There is something strange about coming out of a Kay Kay Menon film and feeling there was a Deol in there! This in itself should give you an idea about how seriously films take their own disclaimers. A dramatic representation with absolute filmy creative license at play, it is quite a “gadar” in the deep seas.
The film starts with Amitabh Bachchan’s deep baritone, explaining to us how India and Pakistan have fought four wars but there was in fact another one, under water and shrouded in secrecy.
Days leading up to the 1971 war, off the coast of Vishakhapatnam, a battle of the submarines took place. There is still no conclusive answer as to what really happened, but The Ghazi Attack tells the story of how the Indian submarine S-21 managed to destroy PNS Ghazi.
We have seen a number of films about the India-Pakistan conflict but this is probably the first time that we witness an under-water surgical strike on an enemy submarine vessel. And herein lies the novelty.
The war tactics employed are completely different. As torpedoes are dodged and fired and enemy distance calculated to precision, The Ghazi Attack has its moments of brilliance.
The turf war between Captain Ranvijay Singh played by Kay Kay Menon (with all the pent up anger and angst at being pitted against a certain Tiger Shroff in A Flying Jatt) and Lt Commander Arjun Verma, Rana Daggubati is what becomes unwittingly comic at times.
Caught in the middle is Devraj, the Executive Officer of S-21 Atul Kulkarni.
While the high drama sometimes takes away from the real action, the performances by all three are so restrained and sincere that you know the film will be anchored to safety.
And what about Tapsee Pannu, do I hear you ask?
Well she was in the film for exactly as long as she was shown in the trailer, one dialogue muttered and the rest of the time, a static fly on the submarine wall! Rahul Singh, who commands the PNS Ghazi makes the most of his screen time, looking menacing and hatching sinister plans.
However, director Sankalp Reddy’s readiness to fill every loophole in the screenplay with chest thumping chants of Bharat Mata Ki Jai, the National Anthem and flag waving makes the overall impact a little damp.
With a runtime of 125 mins, The Ghazi Attack has a water tight first half and some stellar special effects and each time we see it emerge from under water with the tides splashing against it as if patting its back, one can’t help but be glued to the spectacle.
However not every flaw can be camouflaged by waving the national flag can it?
Still, it’s a film worth watching for all the things that it gets right. I give it 3.5 QUINTS out of 5.