Movie Review| Major: A filial tribute to a national hero

It’s impossible to watch Major without reflecting on the ghastly 2008 (26/11) Mumbai attacks.

Published: 04th June 2022 08:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th June 2022 08:38 AM   |  A+A-

A still from Major. (File Photo)

A still from Major. (File Photo)

Express News Service

It’s impossible to watch Major without reflecting on the ghastly 2008 (26/11) Mumbai attacks. The Sashi Kiran Tikka directorial painstakingly tells the life story of Ashoka Chakra Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, who zooms in to rescue the people held hostage for 72 hours by the terrorists at the iconic Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai. Through this operation, we witness the destruction, horror, resilience, and anger of a brave soldier who succumbs to the worst nightmare one would ever imagine.

The story is told from the perspective of a father, who witnesses his school-going kid’s love for the uniform, his dream to serve the country, and becoming one of the distinguished officers of the Indian Army and sacrificing his life for his nation and its people. It is a convincing and soul-stirring story about one of the deadliest operations, which is as much poignant as it is riveting and engrossing from start to finish.

Although the essence of the story is certainly a portrayal of the bravery and valor of Sandeep Unnikrishnan who laid down his life rescuing hostages, the film manages to avoid as much as possible worn-out heroic cliches and jingoistic/propagandistic pathos that were often mandatory elements even in the best examples of 26/11 attacks films of the past. Yet, unlike many politically engaged films in recent times, Major resists the temptation to deride the peculiarities of the Army lifestyle and to speculate on the popular Kashmir conflict.

Instead, the film focuses on accurately capturing a full range of authentic human emotions from happiness, sorrow, devotion, and love at the early beginning of the film through angst, fear, and pain as it progresses to despair. It tells the inspiring story of a brave soldier, whose life takes an unfortunate turn when he decides to take on the unstoppable force menacing the lives of innocent people and their country.

The story pulls no punches when it comes to the depiction of enormous destructions and horrors of the war-like situation with top-class set designs and visually appealing special effects, but the major asset of the film is, of course, first-rate performances from its star cast—especially Adivi Sesh, Prakash Raj, Revathi, and Saiee Manjrekar. It may be an emotionally draining cinematic experience for many of us, but, I reckon, it could be conducive for the younger generation to get a better understanding of the monumental sacrifice a martyr has made for his nation. 


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