Gunjan Saxena The Kargil Girl Movie Review - Overcoming Biases
Updated: Aug 20, 2020
Bollywood usually fails to strike a balanced approach when filming biopics. It either oscillates towards extreme hyper nationalism with loud messages or goes the lean and restrained way and twist the facts. This new film falls into the latter bucket. This is yet another film which focuses on few suppressing things women face in this world and how they overcome all odds.
First, lets talk about the wired parts. A big thumbs up to no romance and no hero approach. Pankaj Tripathi as the cheerleader dad and full marks to how he handles the tough situation with elegance especially around patriotism and as a confidence booster. The key thing about this film is that, it kept a very low profile and raises no slogans. At the same it wanted to make it's messaging clear which is chasing one’s dream in adversity. To a reasonable extent it succeeded in doing that.
Now comes the tiring part. When you take a realistic approach, the story has to be water tight and performance has to be on the highest level. That is where i find this film flatters the most. I did not find this soul-shattering or an uplifting film as the makers facts were completely wrong. With so many silly interludes like not knowing criteria for applying for a job, the whole interviews process, medical test, Rekha approach, all felt immature to me. If the idea was to bring laughter then i am sorry to say it was least impressive. The big blow comes from the the lead cast choice, Janhvi Kapoor. She lacked passion, confidence and was shoddy in intense scenes. She has a long way to go to create a mark to come out of the robot gal tag. Eyes dont speak for themselves, it has to be expressive in the acting.
As for the story line, there is no mention of her colleague, Srividya Rajan in the film. As per the actual story both played a key role in Indian Air Force and Kargil War in rescuing Indian soldiers. They could have focused on their bonding aspects too in the film rather than focusing on too much of repeated scenes. The way certain things in the camp was shown is completely out of proportion.
In the end all that glitters is not gold, so the shining part (which is far and few) is superseded by a very shoddy script and sub par performance. Some may say its a fitting tribute to human spirit and it may be true from the original story but presentation wise it did not do any justice. Some stories are better left off as it is or a read approach sounds better. And as expected war of words with IAF and film makers have started. The controversy can be a good thing as more people can potentially watch the film.
In my opinion. the impact would have been more if there was bit more focus and drama on the war aspects than a very bland and a restrained approach. Plus the choice of the lead character would have made a difference. I would say avoid the film.
Verdict - 2.5/5(Jaan hai to jahan hai)