The film starring Janhvi Kapoor and Pankaj Tripathi is a biopic of an Indian Airforce officer from the Kargil war. The officer identified enemy camps and saved many lives in emergency evacuations amongst many other responsibilities. So why is this story different from many other air force officers who were at the Kargil war. The catch here is the gender. The officer is a woman. It shouldn’t have been a unique story yet it is like several stories of scientists, doctors, politicians- all of them women.
The dream of a young girl to fly a plane and become a pilot are trashed by the patriarchal rules of the occupation, when opportunity strikes the girl in the form of Woman Indian air force officer training. Coupled with the strong belief of her father, and the grace of the almighty, Gunjan Saxena goes on to become an Indian Air Force officer. While the system tries to weed her out and break her confidence, she finds herself a guide and a teacher who is ruthless yet non-discriminating. When solitary fighting becomes difficult, she almost gives up her dream and returns home. The undying perseverance of her father pushes her back to the air force only to land her the Kargil war where she creates history.
The story must be told to give wings to many girls who dream of breaking into occupations dominated by men. The story must be told because it’s okay to be alienated in a man’s world but it is only sheer perseverance that persuades the divine to lift you high above the rest.
Pankaj Tripathi is his usual self- nothing but the best. Janhvi performs very well for her second movie. I would call it outstanding but it’s the nepotism that bites. A viewer like me who is a hardcore fan of her mother, the legendary Sridevi cannot see a single shot of Janhvi kapoor without comparing her to her mother. Nepotism is a bittersweet pill- it is easy to pop in but hard to swallow. Watch out for that bit.
Indeed, a very good movie with a tight script and seamless direction- a good watch.