Directed by: Sankalp Reddy
Produced by: Anvesh Reddy, Venkatramana Reddy, Prasad V Potluri, NM Pasha, Jagan Mohan Vancha
Written by: Azad Alam (Hindi dialogues), Gangaraju Gunnam (Telugu dialogues)
Screenplay by: Sankalp Reddy, Gangaraju Gunnam, Niranjan Reddy
Starring: Rana Daggubati, Taapsee Pannu, Kay Kay Menon, Rahul Singh, Kunal Kaushik
Film Budget: ₹45 crore (US$6.7 million)
Watch What’s Public Says about the The Ghazi Attack:
The Ghazi Attack– of course we’re talking about the Indian navy’s submarine going below the usually acceptable sea levels, while it’s been hovering so far at 250 metres already, with 2 lakh tons’ worth of water pressure over it.
Yes, sitting in the audience, before a big screen, you can feel some of that pressure, and are actually mesmerised, right from the word go, by the fact that the filmmakers intend to grab your attention with a competently-produced war movie, wholly set underwater, inside a cramped indoor space, with three main characters, and two warring armies, who can’t see each other.
The Ghazi Attack is inspired by true events from the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war. The story is about an executive naval officer of the Indian Submarine S21 and his team, who remain underwater for 18 days. The film explores the mysterious circumstances under which the PNS Ghazi sank off the coast of Visakhapatnam in 1971.
It is an underwater tale of the courage and patriotism of the men aboard the Indian Submarine S-21 who destroyed the Pakistani submarine, PNS Ghazi when it ventured into Indian waters to destroy the INS Vikrant.
There’s still very little happening below the surface so far as the script is concerned. Which essentially deals with a Pakistani submarine called Ghazi that is on its way to the Indian east coast to open a seafront, even as the 1971 Indo-Pak war hasn’t been officially declared. Acting on intelligence reports, the Indian submarine S21 is packed off to check and patrol underwater, with strict instructions to act only on official orders.
So yeah, firstly, this is based on a true account, parts of which have been fictionalised. Which parts? We don’t know. Also I wasn’t taking any technical notes on starboard and torpedo to run a fact-check on the film’s research. It does seem like they’ve got it right. Only experts can tell.
So is Kay Kay in this film. Rana Daggubati and Atul Kulkarni play his deputies. Their Pakistani counterparts (led by actor Rahul Singh) aren’t shown to be dimwits either. While we have no back-story to emotionally connect, or strongly empathise with any of these characters, the fact that the actors make their parts seem so phenomenally believable is a feat in itself.
Clearly, some amount of effort has gone into understanding the makings of a submarine, running of a ship, and even firing of torpedoes and laying of landmines at sea. The film doesn’t cut corners on under-water shots of ships damaged, leaking, hissing and sputtering, even though the first shot of Singh and Arjun first venturing into the unknown is Titanically fake.
You know how a film that strategically deploys – literally – the National Anthem, Saare Jahan Se Achcha and even the Tricolour will end. But for a while, The Ghazi Attack shows us glimpses of a crisis-at-sea film it could have been, even with unshaved, unfit Navy men who sweat at the possibility of going food-less for a day.
But there are Pakistanis to slay, and too many torpedoes to not fire them all. In all, eight-odd fired, two-odd hit. What happened to the other six? The heart quails.
Yup, you don’t take your eyes off the screen. The production design appears exceptional, because it’s unexpected. We don’t make such movies in India, even while we’ve been watching such from the West since forever (Das Boot came out in 1981, for God’s sake!). The captain of this sturdy ship, or director (Sankalp Reddy), as it were, I’m told, is a young first-time filmmaker. Now that’s the guy to watch out for.