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The movie, set in 1930 is about the Chittagong Uprising - an important event in our freedom struggle.
Any movie about the freedom struggle is guaranteed to warm your heart and arouse more stirring feelings than Lata Mangeshkars rendition of the National anthem before the movie begins (I have a rant on that. I believe that officially the national anthem should get over in 52 seconds. That makes it a fast paced song which will make you stand tall and feel good about being Indian. The ones we hear in the halls these days before the movie starts makes you think of whether you want caramel or salted popcorn. Either they play the official one or ditch it.) Ok, rant over and I think it was justified in the review of a patriotic movie. I would love to hear your opinion on this one.
Gowarikar is the new Mr. Bharat and he fulfils his responsibility quite seriously. He tells the story of the Chittagong uprising in great detail as a good history teacher should. Children watching this movie would get full marks if asked about it in an exam. It takes you painstakingly through the planning stages, the implementation right to the capture of the main players and their ends.
I am not sure whether telling us everything is good for holding the viewers interest. The actual events of the night are in the second half. The movie could have ended there and then what happens after that could have been told to us at a faster pace.
Anyway, since the story is true and fact is always stranger than fiction, the movie is very gripping and dramatic and holds your interest. The ensemble of actors all put in good performances. Abhishek tends to look a bit broody in an effort to portray strong silent intensity, and Deepika with her arched eyebrows and powerful eyes makes quite a good revolutionary. It is Vishakha Singh as Pritilata who puts in an excellent performance which stays with you after the movie is over.
I have a couple of quibbles though. Why do Abhisheks clothes look spotless after a night of fighting and running? How does one mother contribute to the cause when the boys are all sworn to secrecy? Why do the revolutionaries fire at the British when caught in a house where there is a secret passage to escape to safety instead of running the danger of getting killed? These are some lapses of logic that I think should have been addressed in a movie of this scale and stature.
The teenagers who become revolutionaries are a rag tag bunch. If Gowarikar had fleshed out a few of their characters and let us follow their stories a bit more, it would increase our emotional engagement with the movie instead of just watching a good dramatic historical. The end credits show the pictures of the real heroes so wait till they roll.
Take some kids and go for this one.We need to be reminded from time to time about the people who fought for our freedom so that today we can be global citizens of equal stature with the rest of the world and not take our independence for granted. Go after the National anthem is over though to put you in the right frame of mind.