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THE PRIDE OF INDIA tells an incredible story from Indian history. With first rate performances, an exciting second half, and a nail-biting climax being the best parts.

THE PRIDE OF INDIA tells an incredible story from Indian history. With first rate performances, an exciting second half, and a nail-biting climax being the best parts.

Bhuj – The Pride Of India Review {3.5/5} & Review Rating

BHUJ: THE PRIDE OF INDIA is the story of an incredible chapter from the 1971 India Pakistan war. The persecution of East Pakistan residents by Pakistani military in 1971 leads to lakhs of deaths. Innumerable people migrate to India to escape the killings. Hence India too gets involved in this conflict and deploys a majority of its troops on the Eastern border. Taking advantage of this situation, Pakistan begins to attack the defence base of India on the Western side. On December 8, 1971, Pakistan air force suddenly attacks Bhuj airbase, taking commanding officer Vijay Karnik (Ajay Devgn) and everyone else present by surprise. Several lives are lost in this attack and the airstrip is also badly damaged. Meanwhile, Pakistan also destroys Surajbari and Banaskatha bridges and five major roads that lead to Bhuj. As a result, Bhuj and Kutch are cut off from the rest of the country. The Indian air force aircrafts can’t even land as the airstrip is destroyed and the engineers that can repair it have run away. The Pakistan army meanwhile has begun advancing towards Bhuj and plans to capture the whole region. The only solution in sight is to get the airstrip repaired overnight at any cost. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

Abhishek Dudhaiya, Raman Kumar, Ritesh Shah and Pooja Bhavoria’s story is fascinating and also unknown to most people. Most viewers would be amazed to know that an incident like this occurred and that even the common citizens helped the forces in the war. Abhishek Dudhaiya, Raman Kumar, Ritesh Shah and Pooja Bhavoria’s screenplay is a mixed bag. The first half doesn’t have much development in the story. But it’s in the second half where the writers show their brilliance. The climax especially is very well thought of. Abhishek Dudhaiya, Raman Kumar, Ritesh Shah and Pooja Bhavoria’s dialogues (additional dialogues by Manoj Muntashir) are intended to generate claps. Ajay’s monologue while convincing the villagers is touching.

Abhishek Dudhaiya’s direction has its share of glitches but overall it’s fair. Talking of the pros, he handles the scale of the film very well. Certain dramatic and action scenes are well executed and this also enhances the impact. Also, certain one-take action scenes add to the entertainment quotient. The climax is nail-biting and he really takes the film to another level here. On the flipside, the characters are not well defined. The introduction is very quick of all major characters. For a layman, it’ll be too much to process so much information. Also, one could sense that certain scenes have been cut, possibly to curtail the length. In several action scenes, logic takes a backseat. The scene of Ranchod in the trench in the climax would be loved by the masses but it’s difficult to digest. Also, the first half has some interesting scenes but overall, it fails to make the desired impact as the execution is a bit all over the place.

BHUJ: THE PRIDE OF INDIA’s first 5 minutes explain the context through a montage and also with the scene of Pakistani officials discussing their evil plan. The latter is a bit over the top but helps in understanding the conflict. The Bhuj airbase attack scene is shocking but soon the film goes into flashback mode. Here, too many characters get introduced and it becomes a case of information overload. The track of Heena Rehmani (Nora Fatehi) comes as a great respite. Her one-take mirror action scene is one of the best scenes in the film. In the second half, there comes a certain ‘thehrav’ in the narrative. Also, the introduction of Sunderben (Sonakshi Sinha) adds a lot to the film. The best is reserved for the last 20-25 minutes with the aeroplane landing scene taking the cake.

“Ajay Devgn is an INDUSTRY, you can ask him anything about…”: Sharad Kelkar | Bhuj -The Pride of India | Ajay Devgn

Ajay Devgn plays a one-dimensional character. But performance wise, he’s first-rate and lifts certain scenes. His slo-mo walk especially is quite exciting and would have led to a riot in cinemas. Sanjay Dutt, too, plays a character whose back story is not properly explained but he is quite good, especially in the fight scenes. Sonakshi Sinha has a late entry but is the surprise of the film. Nora Fatehi charms with her performance and action. Her action scene is one of the highlights. Sharad Kelkar (R K Nair) is, as always, dependable. Ammy Virk (Vikram Singh Baj) is decent and gives his best. Pranitha Subhash (Usha), Ihana Dhillon (R K Nair’s wife) and Mahesh Shetty (Laxman) get no scope. Navni Parihar (Indira Gandhi) is fair. The actors playing General Yahya Khan, Heena Rehmani’s husband Md Hussain Omani, Wing Commander A A Sahu, Mukhtar Baig and Taimoor Rizvi are okay.

Music is okay and there’s not much scope for songs. In fact, a few songs like ‘Rammo Rammo’, ‘Bhai Bhai’ and even the famous ‘Zaalima Coca Cola’ tracks are missing. ‘Hanjugam’ is forgettable but ‘Desh Mere’ is touching. The devotional song of Sonakshi Sinha (‘He Ishwar Maalik He Daata’) is powerful but looks a bit out of place. Amar Mohile’s background score is exhilarating.

Aseem Bajaj’s cinematography is impactful. A few shots are exceptionally done. Archana Mishra’s costumes are realistic and glamorous in the case of the heroines. Narendra Rahurikar’s production design is detailed. R P Yadav & Peter Hein’s action is entertaining and grand. NY VFXWaala’s VFX is of a good standard. A few scenes were not upto the mark but overall, the VFX team deserve praise. Dharmendra Sharma’s editing is a bit quick and haphazard.

On the whole, BHUJ: THE PRIDE OF INDIA tells an incredible story from a chapter of Indian history. The performances are first-rate and the film goes on an exciting level in the second half, with the nail-biting climax being the best part of the enterprise. A film of this scale should have been released in cinemas as it’s full of massy scenes that would have generated immense craze among the audiences.

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