The Bhuj district of Gujarat is a treasure trove of history and culture; an ancient town that boasts ancient temples and ancient knowledge. The people of Bhuj are known as the Muthaavanshi, the People of the Sun. They take pride in their ancient heritage and culture, and regularly set themselves apart as such. The problem with “Bhuj” (a title by the way, which means “The Pride of India”) is that it’s a film that doesn’t do much to distinguish itself from other Bollywood films. There’s nothing wrong with doing these films, but if you’re expecting a film that will impress and excite the people of Bhuj, you may be disappointed.
“Bhuj: The Pride of India” is an underwhelming attempt to make you care about a minor regional rivalry. While the story is fascinating, the film is dull, and you won’t care about the fate of the Iravatiars.
The film tells the story of the Bhuj earthquake that struck Gujarat in 2001, killing more than 6,000 people, leaving thousands more homeless, and destroying countless homes. The earthquake left a lasting impression on the region. But, in the movie, it is nothing but a tragedy. The movie tries to make the audience laugh at the tragedy, using humor to make light of the situation.
Bhuj: The Pride Of India is a complete flop of a war movie. It meanders through a tangle of explosions, dogfights, and battlefield bravado without even stopping to let the spectator figure out what’s going on. Even though the wounded Air Force officer is laying on the ground, the hero’s Jeep collides with a ball of flames produced by an enemy fighter aircraft that crashes in the midst of an Indian airport in the film’s opening scene. He doesn’t scribble or complain. The story begins, and he is the one who speaks.
With just a scrape on his forehead, he emerges from the flames. The movie doesn’t have the same luck. As it scratches the bottom of the barrel in an effort to get out of the bind, it does irreversible damage to itself. The sloppiness index is dominated by fight scenes, visual effects, pyrotechnics, general acting tone, and writing quality.
Abhishek Dudhaiya’s film Bhuj: The Pride Of India, which is now available on Disney+Hotstar, is a dramatized depiction of an incident during the 1971 India-Pakistan War. It recounts the tale of soldiers and civilians who in one night rebuilt a bombed-out airport. At the end of the day, all the film does is go head-to-head with all the rules of logical filmmaking.
The troops’ patriotic posturing, which includes ‘thundering’ lines about patriotism and valor, is filled with clichés, with Ajay Devgn as Squadron Leader Vijay Srinivas Karnik leading the charge. Under a never-ending barrage of insults, the real hero on whom the character is based is quickly forgotten.
When the focus of the film is solely on the two leading actors, you know it’s meant to be a Bollywood celebrity vehicle rather than a true tribute to India’s defense forces. Sanjay Dutt, who portrays an Indian peasant who is allowed to enter and leave Pakistan, has a significant amount of screen time.
They are multi-talented individuals. They do everything from espionage for the nation to battling Pakistani troops alone, to defusing time bombs and performing miracles in the face of overwhelming odds. Everyone else in Bhuj: The Pride Of India is red, including Sharad Kelkar, who has a voice that can pierce through any cacophony.
After more than an hour, the focus shifts to a village where women outnumber men since the men have all left their houses in pursuit of work in the city. Government contractors and suppliers have left in fear. As a consequence, the Squadron Leader (codenamed Maratha Baagh) approaches the ladies and requests their help in reopening the runway. No matter what the villagers do, the film’s difficult sections never end.
None of the female leads, particularly Sonakshi Sinha’s “Gujarat ki Sherni” Sunderben, who kills a leopard with her own hands, seem to be cut out for the role. They seem to be getting ready for a local carnival. All they need is a foggy pep talk from the valiant hero, who never tires of repeating that he is a brave and unrestrained Maratha. Neither the man’s pleas nor the following actions of the village women manage to steady the shaky footage.
Gujarat and Maharashtra aren’t the only states that celebrate Bhuj: The Pride Of India, which promotes tribalism. Colonel R.K. Nair infiltrates Kerala (Sharad Kelkar). This Madras Regiment captain hails from a village known for its courage and tenacity, according to the video, and he once shattered a Pakistani boxer’s jawbone. Another problem is that none of his actions seem to support his high claims.
There’s the compulsory Sikh – fighter pilot Vikram Singh (Ammy Virk), who loves flying into danger – and the token Muslim, a courageous spy Heena Rehman (Nora Fatehi), who’s in Pakistan to avenge her brother, who was also a brave secret agent, and to protect her country.
It’s inescapable that the soldiers and officials from over the border are simply sitting ducks, hilarious caricatures ready to be brutally walloped in a film that not only appears to relish unrestrained Pakistan-bashing but also openly promotes a very invidious kind of Islamophobia.
When Pakistan President Yahya Khan is shaken by the possibility of losing in Bangladesh, he tells his troops that his country (a certain tribe) must do something harsh to revenge against a people they have oppressed for four centuries. The anxious head of state devises a strategy to attack India’s western front while the country’s troops are engaged on the eastern border.
An Indian spy is apprehended by Pakistan’s senior intelligence officer. However, this is a Bollywood film. Because the guy is a Pakistani who mumbles banalities, and the spy is a Hindustani who swears by her motherland’s eternal devotion, the man has no chance. The latter is okay, but anybody trying to create a convincing film based on true events must have a sense of proportion. The creators of Bhuj: The Pride Of India do not.
As if that weren’t bad enough, the commanding commander of the Bhuj airfield would have us believe that women should be praised for their ability to repair everything from broken shirt buttons to shattered souls. To highlight his sexism, he says that a woman’s most valuable possession is her home in another context.
Pranitha Subhash, who plays the officer’s wife, only appears in a cameo role, which pretty well sums up this inept, gender-insensitive film. Despite the fact that the incident occurred in 1971, surely a man seeking for assistance from a community of women when the chips are down should know better than to decide what should be done unilaterally.
In Bhuj: The Pride Of India, there is almost nothing that makes sense. The script is the only thing in this picture that is worse than the performances. As a consequence, the “best” phrase delivered by the main actor is “Main marne ke liye jita hoon mera naam hai sipahi” (I live to die, I am a soldier).
It’s no surprise that the film is a failure right from the get. Regrettably, when the explosions begin, as they do in scene one, common sense is thrown out the window. Bhuj: The Pride Of India will be busy collecting the scattered pieces of its insipid ideas for the next two hours, which have been made enormously worse by persistently ham-fisted treatment. There’s nothing to brag about.
If you’re looking for some excellent Bollywood movies to watch, we’ve compiled a list of the top 50, so give them a try.
This article broadly covered the following related topics:
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