Onto the next release of the weekend and I finished watching the Telugu/Hindi film Major starring Adivi Sesh. 26th November 2008. A day which marks the darkest chapters in the history of the country. A day which began as a normal working day only to end in a bloodbath. A day of the Taj Attacks. If you have read my review of Mumbai Diaries – 26/11, then there I have mentioned how I had lost someone that day at the Taj. It was such a nightmare that I had decided not to watch any films or series which would be made on the Taj attacks. It was until I broke the mould by watching Hotel Mumbai almost 2 years back. That was a moment where I decided to let go and accept the reality. There were a number of heroes which stood up that night. Right from the hotel staff to the Mumbai Police and the NSG, all of them played a vital role in helping out the city that night. Speaking of the NSG, it was one individual who was martyred that night – Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan. And Major is his biopic, something which I was really looking for. And I finally finished watching Major, is it worth your time, stay tuned!
Story & Screenplay
Major is a story which focuses on the life of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, right from his early days to his ambush and ultimate martyrdom in Taj. The story is goosebumps worthy and something that needed to be told. The screenplay standing at 150 minutes might seem a bit intimidating but it is so well written that it holds your attention right throughout. It opens with the protagonist caught in the gunfire with a scene featuring some terrific lighting. Cut to a flashback where we are introduced to a young Sandeep Unnikrishnan and his immediate family. There is a sweet romantic track too which is introduced which never felt forced. I usually have an issue with romances portrayed in Telugu films. For instance in Pushpa, the protagonist pursues the heroine upto a point of stalking which is just so wrong. But here the portrayal was never toxic and so well integrated in the plot point.
The entire sequence featuring the love for uniforms of the protagonist to ultimately leading to a career path with the NSG and the physical training which follows is so well portrayed. In between his equation with his family just feels like a warm hug. This until the Taj attacks breakout! It is from hereon that the writing turns into a thriller with nail biting sequences which would potentially bring back memories from that night.
The rescue operation which follows is excellent and very well executed. The one drawback that I had with the film was an unnecessary flashback in the second hour when you are in the thick of things. That sequence just took a bit if the shine away from the writing. But after the brief blip, the action is right back on track. The climsx combat sequence is absolutely overwhelming and thrilling and it fills you up with so many emotions! And the final speech by the character of Prakash Raj addressing a crowd is goosebumps worthy. If that doesn’t fill your chest up with nationalism(not jingoism), little other things will! And it will leave you with a lump in your throat as well summing up a brilliantly penned screenplay. <span;>Also, this film did not paint everyone from across the border with the same colour. There is a brilliant scene right at the end with the protagonist playing cricket in No Man’s Land with children from across the border. Such a heartfelt ending this!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are sharp and goosebumps worthy. It helped that the film was shot in Hindi and not just dubbed. By doing that, they were able to hold onto the core emotions. The music is good here although not memorable. The BGM is terrific and keeps you actively on your toes throughout. The cinematography coupled with the lighting is just brilliant. Director Sashi Kiran Tikka does a terrific job in handling this biopic. The events did not seem disjoint and there was a rhythm to the writing. And he added just the right dose of nationalism although it never went overboard. The direction is top notch here.
The performances are excellent here. Dr. Murli Sharma does a fine job here. Sobhita Dhulipala as Pramoda is in such good form that she definitely owns the scenes which she features in. She has a great presence and the element of fear is reflective in her towering act too. Saiee Mamjrekar as Isha looks so cute and does a tremendous job herself. Wish to watch more of her going forward. Revathy as Sandeep’s mother is so well restrained and she is a perfect foil to other characters in a heartfelt act! Prakash Raj as Sandeep’s father is just brilliant and that final scene featuring his speech stays with you long after the film has ended. Adivi Sesh as Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan is absolutely phenomenal. He has a magnetic presence and all the makings of a superstar! He holds your attention in a memorable performance and excels in combat sequences too. He is the soul of the film!
Major is a rousing biopic on the life of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan. This is the biopic to be watched this weekend instead of Samrat Prithviraj. Goosebumps Guaranteed! Available in a theatre near you and Highly Recommended!