Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl narrates the story of a former Indian Air Force pilot Gunjan Saxena (Janhvi Kapoor) who made her mark as one of the first female pilots to fly in combat and was honored with the Shaurya Vir award for displaying exemplary courage during the Kargil war in 1999.
Gender discrimination/biases have been an integral part of the Indian society and they have predominantly suppressed a section of society that needs the right direction and role models to guide towards the upliftment. With that being said, there have been a plethora of women who have guided young minds to contour the rest of society towards a progressive future. However, despite the year 2020, Indian Society needs serious reforms and technically it proves to be an ideal year for a film like Gunjan Saxena to be released.
The film speaks on length about the problems faced by women and how they have to tackle issues at their workplace. It maps an articulate structure that profoundly narrates the issues faced by Gunjan back in 1994-2004.
This Sharan Sharma directorial is a ready-made material for every evolving nation that holds its roots deep in patriarchy, blatant, casual, or concealed sexism. The story has it all; right from strong protagonists like Gunjan Saxena and Srividya Rajan and social disturbances for women as antagonists.
Gunjan and Srividya are known to carve a path for anyone who aspires to make their dreams come true as Air Force pilots. In 1999, Gunjan, the former helicopter pilot at 24, became India's first woman combat aviator to fly Cheetah helicopters in the Kargil war zone. She was tasked with medical evacuations, supply drops, and mapping enemy position duties.
With a few pieces added in, the film serves to be an excellent example to pump up morales for quite a few days. But unlike every other patriotic/inspirational film, this Gunjan Saxena biopic loses its touch after the first watch. The film tends to go stale on against the standard ‘fauji’ part. As it does speak about what-are-women-doing-here misogyny, training and finally being able to take off, fighting off the enemy and rescuing injured colleagues but, it fails to make an impact as a cinema.
Honestly, the film is entertaining in all it’s sense and Sharan has also managed to push in some drama, but what the film lacks is heart to make an impact as a successful film. The debutant director’s outlook towards his characters is realistic, yet, humane and heartfelt. While the film compels you to redefine patriotism and battle patriarchy, at heart, it is a poignant ode to a father-daughter relationship.
Janhvi tires to her best not to deter from stepping into the character’s shoes, but she definitely needs a lot of work on her skills; probably ‘Hard-Work’. With just two films old, Kapoor has been magnificent in Ghost Stories, but it seems some unforeseen reasons, held her back. Meanwhile, the supporting cast proves to the film’s strong suit, and Tripathi, as the real wind beneath her wings, is too good an actor to be hidden, but everyone else.
The quick-paced patriotic/inspirational drama is a successful attempt to the ready-made material for every evolving nation that holds its roots deep in patriarchy, blatant, casual, or concealed sexism. Apart from such factors the film could have done better considering it a tale to premier as a cinema.