Uri: The Surgical Strike

It boggles my mind to see what extents of pain and sacrifice military men and women endure to protect their country and for all practical purposes earn their living. It’s unfortunate that they are not nearly as celebrated outside of their own circles as successful people in business, entertainment and other industries.

Just like Rustom and Raazi, Uri also has the charm of Military etiquette and decor. In this case though it is nestled among sheer courage and brute force. My favorite part of the movie is Vicky Kaushal’s impeccable acting. Watch out for the scene at his brother-in-law’s funeral where he is standing tall like an Army man is supposed to but without speaking a word he emotes a whole litany of feelings. Now that is art!

Vicky Kaushal doesn’t have the most typically attractive face but he sure is one of the most handsome and most skilled actors in Bollywood right now. TDH of Mills and Boones fame finds a meaning in him.

The movie is a great entertainer showing both the strategic and physical demands of an Army job and for the first time ever you see our Army men making use of modern technology – drones, infrared trackers, signal blockers, etc.

The climax is made using excellent videography putting the viewer in the middle of the surgical strike – as close as you and I will likely ever get to a heart-pumping situation like this.

The only ‘huh?’ moment was seeing a highly skilled Army Intelligence agent deployed as a surveillance nurse at the protagonists home for a while but then something had to be done to get the Bollywood romance going. (8/10)




Pack your bags Khan brethren! Today’s heroes are about to pull the rug out from under your feet because of their acting skills and not just their superstar cult following.

Mukesh Chhabra deserves a hat tip for putting together a cast that is sheer brilliance. Ranbir Kapoor dazzles in all his Sanjay Dutt avatars. What Ayurvedic dope was he consuming to draw out a performance this stunning? Not only his physical appearance but also his walk, talk, mannerisms, body tilts – he has really hit it out of the ballpark as Sanju. Putting yourself into someone else’s skin and life so convincingly is no easy feat. I cannot imagine any other actor emulating the complicated life of Sanjay Dutt so authentically.

For a movie this epic it wouldn’t have been enough to just have one character put in their heart and soul. The entire supporting cast was magnificent – Paresh Rawal as Sunil Dutt, Vicky Kaushal as Sanju’s best friend and many more. Vicky Kaushal, by the way, is one to watch out for. Same caliber and some hunger as a Rajkumar Rao to make it in an industry of Khans.

The only character that felt a bit out of place was Anushka Sharma with her head of curls and scary – almost sci-fi – blue eyes. Her character seemed a little less sculpted – sort of left between a writer, a detective and a relationship mender.

People are criticizing the lack of airtime for his wives, sisters and other friends but to portray a life as complicated as Sanjay Dutt’s the director had to choose what he was going to highlight to make it a taut overall narrative versus a sprinkling of all the flavors in his life. The spotlight is on Sanjay Dutt’s relationship with his parents – primarily his father – and his friends who influenced how he got into and out of drug addiction.

There is also critique about the authenticity of the happenings but movie goers can be very double-minded at times: On the one hand they demand bona fide details about every incident, on the other hand they want the movie watching experience to be entertaining. Duh! Rajkumar Hirani struck the perfect balance by not glorifying Sanjay Dutt to make him look like a saint and at the same time creating sympathy for his character through endearments.

The opening of Sanju states that “bad choices make for good stories” – I’d say shedding light on those bad choices made for an excellent story! (9/10)




Welcome Back

The super classy opening credits had me sitting in the seat with my spine straight. As the movie unfolded the only thing I found entertaining was Anil Kapoor, his impeccable acting, his posture and the promise that this movie could have been what Welcome was once upon a time. A few dialogues will make you chuckle but there is something that’s keeping this movieĀ fromĀ tickling out your full roar laughter. No catchy songs, childish graveyard scenes and a climax that could have only taken birth in someone’s mind while being high on some substance. (4/10)