Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl premiered on 12th August 2020 on Netflix. The movie stars Janhvi Kapoor, Pankaj Tripathi, Angad Bedi, Ayesha Raza Mishra, Vineet Kumar Singh, Manav Vij, and Chandan K Anand alongside other cast members.
The film is based on Gunjan Saxena, the first former Indian female Air-Force helicopter pilot. She is the only woman who was part of the Kargil War, making her the first woman IAF officer to go to war.
Flight Lieutenant Saxena carried out around 40 missions in the Kargil War and was 24 years old when she served in Kargil.
She Dreamed With All Of Herself
“Dekho plane ladka udae ya ladki, dono ko pilot hi bolte hai” – Anup Saxena, Gunjan’s father.
When I started watching Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, I decided that I will keep the nepotism controversy and the movie on different pedestals. This was so that it does not cloud my judgment about the movie, as the film is not subjected to the individual acting but is about something bigger.
The movie is typically formed in the basic curve – the formative years, the struggle, and the resolution/ the climax. While the movie is not flawless, the overall result is pleasing. At certain points, I felt Gunjan’s pain and tears and was equally angry at the arrogant men who tried to pull her down.
“Aapko darr hai ki kahi ye madam, sir na banjaye warna salute karna padega aur usme to aapki mardaangi khatam hojaegi,” – Gunjan Saxena.
Other than the whole story about Gunjan Saxena and her struggles in a patriarchal society that subjects women to just household, the misogyny and sexism Saxena faces at the Udhampur airbase, which her older brother (Angad Bedi) had cautioned her against, is disappointing and would make anyone angry.
Pankaj Tripathi’s performance in the film is simply the best. Being a huge fan of Tripathi’s acting, I knew he would be the best of the cast, which he definitely was. In a particular scene where Gunjan talks about quitting and marrying, Pankaj Tripathi’s reply as her father is just wholesome!
However, Jahanvi probably isn’t the perfect choice for the role since she majorly lacked assertion. The prime example being in a scene where she raises her voice against an arrogant senior and ultimately leaves the base. It was literally her Dhadak accent.
Stream It or Skip It
STREAM IT! The film mainly focuses on Gunjan Saxena and her struggles to her ultimate rise and refrains from hyper-nationalism and patriotic rhetoric. There isn’t anything extremely new about this biopic but, all in all, it is a good attempt at showing Gunjan Saxena’s journey.
While the film skips Gunjan’s personal thoughts and we never truly see her inner screams, Gunjan Saxena is good with an undoubted scope of doing better.
Angad Bedi and Ayesha Raza Mishra as Gunjan’s brother and mother respectively play an amazing role and are convincing in their parts. Pankaj Tripathi is flawless though Jahanvi Kapoor could have pushed a bit more in certain scenes.
Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl is now streaming on Netflix.
Read our other reviews here.