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LOC KARGIL is the story of Indian soldiers fighting in Kargil and being remembered by their family. There is Vikram Batra (Abhishek Bachchan), a daredevil soldier who won Param Vir Chakra for his bravery. Manoj Pandey (Ajay Devgan), a poet by nature laid his live and was served with Param Vir Chakra too. The toughest of all the soldiers was Lt. Balwant Singh (Akshaye Khanna) awarded the Mahaveer Chakra. Major Deepak Rampal (Sanjay Kapoor) was on leave when the call for war came. He was the backbone of the unit, awarded VIR CHAKRA. Lt. Col. Y. K. Joshi (Sanjay Dutt), a daredevil soldier was too awarded VIR CHAKRA. Captain Anuj Nayyar (Saif Ali Khan) for whom death was just another game lived his life and was awarded with Mahaveer Chakra. Written by
In 1999, under the scheme of General Parvez Musharraf, our perennial enemy backstabbed us and Pakistani soldiers crossed the LOC in the disguise of civilian infiltrators. Some of the regular patrol parties of Indian soldiers went missing and later on, the damaged corpses of our young soldiers were found. And then the eyes of the sleeping Indian politicians and the intelligence bureau got opened to the fact that there has been large scale illegal infiltration on our soil from the other side of the LOC. A formally undeclared war started which lasted for around 50 days and we lost several precious lives of Indian soldiers. The war had to be won in the end and we won it but the price that was paid was just too much.
The memory of the Indian masses is short and we very easily forget the sacrifices of the sacrificing ones and get back to our routines of earning a living. Hence, filmmaker J.P. Dutta tagged the line to the title of this movie - 'BEFORE WE FORGET'. Yes, he did an exemplary thing by making this movie before the invaluable sacrifices of the young bravehearts were forgotten by the Indian public. Mr. Dutta used real locations and even real ammunition to shoot this movie. And thereby he has brought the passionate and emotional tales of the real Indian soldiers alive on the screen. All the small and big tales with less footage to some and more footage to some other, are real and sensitive to the hilt.
Mr. Dutta has presented everything with utmost authenticity on the screen which shows his deep research work in this regard. He had brought that period of May-July 1999 alive on the screen. A great effort indeed which entitles him for a big hand by the audience. Besides, he has been able to extract exemplary performances from the complete cast. Whether the role is a smaller one or a bigger one, everybody has given his best. Females did not have much to do. The best female performer is undoubtedly, Maaya Alagh. This veteran actress has delivered a highly touching performance as the mother of Lieutenant Manoj Pandey (Ajay Devgan).
Anu Malik's music with Jaaved Akhtar's lyrics could not top up the charts but if you just listen to the songs peacefully and patiently, you will feel the quality of both the words and the tunes. The songs are quite long because the director had to accommodate the scenes of several actors while the song was continuing, but they are highly patriotic as well as touching. My favourite is Seemayen Bulaayen Tujhe Chal Raahi. But the other songs - Main Kahin Bhi Rahoon Har Kadam Har Ghadi, Pyar Bhara Geet Koi Dekho Piya Tumko Gaana Hi Hoga, Aao Jo Laut Ke Tum Ghar Ho Khushi Se Bhara etc. are also impressive and perfectly in line of the mood and the genre of the movie.
In my view, Mr. Dutta himself committed two major mistakes which he should have avoided. Firstly, he has shown the soldiers mouthing highly obscene abuses. He had not done so in Border (1997) and it was correct. In this movie, on one hand, the soldiers are getting enthusiasm through religious slogans like Raja Raamchandra Ki Jai, Durga Maata Ki Jai and Jai Mahakaali whereas on the other, they are mouthing so bad words that the females (and also the decorous males) may find it difficult to keep their ears open. Swearings of mother and sister have been given so freely that the decency level has come down to very low. Though such words have been partially beeped, yet it can be understood with ease in each such case what is the complete word. This minus point has snatched the characteristic of a family movie from it. In the ending scenes, Colonel Y.K. Joshi (Sanjay Dutt) asks his subordinates to respect the dead bodies of the Pak soldiers. Then was it necessary to show disrespect to the mothers and sisters of the soldiers of either side ? Patriotism is not enriched by expletives Mr. Dutta.
Secondly, he has tried to include as many incidents from the Kargil war as possible in the movie (still he could not include all such battles covered in that war) forgetting that the movie has to be completed within a reasonable time-duration. The fact that he overlooked is that unlike Border which was based on a particular battle in the 1971 war, the canvas of the story of this movie was many times more extensive and hence the temptation to cover everything had to be kept under check. Besides, we all know that the soldiers away from their homes miss their families and their beloved and vice-versa. This is an aspect which fills the gaps in a war-based movie with sentiments and tender feelings. However when there are so many characters (of soldiers), all of them cannot be accommodated in common songs. Mr. Dutta's attempt to do so have not only made the songs extremely long but also monotonous.
All things said and done, irrespective of its commercial outcome, J.P. Dutta has made an honest and highly impressive movie. It's able to arouse love for your country in your heart. The complete unit of the movie including all those appearing on the screen and all those who worked behind the screen deserves a standing ovation from the audience.
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