Film: Satellite Shankar
Cast: Sooraj Pancholi, Palomi Ghosh, Megha Akash, Sohaila Kapur.
Director: Irfan Kamal
Rating: * * ½
This film has an unbelievable conceit. The filmmakers are basically hoping to brain wash the general public and the media into buying into a completely fabricated persona. The central all encompassing character is a soldier in the Indian army posted at the J&K border (played by a much beleaguered Sooraj Pancholi), a vanquisher of an entire Pakistan post, who gets a break from regular routine thanks to an insignificant injury and persuades his superior officer to let him go on recovery leave for 8 days.
His exploits on the battlefield are legendary and in the bunkers he is a man for all reasons. He has this lord Shiva contraption that he uses at regular intervals to transform himself into people he has little knowledge about. It’s mimicry in other words- but how the hell does he know how to speak in the tone, tenor and language of the relatives of his fellow cadre peers? Well, the incredulous story and script by Vishal Vijay Kumar will test your forbearance for sure.
Most of the eight day reprieve (ostensibly received for getting his mother’s cataract surgery performed), he plays unheralded messiah to the common man. So from Kashmir to Kanya kumari and back, traversing 10 states from North to South, we are plagued with visuals of this oh-so-sweet do-gooder embarking on solo rescue missions – be it rescuing the injured from a calamitous bus-train mishap, helping the aged across several platforms to catch their train in time, preventing the bash-up by the local mafia, of someone who dared to circumvent their dictat, helping resolve a fellow army man’s property dispute, and even going to the extent of waking up a comatose Bebe with a performance that would leave most of the awake, unmoved.
A vlogger (Palomi Ghosh) with an aptly titled ‘1MB of Truth’ blog, dutifully records his far-fetched exploits with dogged persistence, broadcasting it to a minuscule following representing the India at large – which in turn elicits huge fan responses that win him a lifelong companion in Promila (a rather endearing Megha Akash) who studies microbiology in a nursing school and innumerable supporters across India who leave everything behind to make sure he gets to his regiment on the promised dotted time and date.
The film is fairly fast paced, throws up unexpected challenges and asks for nothing more than earnestness from the one film old Sooraj. It may not be a persuasive performance but it’s rather neatly done. Yeah, we also get the underlining message. We need to forget the Jiah Khan blemish and let him get on with his life just like his mentor, Salman Khan orchestrated for himself after his own skirmishes with the law. Phew!