Review: Uri: The Surgical Strike

One of the best scenes in the movie Uri: The Surgical Strike is at the Prime Minister’s meeting to decide how India should react following a Pakistani terrorist attack at Uri killing 19 soldiers. While everyone throws out ideas, Ajit Doval, played by Paresh Rawal, suggests surgical strikes. Then he gives a speech on how this is a new India. — an India that does not remain silent in a moment of crisis and takes the fight to the enemy. He also reminds people not to worry about what US or UN would say and cites the example of what Israel did after Munich.

At the same time, on the Pakistani side, there is no fear of retribution. One character ridicules India, saying they will ban movie actors and singers for a while. Then everything will be back to normal. During the days of the Accidental Prime Minister, the national sport was competitive dossier exchange — a dereliction of generational duty. It appeared as if we had run out of cheeks to show the enemy to hit.

The Prime Minister and Mr. Doval put an end to it. The rest of the movie is a detailed retelling of how a team of Indian army soldiers cross into Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and send the Islamic terrorists to party with the 72 virgins. (Incidentally, I noticed that a line on this was present in the trailer, but was removed from the movie in a kind of Nehruvian move). The technical prowess of India is on display – on how ISRO and DRDO ably supported the soldiers. You bear witness to how people who don’t want to see India going tukde, tukde, do whatever sacrifice it takes to make this a Mission: Possible.

Surgical Strikes would have made Navjot Sidhu sad, but this is the India that we all want to see; to move away from the outlandishly cautious to a bold and courageous one; to be the nation where the mind is without fear and the head is held high; to be the nation which has the political courage to order a surgical strike.

This movie is of a new genre, – a contemporary war procedural, with a no-nonsense retelling of actual events. The director had a bold unwillingness to entertain any material unreleated to the core narrative. But it is just not a cold kill-the-enemy movie. The human grief is given equal footing and the emotional intensity is high when the young child of the murdered soldier comes to pay homage to her father and shouts that the sacrificing life is the ultimate dharma. It is hard not to be shaken by that scene and you long for justice. Now, this not the first time in our country’s history that many such children had to go through such trauma. But this is probably the first time that a political leadership had the courage to bring the culprits to justice.

The technical aspects of the movie are absolutely world class. The music and the appropriate silences, intensify the tension. The final sequence is purely edge-of-the-seat stuff that is thrilling and nailbiting. The movie would have fallen flat if not for the brilliant performance of Vicky Kaushal who is intense throughout the movie. It is also rare to see such perfection from a first time director and kudos to Aditya Dhar for making this movie. If you asked me, “How was the josh, after watching the movie?”, I would say “Very high sir!”

The only hope is that an India, stretched by such boldness, will never go back to its old dimensions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.