It might sound unbelievable but Bhuj : The Pride Of India provides the Maximum amount of war footage any Bollywood movie has ever seen. Take films like Haqeeqat and Border into account for that, and yes Bhuj actually surpasses these two magnum opus. However, the war footage or action sequences does not mean the entire film and Bhuj has failed to understand that. It could be because it had multiple stories to tell at the same while Haqeeqat and Border were just about that one specific war with the needed characters. Bhuj has 4-5 stories involved hence the weightage was too much to carry for a debutant director like Abhishek Dudhaiya who doesn’t seem to have came out of TV serial mindset yet.
Bhuj the pride of India is a story about 300 Gujarati women who helped the Indian Airforce to build a runway and at same time it also tells one War happening nearby, struggle of Indian Air force and the biggest and last war happened for East Pakistan (Today’s Bagladesh). The film is promoted as a story of Bhuj but frankly how much space it provides to that main thing? Hardly 30% if I’m not wrong and then rest 70% cover three other stories. It has those all relatable and true references such as East Pakistan War, Indira Gandhi, Sam Manekshaw, Battle of Longewala (on which ‘Border’ was made) and all the real characters of this story but it fails to manage that linear equation of storyline. That two days before, four days before, present day, Spy Story, weeks before events etc. All these aren’t lined-up property hence the film looks scattered.
Performances of all the actors are underwhelming. Ajay Devgn is strictly average, yes i am saying it because his Calibre is damn too high for such great stories but the writer and director both didn’t recognise it. Sharad Kelkar and Sanjay Dutt are below average and with those over the fight scenes in the climax, they might just remind you of Rajamouli’s ‘Magadheera’. Remember that climax, one man fighting against hundred men, the same stuff. Sonakshi Sinha and Nora Fatehi are just there to complete their scenes, no matter how dull it looks, they had to finish their parts with terrible dialogue delivery. That entire cast unit of Pakistan Army/Agency has failed to catch the tone of characters. Not a single actor talks like a Pakistani, i mean how bad their dialogue delivery was.
Bhuj is an over-explosive film for such a narrow minded writing. Like i said, it provides maximum amount of war footage but it is completely clueless about where to put them. The first 15 minutes and you’ll be like, Wow, Bhuj looks terrific because it starts off right with high-octane explosions and sky-take scenes. But it’s not that smooth later as it drags consistently after every 15 minutes in its unskillful storytelling. Director is at fault here and nobody else. Thankfully it’s a pacy film not boring at all. Bhuj was a grand story which deserved to be told in grand manners and skillful vision and Dudhaiya lacks both. He has made half the film in feature film aspects and half in daily-soap materials. Maybe someone like Om Raut could have given it a proper justice like he did to Tanhaji despite a smaller story than this Anyways, overall it’s strictly average stuff but yes TV audience may find it interesting as they can digest anything for the sake drama and entertainment.
RATING – 3/5* 🌟🌟🌟