Cast: Rana Daggubati, Kay Kay Menon, Atul Kulkarni, Taapsee Pannu, Late. Om Puri, Nassar
Director: Sankalp Reddy
Producers: Anvesh Reddy, Venkatramana Reddy, Prasad V Potluri, NM Pasha, Jagan Mohan Vancha
Writers: Sankalp Reddy, Gangaraju Gunnam, Niranjan Reddy (Screenplay)
What's Yay: Performances, Concept
What's Nay: The technical jargon may be a spoilsport for the layman.
Popcorn Refill: Interval
The Iconic Moment: The tense moments during the underwater scenes and the firing of torpedoes are quite nail-biting.
Set in 1971, 'The Ghazi Attack' opens with a voiceover by Amitabh Bachchan explaining the tense political scenario between India and Pakistan. The Pakistan Navy - in order to hunt Indian Navy's priced possession INS Vikrant and also relieve pressure on depleted naval resources in the eastern theatre sends their flagship submarine PNS Ghazi.
In a classified mission to intercept a suspected attack on the East coast of India, INS Vikrant sets sail with the submarine S-21, captained by the hot-headed Commander Rann Vijay Singh (Kay Kay Menon) who is constantly at loggerheads with Lieutenant Commander Arjun Varma (Rana Daggubati) over the differences in their opinion in the mission. To balance these two contrasting personalities, Executive Officer Devaraj (Atul Kulkarni) comes into the picture.
What follows next is a gripping narration about 'The war you did not know about'!
Firstly, debutante director Sankalp Reddy needs to be applauded for picking up this not-much-known historical incident for his story-telling. As the legend goes, PNS Ghazi sunk under mysterious circumstances and the Indian and Pakistan Navy have varying accounts as to why, the filmmaker presents this faded page of history in an intriguing way without resorting to any Bollywood cliches like songs or dream sequences.
On the flipside, the film at times does get preachy with the son-of-the-soil speeches which tends to make the narration a bit over-the-top.
Kay Kay Menon is a complete show-stealer as the impulsive, arrogant officer who believes in the philosophy of 'save the nation not by dying for it but by killing the enemy'.
Rana Daggubati on the other hand plays a calmer version who 'waits' for the orders and gets to be a major player in the second half of the film.
Atul Kulkarni is impressive as usual and plays more of a peacemaker between these two characters.
These aforementioned actors are the three 'torpedoes' of The Ghazi Attack
Late Om Puri and Nassar do a good job in their minuscule roles. Unfortunately, Taapsee Pannu who is credited with a special appearance remains a mere spectator and could have had a meaningful space in the film.
'The Ghazi Attack' relies more on the team work rather than the individual act to extract impressive performances and this works in its favour.
Ghazi has been mounted with a fair degree of authenticity and director Sankalp Reddy has succeeded in recreating a claustrophobic environment as a major section of the film unfolds in a submarine. The war scenes dabble more with the mind games and strategical approach and keep you hooked despite a few restraints in the budget when it comes to special effects.
Madhi's cinematography and A. Sreekar Prasad's fine editing gels well with the film.
There isn't any scope for songs in the film. The background score doesn't jar the narrative and adds more hue to the story.
If you ain't in the mood for some lovey-dovey watch, then 'The Ghazi Attack' is a perfect pick for you to turn back the pages of the Indian history and revisit a gripping tale of unsung heroes who risked their lives to rescue the tricolor!