‘Bhuj: The Pride of India’ is a multi-starrer war period drama directed by Abhishek Dudhaiya, which features Ajay Devgn, Sanjay Dutt, Sonakshi Sinha, Sharad Kelkar, Ammy Virk, Nora Fatehi and Pranitha Subhash.
It is the story about the 1971 Indo-Pak war, when West Pakistan (currently Pakistan) was killing people of East Pakistan (currently Bangladesh) and wanted to occupy the land, then India came forward and helped East Pakistan to fight back with West Pakistan and make East Pakistan free and turned it into a new country named, Bangladesh and for that West Pakistan attacked the Bhuj airbase in India under the operation named, Chengiz Khan. About 300 Gujarati women helped the Indian Air Force to repair the airbase to fight back with West Pakistan.
The first half of the movie covers sudden bomb firing attacks from jet planes on the Bhuj airbase, where IAF Squadron Leader Vijay Karnik was posted and it also shows how and why Pakistan plans to attack Bhuj. Ajay Devgn plays the role of Vijay Karnik. His slow-motion shots running towards the artillery to fire and destroy the jet planes are too dramatic.
We can see a very restrained performance from Sharad Kelkar, who plays the role of military officer R.K.Nair and Ammy Virk, who plays the role of Flight Lieutenant Vikram Singh Baj. Ammy Virk’s dialogues sounds like he has literally memorized them and is just throwing up with an expressionless face. Nora Fatehi, who plays the role of an Indian spy Heena Rahman is totally a misfit. Her dialogues and accent in Urdu sound so humorous and are not at all impressive. Though she has got a substantial part in the movie, where she has to fight or shoot and also shows her training period for Indian army, she still couldn’t make it memorable.
Sanjay Dutt plays the role of an Indian army scout Ranchordas Pagi, who strolls around the desert and watchs the Pakistani army’s positions. This was not at all expected from him after so long. His fighting scenes with the Pakistani soldiers with no guns, bombs but guess what! Only an axe! It was too clichéd. It seems so unrealistic Bollywood filmy style. Then comes Sonakshi Sinha. She plays the role of a Gujrati woman named, Sunderben Jetha Madharparya, who convinces the village people to help the Indian army to repair the airbase. Her character is completely unwanted in the movie. Her expressionless dialogues feel like just spitting on the camera. We have seen good acting from her in ‘Lootera’ (2013) before. She literally could have done better and of course last but not the least, Pranitha Subhash, who plays the role of Ajay Devgn’s wife, Usha Karnik is a total waste.
Despite so many screaming, sacrificing, dying and killing scenes in the movie, one cannot find a few genuine emotional phases from the movie. The trailer can give one goosebumps but the whole movie is too much clichéd. This is Abhishek Dudhaiya’s directorial debut film and it just totally failed to impress. He tried hard to make it as emotional as much so he made it as fast as he can, does not take a break and finished it within 1hr 50mins. The movie moves so fast that one can literally become confused whether to get emotional or to hold their breath for what’s coming next.
Aseem Bajaj’s camera work just totally failed to survive. The VFX used in the movie is a total blunder. The slow-motion shots of soldiers fighting, the gun firing scenes, the blasts are totally oversight and the visual effects, the pyrotechnics are pure sloppy.
The rhetorical dialogues are used too much and so filmy and lack the punch such as, Ajay Devgn’s dialogues, “Taj Mahal pyaar ki nishani hai..toh Hindustaan tere baap ki kahani hai” (If Taj Mahal is the memento of love, then India is your father’s story) or Sanjay Dutt’s dialogues, “Hai liye hathiyaar dushman taq mein baitha udhaar…Aur hum tayiaar hain seena liye apna idhaar” (Our enemies are coming to attack us, and we are also ready to fight back here) or Sonakshi Sinha’s dialogues, “Jab tak suraj chamke…Tab tak yeh Hindustaan rahe” (Until the sun shines, till then India shines) these dialogues are too overrated and clichéd. Even Nora Fatehi gets to have her moment of rhetorical dialogues.
There are five songs in the movie and they are composed by Tanishk Bagchi, Gourov Dasgupta, DJ Chetas, Vipin Patwa and Arko and the lyrics are penned by Manoj Muntasir, Devshi Kahnduri, Anil Verma, Amandeep Singh, Kavira Ahir and Vayu. Not a single song is catchy or memorable, although they try to make it patriotic. The item number “Zaalima Coca-cola” sung by Shreya Ghoshal and penned by Vayu, can make audience go gaga over it because of Nora Fatehi, but it’s totally unnecessary in a film like this.
Overall, the movie is too dramatic and lack the seriousness of a patriotic one. How can one possibly take a war period drama seriously and enjoy it, when the scenes come and go so fast with extreme violence? One can only get totally confused and feel blank at the end of the movie.
‘Bhuj: The Pride of India’ is currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.