Bhuj: The Pride of India (2021) Review

Ajay Devgn and a rousing second half make this war drama worth a watch

Rony Patra -

Bhuj: The Pride of India (2021) Review
Platform
Disney+ Hotstar
Platform Icons Click To Stream
Format
Original Movie Review
Movie Rated
8+
Genre
Action,DRAMA,WAR
Language
Hindi

What is the story about?

At the height of the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh, the Pakistani Army mounts an offensive on India's western front, and start bombing all airfields, including Bhuj. The film tells the tale of Squadron Leader Vijay Karnik, the commanding officer of the Bhuj airbase, who, with the help of a nearby village, and 120 soldiers at a nearby post, managed to save Bhuj from falling into enemy hands.

Analysis

It's always a good thing when Indian filmmakers pluck out stories of bravery from the annals of history and try to bring them to the screen. However, more often than not, these efforts always seem hypernationalist and divorced from reality. Coming on the heels of Amazon Prime Video's Shershaahwhich premiered yesterday, Bhuj: The Pride of India had a fantastic real-life story to bring to the screen. Unfortunately, to see the full glory of the film, you must wait until its last hour. The first half feels like a lot to take in: the introduction of all the characters and their back stories, the shoddy VFX and the choppy editing, make the film feel like a rushed job. In fact, Shershaah has an edge over this film in terms of writing.
 
Having said that, I'd still recommend Bhuj, not because of Abhishek Dudhaiya's screenplay or direction, but because of Ajay Devgn. The actor-producer is unflappable as Squadron Leader Vijay Karnik, who had to make quick decisions in order to save Bhuj and Kutch from falling into enemy hands. He is great in the latter half, especially once the stakes are firmly established. Dudhaiya's handling of the war sequences are handled with finesse, and make the film worth watching in spite of the cartoonish VFX. 

Performances

Besides Devgn, two actors who stand out in the entire ensemble are Ammy Virk and Sharad Kelkar. Virk plays IAF pilot Vikram Singh Baj, and he is in supreme form as the lion-hearted pilot who somehow transports soldiers in the climax. Kelkar is decent as Col. Nair, who mans the army post with just 120 soldiers till the very end. The rest of the cast--Sanjay DuttSonakshi Sinha and Nora Fatehi--are average at best.

Music & Other Departments

The cinematography and action sequences are decent, but the VFX is a serious letdown.

Highlights

The performances of Ajay Devgn, Ammy Virk and Sharad Kelkar.

Drawbacks

  • Weak 1st half
  • Poor VFX
  • Over-the-top screenplay at a few places

Did I enjoy it?

I enjoyed the second half.

Do I recommend it?

Yes, if you're a fan of nationalist war dramas.


Report a problem

ASTRO GO LIST


Subscribe to our feeds