Major Movie Review: A heartfelt tribute to the courage and valour of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, the hero of 26/11
The plot revolves around the life of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan and celebrates his journey as a son, lover, soldier, and ultimately an NSG (National Security Guard) commander who takes up the reins at the 26/11 Mumbai bomb blasts.
- Sashi Kiran Tikka
- Adivi Sesh,
- Saiee Manjrekar,
- Prakash Raj,
- Sobhita Dhulipala
- Patriotic, drama, action
- Hindi and Telugu
In one of the scenes from Sashi Kiran Tikka 's Major , Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan ( Adivi Sesh )'s father K Unnikrishnan Nair (Prakash Raj) says that his son's life was not just limited to the war but was more about him as an individual. The movie exactly traces along the lines of that as it pays a complete homage to the vibrant and courageous life of the martyred soldier. As the film progresses, it sees Major Sandeep constantly asking himself 'What is the meaning of being a soldier?' for which he himself becomes an answer by showcasing an exemplary sense of fearlessness and sacrifice.
The plot revolves around the life of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan and celebrates his journey as a son, lover, soldier, and ultimately an NSG (National Security Guard) commander who takes up the reins at the 26/11 Mumbai bomb blasts. The film also deeply delves into Unnikrishnan's conflict as he's torn between his familial duties and his duty toward the country. On the whole, the movie celebrates the line that the soldier's father so proudly utters, 'My son's life was not about the way he died but the way he lived.'
The story and screenplay penned by Adivi Sesh himself have some endearing and heart-wrenching moments which bring to light Major Sandee Unnikrishnan’s selfless and extraordinarily courageous aura right since his childhood. His passion for the armed forces, undeterred focus on the training field, and keeping the nation above familial duties come out prominently in the plot. The story gains a thrilling and adrenaline-rushing momentum in the second half when the NSG forces lock horns with the terrorists. Some of the action sequences are masterfully choreographed and especially an off-guard attack on the terrorists by the poolside after an intelligent trick by Unnikrishnan will surely make way for one of the highlights.
The dialogues by Abburi Ravi do not get excessively preachy or jingoistic, keeping the essence of the movie alive. Especially a dialogue from Prakash Raj who plays the protagonist’s father can be seen telling that he is happy that his son is being considered by the likes of Mahatma Gandhi and Bhagat Singh. Raj’s character adds that while Gandhiji did not know about his looming death, his son Sandeep knew that death is waiting to engulf him but nevertheless faced it like a brave warrior. However, Major’s drawback has to be the relying a heavy portion on the love life of the martyred hero.
While it is understandable that the makers wished to showcase the impact of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan’s wife on his life and also to highlight the sacrifice of a soldier’s family, somehow the entire sub-plot doesn’t strike a bond with you. One only wished that instead of that, more focus would have been given to Sandeep’s relationship with his fellow soldiers and some other moments which fueled the 26/11 hero’s sense of sacrifice and valor. The screenplay looks a bit rushed in the training phase of Unnikrishnan and only becomes nuanced again in the second half. Furthermore, a sub-plot involving Shobhita Dhulipala who is shown to struggle to survive as one of the guests at the Taj Hotel looks off-putting and does not seem like a needed addition to the plot. It could have easily been done with.
Talking about the performances, Adivi Sesh displays a stellar act as Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan. He is magnetic and exudes a seamless charm and confidence while essaying the role. It can be safely said that none other than Adivi would have been a better choice to bring the story of the martyred soldier alive on celluloid. Revathi and Prakash Raj do full justice to their characters and are especially a sight to behold in the emotionally high-octane scenes. While Revathi’s breakdown scene is the one to watch out for, Raj is a delight to watch in his last speech where he remembers his son.
However, Saiee Manjrekar struggles as Isha and there is an unsettling one-note range in her performance. This prolongs for such a long period of time that it affects all the major sequences involving Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan and his wife. Her monotone act coupled with the lack of chemistry with Adivi Sesh makes an important facet of the story not connect with the audience and appears jarringly unwanted at times. Shobita has little room to perform in a misfit cameo appearance.
The cinematography by Patchipulusu Vamsi is intricate and detailed, especially in the second half of the movie. The action and stunt sequences by Naba, Sunil Rodrigues, and Sachin Yadav become one of the major highlights of the movie during the climax sequences. It will surely appeal to the fans of the action genre. The background score and soundtracks could have been more impactful and gripping for an ambitious soldier film of such a huge scale. However, Adivi Sesh’s Major deserves a watch for the sheer effort of the team to pay homage to the courage, bravery and sacrifice of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan and many other soldiers like him.