The josh is certainly high with Aditya Dhar’s URI, a heart-stopping, gut-wrenching, action-packed war film. Unlike Bollywood’s previous entries in this genre URI strips away the ultra-glorified patriotic nationalism of its predecessors. Instead it showcases a story that is grounded in it’s characters emotions. Dhar exposes not only the brutally violent nature of war, but also the humanity behind its custodians. You see humanity in all its forms from the kind and brave to the dark and bloody.
Vicky Kaushal struts his acting chops once again as the no nonsense Major Vihan Shergill. As usual, we get to witness another layered performance as Kaushal expertly does justice in portraying a hardened military man who is out for blood. Though we may not condone much of his brutal nature, we applaud his heroism.
Mohit Raina who has conquered the hearts of many with his numerous roles on television will do so again by his humble portrayal as Major Karan Kashyap. Though not technically his film debut, most will mark this film as the start of an illustrious career for Raina. The veteran Paresh Rawal doesn’t disappoint and brings his balanced acting for yet another fine performance.
Unlike previous Indian war films Uri provides us with strong female characters who aren’t just the women at home. It was refreshing to see Yami Gautam’s intelligence agent who is willing to do what it takes for the answers she wants. Similarly, Kriti Kulhari’s IAF pilot who aids the mission on the front lines is a welcome breath of fresh air in a heavily male-centric story.
The cinematography by Mitesh Mirchandani is on target with grey and blue undertones dampening the usually brightly glorified army uniforms. Shaswant Sachdev’s rock and electric based soundtrack and background score augment the film to give it a spirited boost.
Last but not he least, the intense, gritty, and in your face action sequences steal the show completely. The authenticity with which the action is presented by Dhar and Mirchandani is something even Michael Bay would applaud. The focus and attention to detail that the makers put into the film with it’s action is commendable. It is better if not at par with any major Hollywood production.
Overall URI: The Surgical Strike is a visual and emotional experience that has not graced the silver screens of India before. Aditya Dhar redefines war with this film. He presents an un-glorified deep dive into one of India’s biggest military operations till date. The fact that we feel satisfied in the end is a testament to our own inherent nationalism. Go watch it, and you’ll understand what I mean!
I give it 4 out of 4 Anton Fuquas!