The Ghazi Attack
The Ghazi Attack: Admirable Effort Dragged Down by Overwhelmingly Factual Narration
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi(Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
The unfortunate truth is that sometimes great war heroes are forgotten. They give everything for their countries; protecting each and every one of us is a selfless act of bravery that must not go unnoticed. For this reason, when we encounter moving stories of selfless shielding, we are expected not just to be mere spectators, but to understand and feel everything they are going through. Unfortunately, even though The Ghazi Attack uncovers the triumphs of our greatest war heroes, its objective screenplay fails to engross the audience.
Before India’s prolonged feud with the Pakistan even began, there was a silent war taking place between INS Kanj and PNS Ghazi in 1971, beneath the depths of the Indian Ocean. The Ghazi Attack takes us on the journey of those brave soldiers and their eighteen-day underwater battle to defeat Pakistan’s decorated submarine, Ghazi, along with its cut-throat captain.
Given that this is director Sankalp Reddy’s debut film, The Ghazi Attack is an admirable effort. The story has great potential, and it does live up to it in a few scenes. The problem with the screenplay is its objectivity. During the first half of the film, its narrative is as if a few facts have been gathered and put together to tell an untold story. Its documentary style narrative is what drives it away from prospective greatness.
Hidden Figures was also a story of three unsung heroes, and it worked so wonderfully well, yet The Ghazi Attack and Hidden Figures are miles apart in their respective depictions. In Hidden Figures, we get to know the characters well enough to be a part of their journey. While The Ghazi Attack also has very interesting characters, it dives into various technicalities before the audience can invest in the lives of the characters. Take Captain Ranvijay Singh (Kay Kay Menon) for instance; we see the pain in his eyes and the way he worships George S Patton Jr.’s ‘War As I Knew It,’ but before the audience can delve deeper, the screenplay is interrupted in the form of details presented to it. Moments like these made me feel like an inactive onlooker, something a war film must never do.
Kay Kay Menon as Captain Ranvijay Singh delivers an impressive performance. His body language, the principles he’s grown to embrace and the underlying pain in his eyes all add layers to his character. On the other hand, Rana Dagubbati as Lieutenant Arjun Verma isn’t quite as convincing. His restrained palette of emotions falls well short of excellence. Atul Kulkarni as Devraj exhibits his character’s earnest patriotism fairly well, and his loyalty is unquestionable until the very end.
The Tamil dubbing in The Ghazi Attack is particularly amateur. In certain parts where Tamil dialogues overlap Hindi ones, it is distracting and hard to follow. Given that most of the film’s scenes take place in a submarine, the periodic reconstruction, as well as the minute detailing by the production design crew, have to be applauded.
Madhi’s cinematography and K’s music are also quite effective. The cinematography in particular packs quite a few experimentations that are relatively new to its genre; on the other hand, K’s music rightfully sticks to minimalism.
Overall, The Ghazi Attack is a story with great potential and fine technicalities but fails due to its overwhelmingly factual narration. Nevertheless, it needs to be credited for its admirable effort, and it is definitely worth watching once.