Major Review: Adivi Sesh is enthralling whilst Sashi Kiran Tikka tries to narrate a compelling story but with flaws
Director: Sashi Kiran Tikka
Bollywood Bubble ratings: 3/5 stars
Major Movie Review:
“What does it mean to be a soldier?” The Major movie gives an answer. It is a person who lives for others, whose sole motive is to keep the motherland safe and to protect the people’s lives by giving their own life. When I watched the film, I remembered a dialogue from Sidharth Malhotra starrer Shershaah, ‘soldiers live by chance, love by choice and kill by profession’ – this pretty much sums a soldier’s life. Like other movies on Indian soldiers, Major is high on action as well as emotions. The movie is about an officer in the Indian Army Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan who was serving in the elite 51 Special Action Group of the National Security Guards. He was martyred in action during the November 2008 Mumbai attacks. The movie is less about the attack in Mumbai and more about the chronicle of Unnikrishnan. The movie is about a soldier whose first responsibility or I would rather say duty is to protect his people. A movie about the soldier who chose his motherland above all the relations and duties.
Major reminds us of all those Indian Army movies that we have been seeing forever now. Be it LOC – The Kargil War, Border or even Shershaah, these movies that are based on an army officer or the historic wars, leave you with a heavy heart, tears in your eyes and of course, the utmost respect for the military people. Major starring Adivi Sesh is no exception.
We have seen quite a few films that are based on the 26/11 attack. The makers of those films and series have ensured to treat them with different aspects of the tragic incident, so what’s new about Major? Well, it showcases the life of Sandeep and his valour and bravery of being a soldier.
Based on the life of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, Major showcases the life journey of the Major from his childhood to the commanding officer of Operation Black Tornado. A small boy whose first instinct is to save people from any danger regardless of thinking about the consequences. The boy has an inbuilt program which is to protect everyone. He grows up watching all the cop films and Arnold Schwarzenegger action flicks. Sandeep feels the moment when he sees the navy officers and decides to become a navy officer. But God has other plans and that’s when Sandeep chose to join the army and National Security Guards (NSG).
Later, he goes on a mission to rescue hostages in the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai on 26 November 2008 during the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Adivi Sesh as Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan is quite promising. He lives and breathes the character to the fullest. Sandeep is an ambitious person and is clear about what he wants to do in his life. He didn’t give it a second thought before joining the Army. Despite knowing all the risks and consequences, Sandeep followed his heart which was to keep the motherland safe even if it costs his life. Adivi delivers a goosebump performance in this biographical drama. He has all the calibre to make you fall for his charming smile but at the same time will move you into tears when he dedicates his life to the people. He plays the character quite well and is convincing.
Sai M Manjrekar as Esha has limited screen time to showcase her acting prowess. She plays Sandeep’s wife in the film. Where Adivi delivers a gritting performance, there, Sai’s performance fell short. Even though it is her second film, Sai fails to create an impact. From her dialogue delivery to her facial expressions, Sai delivers a rather dull performance in Major.
Prakash Raj and Revathi as parents of Sandeep are phenomenal. They are shown as the strong pillars of Sandeep’s life and they perfectly emoted their emotions. The scene when they find out about Sandeep’s death, and Prakash and Revathi’s breakdown will surely give you goosebumps.
Sobhita Dhulipala makes a cameo in the film. Though she has less to offer due limited screen time, she makes an impact.
Director Sashi Kiran Tikka narrates the life of Major Sandeep with conviction. She captures the important life moments of the soldier while taking a few cinematic liberties. When it comes to movies on soldiers, the drama level is not as much as one would expect; however, Major seemed a little different. When I say cinematic liberties, there are some scenes which must have been real but it doesn’t feel real as they should be. There was a scene where Sandeep and his team are in the middle of the crisis; however, very oddly, there were certain discussions and decisions that were made out of emotions and not strategies which seems quite off-putting. Considering such a crucial wreaked havoc situation, strategies and planning are important, it seems like they have taken a back seat when it was all about feelings and emotions. Those cinematic liberties automatically transport you to a cinematic world where it will make you feel that all this is not real, it is not a biopic but just another action flick. That seemed like a drawback to me.
In totality, Major is a compelling story that is nicely dipped in the emotions of love and family. Though it can give you major Shershaah vibes, it still managed to check all the boxes in making a biopic on a soldier. Despite some flaws, Adivi Sesh steals the show with his performance. Plus, Sashi’s narration makes Major watch-worthy.
Watch the trailer here:
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