Movie Review: The Ghazi Attack

Firstly, it is a delight to watch Kay Kay Menon in a robust part play the badass naval officer and that has to be one of the reasons for you to go and watch this film which will keep you on your toes till the very end. Debutant director, Sankalp Reddy knows the nitty-gritty of the working of a submarine and not for a second, I felt that the actors are just simulating being inside one. The Ghazi Attack ticks all the right boxes for the war film and delves into the depths of the sea to fish out a story based on a mission which has been classified for years. Nobody really knows the truth, but to weave a story around a classified event that happened on the eve of the war with Pakistan in 1971 was a story worth telling, and worth watching as well.


That is the power of casting good actors who you can trust to not drown your trust into the sea and literally here. Kay Kay Menon as the badass Rann Vijay Singh is the one you would play love-hate games with. There are moments when you love him and want to be him when you grow up but at the same time, his arrogance would want you to shake up him for a reality check. But that is the beauty of such a layered portrayal of a Naval officer who is working under so much pressure. His one wrong decision… and a war beckons! He orders, ‘Dive to 300…’ and his crew is in a state of disbelief as they have just heard a rumour about their beloved S 21 that might be able to dive so low into the sea. But the man has a plan, and the orders need to be followed. S 21 is under the command of captain Rann Vijay and has been ordered to go on a recce mission in the Bay Of Bengal. And by the power of politics, he is just told to wait for the orders which angers his entire existence. He says, “Agar Dushman Saamne Aa Jaye, Tab Bhi Should I Just Wait For Your Order?”


Kay Kay Menon is so earnest that with wanting to scream at him, you also feel why his approach is so aggressive. Deputy Lieutenant Commander Arjun Verma is played by Rana Daggubbati, who is the one to follow the rules of the game. He stays calm and never jumps the line. He plays his part fine and is interesting to watch him playing such a part which is endearing. Probably because of this quality the writing of the biggest scene given to him was so shabbily done that it spoils the entire broth. The big monologue which probably was written to up the ante, just remained the oldest trick in the book which did not match the grittiness of the film. Officer Devraj played by the dependable Atul Kulkarni is the one who is your shoulder to lean on. He is firm and gentle at the same time which makes his character very beautiful. You know, you can always lean on him and he will never disappoint.


Speaking of the treatment of the film, the most interesting aspect of the film is the most risky one. I won’t say that it is flawless and is sculpted to perfection. There are hiccups in the film and quite a few but somehow towards the end, one lets go of them. It is not the best one, but still tries to hold its ground and needs a little applause from our side. As the audience has an attention span of a second these days, to stay gripped into the confines of a claustrophobic submarine to watch the same characters talking about the technicality of the massive machine does not get to you. Even though we might not get the physics behind how to talk about the coordinates that might help you to blow your enemy away, but you are always there in spirit, with all of them. This war film is not like the ones we have seen before with everyone running around with blood and gore, as here there is no physical contact with the enemy. But, telling a riveting tale of a war in the absence of any form is distraction eventually becomes its biggest strength. It all happens under the sea, in a mission which is covert and till date, no one knows what exactly happened.

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