URI: The Surgical Strike: One year later, the Josh is still High!
Aditya Dhar made a confident, compelling directorial debut with Vicky Kaushal and Yami Gautam's URI- The Surgical Strike.
A year ago, on January 11, 2019, Aditya Dhar made his directorial debut with Vicky Kaushal and Yami Gautam's URI: The Surgical Strike. The moniker itself was enough to prepare the audience what they could expect from the film and what they would see in the film. This was India's answer to the attacks on the URI base in September 2016, and the retaliation didn't cost a single life, which is nothing less than miraculous.
But this was more than just a war film. When we first meet the protagonist, Major Vihaan Singh Shergill, played by Vicky Kaushal, he requests the Indian Prime Minister to get him transferred to Delhi since his mother is suffering from Alzheimer's, stage six. The PM quips, "Desh Bhi to Maan Hai." This film wore patriotism on his sleeves and didn't shy about it even once.
The real drama commences when Vihaan's family loses a dear one in the URI attacks. In a fantastically performed funeral scene, we sense the loss he has suffered due to the neighbouring nation's cowardice. It's a wordless moment that is fueled by Kaushal's performance and a thunderous background score. It's from this moment this solid drama finds its ground. You know there will be blood!
Think of Farhan Akhtar's Lakshya, where Hrithik Roshan joins the army again not for the love for his country or the Indian flag, but to prove to his love he isn't a slacker he was always made out to be. His return to the Indian Army is more personal than patriotic, and Vihaan too is driven by the anguish to avenge what shattered his family. For him, this battle is personal.
Unlike a lot of other films based on the same genre, URI was slickly shot and stylishly choreographed. The war scenes were driven by thrill and precision, and there was genuine tension in the way the narrative progressed, even when you knew how it would all end. It was argued by some the film was made to milk the national sentiments of the country and tilt them in favour of the current government in power, but for Dhar, he just wanted to tell a true story that India will never forget.
Fans weren't concerned about the intent behind helming the war drama, they were riveted by the scale and soaring performances, moved by the contagious dialogues, and united by the Indian army's victory. And this was precisely why URI became the third highest grosser of 2019 with a staggering collection of over Rs 245 crore. It was a battle the makers deserved to win. Even after a year, the Josh remains High!
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