Bhuj: The Pride of India (2021/ Disney Hotstar) (Action/ Drama)
The story is based around Squadron Leader Vijay Karnik and his team’s valiant efforts to save the Bhuj Air Base against Pakistan’s attack in 1971.
Director – Abhishek Dudhaiya
Cast – Ajay Devgn, Sanjay Dutt, Nora Fatehi, Sonakshi Sinha, Sharad Kelkar
Patriotic movies and stories of valour always have an allure about them. Audience love to be swayed and often take cinematic liberties in their stride. We understand the need to make a story entertaining. The intense feel of patriotism and pride makes everything worthwhile.
But this doesn’t mean the audience be served just anything in the name of cinema.
Bhuj trailers & promos had prepared me for bad VFX and over the top dialogues. But the cinema lover and the Ajay Devgn fan in me was still not ready to give up.
Alas, little did I know that those two aspects were just the tip of the iceberg.
Many departments come together in unison to deliver an unprecedented qualitative disaster.
The writing is lazy, half baked and amateur. The opening scene & action sequence were enough to pull the carpet from under the feet.
The amateurish conversation amongst the Pakistani brass with the “janaab overdose” and the whole picturization of attack on airbase (am not blaming just the vfx here) was a bad note to start on.
The haphazard narrative refused to coherently convey the sub-stories and events or let any character make a connect.
Our neighbours have often been portrayed in stereotypical manner in Bollywood but rarely have I seen such a laughable portrayal. They looked more like spoofs. Smoking cigars and discussing strategies in a silly symmetrical manner or sitting atop battle tanks as if sitting on thrones, ordering about more like kings than commanders, handling their guns in the most hilarious manner or discussing intel inputs, three caricatures managed the entire war right from strategies to battle ground.
The production values were so low that I think they just dived under the earth. A couple of scenes had artificial looking studio based shabby sets unseen in such prestigious project ever. Many an important conversations picturized in a moving jeep owe it to the blown air that moved the paper shreds masquerading as camouflage material in army vehicles. You could laugh out aloud at the kind of extras they used in for the army personnel, specially Pak army. This I thought is the best way to seek revenge.
The action scenes were badly choreographed. One of the action scenes (by Nora) which was kind of fast-forward edited for “better” effect was particularly funny. Another one in the climax where Sanjay Dutt handled dozens like Peshwa Bajirao had a funny looking Pak commander pointing a pistol for the longest time as if he wasn’t sure what’s to be done.
Most of the action scenes with crowds were particularly hilarious with people mainly running helter skelter. I am quite sure those poor souls were given liberty to do as they pleased instead of a detailed briefing.
Weirdly placed songs, dialogues ranging from bad to worse, performances that struggle to look respectable, you’ll find the entire package in one film.
Basically, it was the shoddiest screenplay ever seen in an A grade film.
As for the direction and the vision behind this entire fiasco, the less said the better. What was he even thinking?
Despite a large section of audience willing to give it a chance even after its sub par trailers and promos, the film not only fails miserably but it is gross injustice to the real life heroes who deserved a better film to convey their stories.
Extremely shocked and heartbroken, I would recommend –
For those who want to know the real story behind Bhuj attack , refer Google.
For those seeking light hearted entertainment with a pinch of salt, go ahead.
For those who want to be privy to how to make an unparalleled disaster with top cast and great theme, it’s a must watch!