CAST: Alia Bhatt,Vicky Kaushal,Rajit Kapoor,Jaideep Ahlawat,Shishir Sharma
DIRECTOR: Meghna Gulzar
GENRE: Action,Crime,Thriller, UA
The movie, set in 1971 starring the ever-pretty Alia Bhatt, is the story of a 20 year old innocent Kashmiri girl who is given in marriage into a Pakistani army family. She becomes a spy for the Indian Intelligence Bureau to provide them with confidential information during the 1971 Indo-Pak war. This 20-year old who has no knowledge about being a spy agrees to do so as per her dying, patriotic father’s wish.
Set in a period when India and Pakistan shared volatile relations, this one has a double agent father (Rajit Kapur), marrying off his daughter Sehmat to a senior Pakistani military official’s son (Vicky Kaushal). The plan is to slip in a mole who can be the Indian intelligence agency’s ‘aankh’ and ‘kaan’. As an operative, Sehmat’s spy activities are principally confined to foraging information on the army chief’s exchanges with his team. But in doing so, she’s required to cultivate relationships, infiltrate spaces and if need be, eliminate those who seem a threat. “If you feel someone suspects you, your cover has already been blown,” warns her trainer and intelligence officer (Jaideep Ahlawat). While Sehmat’s cover comes with security clearances, that the heedless young bride isn’t clinical in her approach, furnishes a pickled situation.
Will Sehmat’s personal equations puncture her patriotic plans? Giving this away, will hardly dilute the proceedings.
With perfect infusion of sentiments in a gripping plot, the story touches one’s heart especially because of Alia Bhatt’s power-packed performance. In an author-backed role, she is natural and undoubtedly captures your heart with her restrained and mature act.
Sehmat herself is appalled by the suffering she is inflicting on a family that has always treated her with affection and courtesy. Though she is infused with the conviction that devotion to the nation is more important than individual love or happiness, her inner being is completely traumatised. Alia Bhatt conveys that anguish effectively.
Extremely well paced, there is not a moment in the film when your attention wanders. It is refreshing to watch an India/Pakistan film in which jingoism, and all the cliches of religion, culture and society, are deleted from its semiotics. What is left is a taut thriller that rarely falters.
From Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s soundtrack, both the versions of Aye Watan by Sunidhi Chauhan and Arijit Singh are soulful and pack in a patriotic fervour, while Dilbaro curates local flavour and is a sparse melody that conveys the mood required in the scene.
Once again Alia Bhatt needs a special clap for her wonderful acting apart from the direction and the screenplay.
And last but not the least,
” Watan Ke Agay Kuch Nahe… Khud Bhe Nahe…”