Cast: Vicky Kaushal, Mohit Raina, Yami Gautam
Director: Aditya Dhar
There is no pretension in Uri The Surgical Strike. There are no grey areas. There are Pakistan-sponsored evil militants who murder unsuspecting soldiers at the Uri base camp, and there is the Indian state which decides to come down heavily on them, even if it means crossing the line of control.
We meet a very motivated major Vihaan Singh Shergill (Vicky Kaushal) in the beginning who leads a covert operation across the Myanmar border. He is much loved in his unit and thus his decision to get back to a relatively peaceful life in Delhi headquarters surprises many. We, of course, know that he will be back in the game soon, and the retaliation plan of Uri attacks gives him exactly the chance he was looking for.
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Director Aditya Dhar has no confusion about the tonality of Uri. It’s a revenge film from the word go. High-end artillery, choppers and night vision goggles, you discover many new techniques of modern warfare within ten minutes. There are gun battles, hand to hand combat scenes and precisely planned drones. Dhar successfully amuses us and keeps engaged. It’s probably the best result any director can expect from a film based on real life events until you’re still looking for proofs.
You also realise how differently Uri has been shot. Shaky handheld camera takes you inside the battle ground and lets you remain there long enough to comprehend the true nature of the dangers a soldier faces. Absence of slow motion shots restrict the characters from becoming larger than life. This is the point where Uri strikes a connection with the audience beyond certain limits.
Then it falters. It deviates to inducing drama. This strategy gives the viewers a chance to focus on possibilities that new characters could bring. Thankfully, it goes back to the original idea in time.
It’s one man show and he understands the delicacy of his character. He can’t go over the top but also has to channel all the right emotions. Here’s an army personnel who is as vulnerable as any of us but is willing to risk everything he has got for a reason that’s deeply personal yet related to all of us. Vicky Kaushal has hit all the right notes, to say the least. Grim yet determined, he charges with vigor. Uri totally belongs to him.
Though you’ll meet Paresh Rawal as Govind, an Ajit Doval lookalike and Rajit Kapur as the Indian Prime Minister, it never presents a lopsided view. A retribution plan can have many parties and they’re just that—partners in a programme led by Kaushal.
Uri The Surgical Strike has many exciting moments. Don’t be surprised if you hear whistles all around when Indian paratroopers blast terrorist camps inside Pakistan.
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