves a mark with his performance.
Bhuj: The Pride of India Movie Review: Direction, Music
Abhishek Dudhaiya is coming to the films after directing 1000-odd episodes on television, and the impact is clearly visible. Lyricist Manoj Muntashir has been credited as the additional dialogue writer of the film, who I’m assuming has just given a revamped version of Sandese Aate Hai but as a poem. But, there are many poem-like dialogues, which make me doubt my assumption clarifying many things.
Not a single song from a couple of them clicks. The same goes for the extremely unnoticeable background score.
Bhuj: The Pride of India Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done; I don’t hate the ‘film’ in Bhuj, I hate the ‘filmy’ in it. This, coming a day after Shershaah, only acts as an example of the two types of content we’re being served, and thankfully, many of us know what to consume.
Bhuj: The Pride of India Trailer
Bhuj: The Pride of India releases on 13th August, 2021.
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