Blockbusters this week – Sangam Courtyard
Although winters in Delhi don’t last forever, the gods have favored us with a few more days of winter rains and the magical chill of Delhi winters. With Republic Day around the corner, there is no better way to celebrate our grand Republic and enjoy the parting of Delhi winters than to step out over the weekend and catch the cinematic retelling of some of India’s most powerful, inspiring stories at Sangam Courtyard!
Manikarnika – The Queen of Jhansi
Every Indian knows the heart-rending epic of Rani Laxmi Bai from our school days and the film brings alive this brave character alive beautifully! Based on the life of the doomed heroine Manikarnika, the queen of Jhansi, and her war against the British East India Company during the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the film chronicles her journey from widow to warrior. The 22-year-old Queen, who refused to cede her Kingdom of Jhansi to the British Empire, was the first woman in India’s history to fight against the British in its cry for Independence. Despite fighting a fierce battle, she was killed in combat, but her life story and fight against the British has forever become a formidable tale of bravery, valour and the strength of a woman, inspiring generations to come.
Reviews have lauded Kangna Ranaut’s performance for breathing life into the legend of Rani Laxmi Bai. The trailer of Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi released last month and went viral, garnering over 25 million views on YouTube as of now. Amitabh Bachchan’s voiceover takes you through the pages of the early 19th-century history of India and the movie has to be seen on a wide screen for its sheer opulence. The period is beautifully recreated by art directors Murlidhar J Sabat, Ratan Suryawanshi, Sukant Panigrahy, Sujeet Sawant, Sunil Jaiswal and Sriram Iyengar, and has been shot amazingly by cinematographers Gnana Shekar VS and Kiran Deohans. Catch the cinematic epic on the big screen and see a cornerstone of the our history come alive.
Based on the life and times of Balasahab Thackeray, the film is being lauded for the superlative performance of Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the political legend and has been dubbed by critics as Nawazuddin’s career best! Amrita Rao’s performance as the wife of Balasahab Thackeray has also received tremendous applause from the audience.
The Abhijit Panse directorial has been creating waves ever since the project was first announced. From a firebrand journalist to an influential political leader who played a major role in shaping the Marathi identity, Balasaheb Thackeray’s journey is also the story of birth and evolution of Shiv Sena. The film chronicles the life and times of the charismatic leader whose legacy continues to live on through his words and deeds.
Uri – The Surgical Strike
A dramatised account of the retaliation to the 2016 Uri attack, the film follows Major Vihaan Singh Sherghil of the Indian Army, who plays a leading role in organizing it.Written and directed by Aditya Dhar in his debut, and produced by Ronnie Screwvala under the banner of RSVP Movies, the film features Vicky Kaushal, Paresh Rawal, Mohit Raina, and Yami Gautam in lead roles. Vihaan Singh Shergil (Vicky Kaushal) is a Major in the Indian Army vows to seek revenge for both his brother-in-law and the country when his brother-in-law (Mohit Raina) is among the soldiers who are killed in an organized attack by terrorists at the Uri army base in 2016.
The film is based on the surgical strikes conducted in 2016 by the Indian Army, against militant launch pads in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). 35-50 terrorists were reportedly killed in the covert operation, in retaliation to the terrorist attack in Uri that killed 19 Indian soldiers. Subsequently, Pakistan denied the incident. Vicky Kaushal’s sincere and effortless presence adds depth to this film. What makes it engaging is not its execution, but the audacity of the mission it dramatically decodes and recreates. Despite knowing the result, you watch the events unfold with childlike intrigue as the complex operation plan was classified. The rigorous process — how 80 Indian Para SF commandos managed to infiltrate PoK and destroy the terror camps, makes for an instructive watch if not gripping.