Film: 72 hours: Martyr who never died
Cast: Alka Amin, Shishir Sharma, Virendra Saxena, Avinash Dhyani, Mukesh Tiwari
Director: Avinash Dhyani
Rating: * ½
Director Avinash Dhyani’s attempt to cast himself in the role of Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat of the 4th Garhwal battalion who immortalizes the Martyr who never died, is ambitious, to say the least. This film basically checks out all the formulaic elements that have made previous mainstream war based movies box-office successes but fails to gather momentum or grit for this eulogy of the jawan who fought for 72 hours without a backup while guarding Nurunaang Base, Arunachal Pradesh, from the Chinese incursion.
The writing and scene compositions appear naïve and silly. The romance angle, the lacklustre pace and fractious family moments are an impediment to gritty storytelling here. The hysterical emotionality involving parents (Alka Amin and Virendra Saxena) seems manufactured instead of genuine. The screenplay prefers to gloss over events rather than depict them in realistic or heroic fashion. We hear about Jaswant’s heroics rather than see them and that really kills off most of the enjoyment here. Even though there is some sincerity involved in this hackneyed representation of a valorous life there’s little depth or tension to augment the engagement. War movies may have become fashionable in a pseudo nationalistic set-up where soldiers are venerated while common folk are lynched, but unless they are made with conviction and grit, they are unlikely to have any takers!