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Movie Review | Gunjan Saxena The Kargil Girl: Inspiring story of an incredible Indian woman’s glory

Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl is a movie made not in the competition of pushing the cinematic boat in any new directions; a story that needs to be told.

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Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl movie review is here. The biographical movie on Flight Lieutenant Gunjan Saxena – Indian Air Force (IAF) officer at present and former helicopter pilot stars Janhvi Kapoor in the title role as Indian Air Force pilot Gunjan Saxena. Produced under Dharma Productions and Zee Studios, the movie is directed by Sharan Sharma. Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl is scheduled to stream Netflix on 12 August 2020.

Watch GUNJAN SAXENA: The Kargil Girl Official Trailer

Immediate reaction when the end credits roll
Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl is a woman empowerment cinema at its charmingly populist best. Janhvi Kapoor upgrades herself as an actress while Pankaj Tripathi excels as the father that every child wants.

The Story of Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl

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Born in Lucknow into an Army family, Young Gunjan (Riva Arora) daughter of Lt Col Anup Saxena (Pankaj Tripathi) dreams of flying a plane. Her brother Anshuman (Aryan Arora) and mother Kirti Saxena (Ayesha Raza Mishra) take it lightly and are least bothered about her dreams. Gunjan (Janhvi Kapoor) grows up nursing her dream to fly duly nourished by her father. Her brother now an army officer Anshuman Saxena (Angad Bedi) still carries that cliché male dominant approach and believes that a ‘girl’ should be kept protected and ‘skies’ are not for her. Army needs bravery, courage, strength and Gunjan – a girl is not fit for such a task. However, Gunjan with the support of her father and her sheer determination makes it to the group of 25 women who joined the IAF in 1994. Rest is how Gunjan fights the male dominant mindset and becomes the only woman in the Indian Armed Forces who served in the Kargil War. Flying the HAL Cheetah as part of operations ‘Operation Vijay’ during the Kargil War to evacuate injured and dead soldiers, transporting supplies to troops, doing surveillance and mapping enemy positions.

Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl movie review

At times when there is madness and concern prevailing over the depiction of Army on silver screen and nepotism, favoritism in Bollywood. Comes a movie on the pride of India – the Shaurya Chakra awardee Flight Lieutenant Gunjan Saxena. Janhvi Kapoor daughter of Bollywood diva late Sridevi plays the title role. The movie is produced under Dharma Productions and Zee Studios. Without getting into any other nitty gritty, I will talk only about the movie and do my job.

Gunjan Saxena The Kargil Girl Inspiring Dialogues

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Writer-director Sharan Sharma along with his co-writer Nikhil Mehrotra churn a feel good fairy-tale on-screen adaptation of the incredibly inspiring real story of Flight Lieutenant Gunjan Saxena for screen. No harm if it works and the good news is it works and works well. Yes, it’s ironic that a movie on an incredible Indian woman who broke barriers, defied norms follows the tested trusted palette of filmmaking which is primarily feel good/coming of age. It begins with a young Gunjan (Riva Arora) begging her brother for a view of the sky from a window inside a flight. Obviously, her brother Anshuman (Aryan Arora) is least bothered and takes a nap. The meta of the prevailing prejudice mindset and gender bias in the world outside is represented by brother (Angad Bedi) and mother (Ayesha Raza Mishra).

Sharan Sharma smoothly narrates the story and manages to bring some stand out moments between Gunjan and her father (Pankaj Tripathi). The father daughter bond over here is enlightening and enriching. The real drama unfolds at the training camp in Udhampur where Gunjan faces the ‘real’ test of gender bias and is pushed aside. Flight commander Dileep Singh (Vineet Kumar Singh) believes that bravery, valour and strength are predominantly an inbuilt quality in males and females are weak and not proper to serve the motherland adds good strength to the drama and serves the purpose.

The training scenes are moving and very effective in portraying the pain, aghast and the bias. The climax fills your heart with pride for both mother India and Gunjan.

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Performances
Janhvi Kapoor gets a big responsibility to portray a living legend, a real-life hero and she shows improvement as an actress from her previous movie. Her moments with her father, at the camp and during the climax are the highlights of her engaging performance.

Pankaj Tripathi as the father is class apart. Playing the daddy every child especially every girl child wants.

Aangad Bedi as the brother has his moments. Vineet Kumar Singh as Flight commander Dileep Singh is just terrific. Good support comes from Aryan Arora (young Anshuman), Riva Arora (young Gunjan) and Ayesha Raza Mishra as the mother. Special mention for Manav Vij is a must.

Flaws
The pride of India – Shaurya Chakra awardee Flight Lieutenant Gunjan Saxena reportedly carried more than forty missions and it would have turned exceptional if a couple of more missions were also shown to us. Some back story of brother Angad Bedi would have added extra layers. The present scenario regarding women at IAF should have been shown. Gunjan Saxena is a human but the biopic omits her flaws as a person.

Final words
Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl is a movie made with more heart and is not in the competition of pushing the cinematic boat in any new directions. The inspiring story of an incredible Indian woman’s glory – Flight Lieutenant Gunjan Saxena steers its prescribed course smoothly and nicely. Janhvi Kapoor as the daughter India wants and Pankaj Tripathi as the father every daughter wants in a story that needs to be told is a must.

pic/poster courtesy: Netflix

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Critic Rating
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