Kurukshetra Malayalam Movie Review

Feature Film
Regardless of some slip-ups, Kurukshetra offers a convincing portrait of the inanity of war. It's a bombshell of a film that blows up your war-film prejudices into smithereens.
Oct 8, 2008 By Veeyen

Kurukshetra is one of those exceptional war action dramas that is rich in rewards and insights. This hard-hitting film is a fitting tribute not just to the much-loved soldiers we have lost in combat, but also to the departed souls who spilled their blood across the LOC.


Almost ten years since diplomacy backed up with determination and force saw the Indian flag fly high once again over the rocky terrains of Kashmir, Kurukshetra endeavors to recapture those decisive operational and strategic modi operandi of the Indian Armed Forces that led the country and its people to a proud conquest. After a pretty sluggish start, the film moves ahead in full steam as Colonel Mahadevan (Mohanlal) nobly pilots his troops up the Kargil Mountains to victory and golden history.


The film does take an emphatic anti-war stand that it depicts through gruesome details. It has a certain-to-concern-you assertion that's less about war grounds and weaponry and more about the intrinsic nature of mankind. This commanding film is often tormenting to watch, but it can also be shockingly engaging as it skillfully blends chilling wit, with plenty of misery and terror.


A lot of it succeeds on account of a script that's kept taut, as it dabbles with some very valid themes. There are plenty of personality conflicts at play here, as well as the excruciating aggravation that simmers inside men who really look forward to putting constructive changes into effect, and yet remain helplessly wedged in the intricacies of the red tape.


Much of what we get to see on screen is pleasantly familiar. Ravi has created it within out; perceiving it through his own eyes and transferring the spectator to the role of an overwhelmed observer gawking at the structured sequence of affairs. Whether or not you have brushed up on your 90's history, it's a story that's general knowledge, and hence Kurukshetra lays down all the events on a salver before us. There is the notorious coffin scam, as well as a real efficient dig at a prominent photo journalist who had strived to wage the war with her camera lens.


Kurukshetra wouldn't be half the film it is, if it were not for the stellar performance of its lead actor. Mohanlal as Colonel Mahadevan is painfully authentic in his depiction of the trials and tribulations of the war veteran. Despite appearing slightly bloated, there is an admirable visual restraint in his feat that's remarkably absorbing.


No doubt, the battle scenes are fairly imposing in their implementation and efficiently captured on film (Lokanathan), and yet the film at times lacks the imperative knack to sustain a steady surge throughout. There are occasions when it seems pretty confused; especially the supposedly poignant ones that get stretched beyond possible limits. Subsequent to making an instructive point, it reiterates its philosophy continually, to the point of appearing emotionally manipulative. The sentimental cliches mar an otherwise excellent film.


Regardless of some slip-ups, Kurukshetra offers a convincing portrait of the inanity of war. It's a bombshell of a film that blows up your war-film prejudices into smithereens.


Veeyen

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