Terrible and Disastrous Patriotic Drama
What is the movie about?
Bhuj: The Pride Of India is based on actual events during the Indo-Pak War of 1971. It’s dramatized for cinematic effect. The film’s central plot revolves around the Bhuj IAF airbase, which the Pakistani military has destroyed. It is done to conquer part of India to use as a bargain to reclaim East Pakistan.
The Pakistani military has also destroyed all parties to connect with Bhuj. The only way they can be stopped is by strengthening the Indian army personnel, and that can only be done through Bhuj Air Force Base. How Vijay Srinivas Karnik (Ajay Devgn) repairs the runway and the Indian army stops the opposition forms the general plot.
How is Ajay Devgn’s performance?
Ajay Devgn plays the central character in Bhuj: The Pride Of India. It’s a very average outing for him. He hits all the right notes, as you would expect. However, the emotional depth and connection are missing. Ajay Devgn sleepwalks through the part, showing a glimpse of what he can do here and there. As a result, what could have been a memorable role just becomes another character in his filmography.
Directed by Abhishek Dudhaiya ?
Abhishek Dudhaiya directs Bhuj: The Pride Of India. It is based on a real event and on the lines of patriotic movies that have flooded the Bollywood scene in recent years.
The execution of patriotic films (especially with war elements) is challenging. They should follow a familiar path and then deliver without appearing routine and predictable. The emotions should be high but not reach the level of jingoism or look cartoonish. In that respect, it is similar to the sports genre.
With Bhuj: the Pride Of India, Abhishek makes all the mistakes one would expect to avoid in patriotic films. He chooses an exciting event from Indian history, but fails to turn it into a compelling story.
The signs are visible within the first few minutes, with the story giving an awkward and cluttered feel. So much is happening, but nothing works. Elements of the spy genre are mixed, which are treated heartlessly. If you observe closely, it gets further frustrating because we see so much potential in the subject. Unfortunately, everything goes through the basket.
However, things don’t end completely disastrously. The story improves after the opening for about forty minutes. When the focus of the story is on one point, repairing the runway. The whole trajectory, apart from the introduction of a female lead and the dialogues, is fine.
Things go back to cacophony once the problem is resolved. But it’s again marginally better than the opening, mainly because of a final nail-biting episode. It is the landing of the flight with Indian army personnel. The whole sequence could have taken the adrenaline rush to the next level. Sadly it doesn’t happen due to a tacky performance.
General, Bhuj: the pride of India has an exciting premise and big names are associated with it. But it fails spectacularly to deliver a compelling story. It ends up being yet another Bollywood biggie to be hugely disappointing on OTT.
Sanjay Dutt, Pranitha Subhash, Sonakshi Sinha and others?
Many familiar faces are present in the film. Among them, Sanjay Dutt shines despite looking haggard. It has more to do with his characterization than his performance. Sharad Kelkar is wasted apart from a few scenes towards the end. Sonakshi Sinha is exaggerating within the time she is given. Pranitha Subhash usually stares blankly at the camera when it shifts towards her. On other occasions, she gives a “what-am-I-doing-here” expression when looking at other co-stars.
Ammy Virk is neat within the scope given to her. Nora Fatehi tries her best to play a shaggy spy, but fails badly. Navni Parihar comes straight out of a dress up contest and plays Indira Gandhi. The rest is forgettable.
Music and other departments?
The songs of several composers are speed breakers. Fortunately, they are slaughtered by the makers and cut short on screen. Amar Mohile’s background music is loud and boisterous. It adds to the irritation caused by the images. Aseem Bajaj’s cinematography is terrible in parts. It’s decent during a few night shots. The editing by Dharmendra Sharma is disastrous. In the first place, it creates restlessness in the story.
The writing is ordinary, in parts and that’s a compliment given the overall level of mediocrity. The VFX are tacky and repetitive fighter jet shots are the biggest annoyance during the horrendous half hour at take-off.
The Runway Repair Block
End landing order
All that Bhuj: The Pride Of India needs is a better performance. It has all the captivating elements in place.
Did I enjoy it?
Will you recommend it?
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