Karmanye vadhikaraste ma phaleshu kadachana
Ma karmaphalaheturbhurma te sangostvakarmani
You have the right to work only but never to its fruits. Let not the fruits of action be your motive, nor let your attachment be to inaction – Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Verse: 4.
Director Sashi Kiran Tikka, and actor Adivi Sesh who wrote the story and screenplay, have attempted to portray the emotional journey of a soldier who dreamt of protecting others, and who resolved at a very young age, to be there for his nation, at all times.
Adivi Sesh, who was born in Hyderabad but raised in Berkeley, CA, portrays the determined and devoted Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan. The Major never flinches from his duty towards his country, and never misses the chance to save those in trouble. Saiee Manjrekar (who plays his childhood sweetheart Isha) and Shobitha Dhulipala (who plays a businesswoman called Pramoda Reddy) handle their limited roles with grace and poise.
Prakash Raj and Revathi do an excellent job of portraying their feelings of pride as well as anxiety as the parents of a dedicated soldier. Abburi Ravi’s dialogues are simple but impactful.
During the 26/11 siege, Major Unnikrishnan is asked by his senior officer, Commander Shera (Murali Sharma), as to how many soldiers he should send to aid the Major. He replies, “Don’t come up. I will handle them.”
The movie is not about how Major Unnikrishnan attained martyrdom, but about how he lived his gallant life. His life was a quest to understand the meaning of the word “soldier,” and do what it takes to be one.
Adivi Sesh, who demonstrates sharp acting skills, does full justice to the sincerity and passion of this dedicated soldier. Although the movie is not about superheroes, it leaves no doubt in anyone’s mind who the superhero is.
The last scenes in the movie, where the parents bear the burden of the homecoming of their child draped in tricolor, bring tears to the eyes. You will have to watch the movie to hear the poignant speech given by Prakash Raj, which proves why he is a superior actor, and the emotions of a mother of a martyred soldier, portrayed by Revathy. The scenes where Sandeep hears the voices of his parents and wife, after being hit, are touching to the core.
The dialogue aimed at an overzealous media that “live is more important than someone’s life” which alludes to the fact that some in the media care more about the ratings than a life, is brilliant. And yet the way the Major uses the media to his advantage, deserves applause. The way Sandeep kneels down and pays respect to the soldiers martyred in the Kargil war is praiseworthy.
The movie drives home the point that it is not only the soldiers themselves but also, their families that make an equal sacrifice in the service of the nation. Parents of soldiers also love their children and are as anxious about their safety at all times.
A point which the movie emphasizes, so deftly, is that a soldier (fauji) need not necessarily be a man. Women can, and have, contributed equally in serving their nation.
Watch the movie, not for its action or special effects, although they are impressive, but for falling in love with not only Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, but every such soldier and their family who silently support them, while maintaining a smile on their face. The music is appropriate to the theme of the movie.
I am going with 3.5 stars for the movie, now showing on Netflix.