Bhuj: The Pride of India
Time for the second patriotic movie in this extended Independence Day weekend and I have just finished watching Bhuj : The Pride Of India on Hotstar VIP. I am not a big fan of the war genre but I was very impressed with Shershaah whose review you will find on the site as well. It had the jingoism in check despite following a standard template of a war movie. And that said I had some hopes from Bhuj : The Pride of India as well. Although the trailer seemed a bit over the top and revealed almost all plot points of the film, the presence of seasoned actors like Ajay Devgn and Sanjay Dutt had me interested. Does it manage to deliver, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Bhuj : The Pride Of India follows the story of a group of villagers assembling to build a airbase runway in Bhuj during the 1971 war against Pakistan. The story ought to have been inspiring. However, the focus is not on this event at all. It is mostly the other officers that get unneccesary footage whereas surely the focus should have been on this single event which sadly appears as a fleeting one after 50 odd mins into the film. But I had hopes from the screenplay and had almost taken as a given that I will be filled with pride. But the screenplay is a hot mess. It is all over the place. There is no clarity or thought in it whatsoever. I am actually surprised that such a shoddy screenplay was approved in the first place by big production houses. Surely you cannot just have a theme of patrotism and cash in on it! And is there even a patriotic movie without making Pakistan a overwhelming villIain? I don’t mind that as it would be from an Indian perspective which is extremely fair and there are movies like Uri, The Ghazi Attack or even Raazi that I have enjoyed. But this one here was ridiculous with all Pakistani characters referring to their senior as ‘Janaab’. It is outdated and nobody and literally nobody who talks like that. And what is worse is their characterisation is mostly a cardboard cutout that just doesn’t do justice to the subject. I am infact extremely angry while penning this review because this is one lost opportunity. The screenplay is just a mixed bag of scenes that don’t make sense at all, it was at one point I was wondering who is bombing whom, yes it was that bad! The end does not give you any redemption that is if you last the distance. For me, it was a disconnect from scene number one! A complete disaster!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues ought to have been inspirational and arousing but instead it is corny and cheesy with a lot of neighbour bashing and an overtly high sense of patriotism and jingoism which is always in your face. It could have been much subtler. The music is largely forgettable, the BGM does nothing to enhance the drama. The action sequences are just plain average, it seemed straight out of a video game. A word on the camerawork which would give RGV a run for his money, the editing which is horrible and the VFX which is just MS Paint Level to put it in a good way. Director Abhishek Dudhaiya has done a terrible job, his direction is all over the place. Probably the worst that I have seen this year.
The performances are equally bad to average from a bunch of talented actors(a few of them atleast). Nora Fatehi as Heena does a fair job but her accent is actually quite bad and ruins the efforts she puts in while enacting her role(especially in her fight sequence). And her character should have been explored more, it was underwritten and definitely ended abruptly. Sharad Kelkar as RK Nair just was not ‘there’, physically present but mentally just not there. Sanjay Dutt as Pagi was just average and terribly over the top in the final act(though no fault of his there). His accent too was not right. Sonakshi Sinha as Sunderben had the same problem, her accent was anything but the Kutchi accent. Amy Virk was terrible in his dialogue delivery as Vikram, a very forgettable outing for him. And Ajay Devgn as Vijay Karnik just walked in slow-mo without any rhyme or reason. Just a royal mess and a red mark in the performance department too!
Bhuj : The Pride Of India is possibly the worst film of the year and definitely nothing to boast your pride of. Save yourself some time and a crocin or perhaps rewatch Shershaah this Independence Day to reinstill that feeling of patriotism and pride. Steer clear of this one completely. Available on Hotstar VIP.