Uri Review: Why a Film on Surgical Strikes Cannot Be Considered Harmless in an Election Year

Bollywood

Uri Review: Why a Film on Surgical Strikes Cannot Be Considered Harmless in an Election Year

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

D

ebutante writer-director Aditya Dhar’s Uri opens just like one would expect a paean to the Indian army to: A jawan singing to a bus full of soldiers travelling through an insurgency-affected forest area in Manipur. It’s evident by the way the camera focuses on the jawan’s face that we’re minutes away from witnessing a tragedy unfold. True to script, their happiness is torn apart by the sound of a blast. Just as the bus halts, an assault of bullets begins; the soldiers are ambushed by terrorists who eventually bomb the bus. In case, this wasn’t enough to convince us that our army men lead a dangerous life, the last shot loops back to the lifeless, bullet-ridden body of the singing jawan.

It’s the kind of effective emotional manipulation that unequivocally demands our patriotism and is a familiar device in wartime films. Uri, based on the 2016 surgical strike carried out by the Indian Army in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, barely 11 days after Pakistani terrorists crossed the LoC and killed 19 Indian soldiers, is no different.

READ MORE

Comments