Gunjan Saxena: Movie Review
Gunjan Saxena is a celebration of womanhood and not just a patriot.
Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl starring Janhvi Kapoor, Pankaj Tripathi, and Angad Bedi is based on the story of air-force pilot Gunjan Saxena who displayed extraordinary courage during the ’99 Kargil war.
“Jo karna hai karo, lekin pehle padhai puri karni hai.” These were the words Gunjan grew up hearing in her house. Her lifelong dream of becoming a pilot was spoiled when she realised flying school costs far too much money for a middle class family to spare. Until one day, when an opportunity presented itself that would allow young Gunju to fly planes for jer country.
Of course, there are elements of the movie that feel over the top, and Saxena’s dramatic weight loss sequence and multiple visits to the flying academy seem overly embellished and difficult to believe, but that doesn’t stop it from portraying the story of a persistent woman who simply wanted to fulfil her dream.
Pankaj Tripathi and Jahnvi Kapoor’s father-daughter relationship is the real story in focus. With all its glory and refreshing beauty, Tripathi’s performance will likely move people to tears.
Gunjan Saxena’s story is the story of a woman trying to survive in a man’s world. It’s a story as old as time, but the lesson bears repeating - if a woman puts her heart to something, nothing can stop her. Not even a lack of facilities, nor a deliberate attempt to stop her from learning.
The story is a coming of age tale of passion and fear, that focuses on Saxena’s hardships more than her successes. Her service during the Kargil War is only a small part of her journey and the film acknowledges that.
Jahnvi Kapoor has done a good job at bringing Gunjan’s story on screen and delivers a soulful performance. From the scenery to shots, Gunjan Saxena’s story takes us on a visual and emotional journey that is enough to inspire viewers. There’s a sense of new found hope and respect in this story of hardships.