Director: Sashi Kiran Tikka
Cast: Adivi Sesh, Saiee M Manjrekar, Prakash Raj, Revathy, Sobhita Dhulipala and others
Where: In theatres near you
Rating: 4 stars
Directed by Sashi Kiran Tikka, 'Major' is based on the life of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, who lost his life in the 26/11 attacks at Taj Palace Hotel, Mumbai, in 2008. Sashi’s 'Major' is high on emotions and rich in storytelling, however, he chooses not to touch upon events that happened in Major Sandeep’s initial days in the Indian Army, perhaps because the film puts a spotlight on one life-altering event in his life.
Major Sandeep (Adivi Sesh) has a fascination with the uniform and serving the nation since his childhood, but his parents, K Unnikrishnan (Prakash Raj) and Dhanalakshmi Unnikrishnan (Revathy), want him to join the medical sciences. Against their wish, he applies for the Indian Army and fortunately gets through it. Sandeep is in love with his school sweetheart Isha (Saiee M Manjrekar), who aspires to become an architect. But instead of having a happy life with his parents and wife, Sandeep sacrifices everything for his nation.
Since 'Major' is a real-life story of a martyr, director Sashi has taken every possible measure to keep the sensitivity alive. The film’s first half depicts Major Sandeep’s childhood days, school days and a nostalgic love story. The reference to a Baywatch poster featuring stunning Pamela Anderson in Major Sandeep’s room during the 90s is so relatable. He rekindles the fond memories of every kid who belongs to that era. From watching 'Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge' to using a pager, from drinking the original gold spot to sipping a Frooti, 'Major' is surely a trip down the memory lane. With the apt humour, even the song 'O Isha' beautifully resonates with that era.
The second half of the film is fast-paced and thrilling. It also has hope, heartbreak and triumph. Sashi manages to move you with the most saleable logic of Maa. He makes sure to narrate the story of Sandeep’s courage and bravery with drama, tension and grip. The scenes, one after the other, don’t let you blink your eyes even for a second. However, he keeps the flavour of South in his action sequences which is evident. At times, the director takes creative liberty, considering it’s a representation of heroism, but the confrontation with the terrorists is executed well.
Adivi Sesh, who plays the titular role, looks his part so prominently. His mannerisms and clean-shaven look during school days are convincing. His transformation into an Army soldier is commendable. His physicality does justice to play the role of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan. Saiee, who marked her acting debut with Salman Khan in 'Dabangg 3', is impressive. She has improved a lot from her first film. Revathy is such a fine actor that she will make you miss your own mother throughout the film. Prakash Raj as the father is noticeable. Sobhita Dhulipala, in a special appearance, is too good. She is a natural performer.
'Shershaah', which is based on the life of Captain Vikram Batra that released digitally on 12 August 2021, won accolades for its tight screenplay, music and performances. It is believed that it is one of the very few films that are close to reality. Joining this illustrious list is 'Major' too, as it is a sincere film that indeed will move you.