Bunker: Good intent, disappointing result

Film: Bunker

Cast: Abhijeet Singh, Arindita Kalita, Arnav Timsina, Dev Ronsa, Yashvi Varia, Gaurav Gupta, Dileep Singh Kushvaha

Director/ Writer: Jugal Raja

Rating: * 1/2

Presented as an anti-war film, shot in just 5 days, ‘Bunker’ tells the story of Lieutenant Vikram Singh (Abhijeet Singh), an injured lone survivour trapped in a secret bunker located in the LOC in Poonch, shelled by ceasefire violating mortar firing from the enemy positions.

This set-up basically becomes an excuse for exposing the soldier’s acute loneliness, despair, delirium and panic in a trauma generating situation – which in turn becomes the medium by which we get to know about his inner pain with regards to being separated from his wife and family for more than eight months.

The film is well-meaning and has an interesting enough premise but writer-director Jugal Raja is unable to go beyond the obvious with his creative enterprise.

The film hopes to expose the mental and physical trauma that soldiers face in war like situations. Unfortunately, the narration is driven by sentiment driven by song so there’s nothing nuanced or unaffected here.

There’s not much tension or drama to be had either. Jugal Raja fails to present his story in a form that is memorable or potent. Instead he employs oft-overused tools of the genre to drum up copious sentiment and emotion.

The intention to hammer it all in with a emotion heavy club is unseemly and impractical given the poor technique and insipid acting on display here. There’s not much of a plot to work with either. More than the protagonist, its the viewer who ends up feeling trapped. Even the soulful respite from Rekha Bharadwaj’s song ‘Lautke Ghar...’ is too meagre for any attachment here.


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