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The Story Of Pokhran Movie Review: A Deadly Dull Dud

Patriotism sans jingoism seems to be the latest flavour in Bollywood… After the absolutely brilliant Raazi, we have John Abraham’s Parmanu releasing this weekend. But will the makers of Parmanu manage to achieve the success that Raazi garnered? Let’s find out…

In the 90s, Pakistan already has nuclear weapons, courtesy China while India has lost its strongest ally-the Soviet Union. Not only this, India has America breathing down her shoulder and not allowing her to explore nuclear options. Ashwat Raina, a junior bureaucrat in the Research and Strategy Department, has a plan to make India a nuclear state, but there are difficulties galore ranging from lazy bureaucracy to American satellites constantly monitoring India to crack down on any plans to seek nuclear supremacy. How Raina manages to save the day against all odds, forms the rest of the plot.

John Abraham, who has mostly played ‘Rambo-esque’ characters in his films, makes an attempt to play a regular guy, but it doesn’t seem to work-especially when one sees a medium-sized ISI agent beat the highlights out of the well-muscled Abraham. Nevertheless, John is earnest enough, though there is quite soon for improvement in the performance department. Boman Irani is effectively restrained and dignified as the senior PMO official Himanshu Shukla while Diana Penty and the rest of the cast don’t get much to do. As for the film, though the concept is quite admirable, ‘Parmanu’ fails to become an edge-of-the seat thriller like ‘Argo’ (a film John had compared ‘Parmanu’ to) due to its shoddy execution. Many of the characters end up stating the obvious and that gets somewhat irritating, as if the audience has to be explained each and every detail. The ‘Mahabharata’ references while briefing the senior PMO official while forming a team for the mission seems juvenile and the dialogues are quite flimsy.

Though the team is rushing against a deadline, the sense of urgency doesn’t translate on the screen (the plot won’t make you bite your fingernails and pray for the good guys to win, if you know what I mean). Any thriller film needs great music to ramp up the tension, but ‘Parmanu’ fails in this department too, which is bound to be its undoing. If that was not all, the camera work is not slick enough, though the special effects used to show the movement of satellites and the climactic nuclear explosion, is above average. In conclusion, all said and done, ‘Parmanu’ fails on many levels and is not something that I would recommend for a weekend watch…



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