Gripping till the end
Film: Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran
Director: Abhishek Sharma
Writers: Saiwyn Quadras, Sanyuktha Chawla Sheikh, Abhishek Sharma
Cast: John Abraham, Diana Penty, Boman Irani
Music: Sachin-Jigar, Jeet Gannguli
The film opens with an amateur discussion in PMO office about China testing its 43rd nuclear bomb and a junior bureaucrat, Ashwat Rana/ John Abraham says it is time for India to get even with the neighbor countries and do their own tests.
Nobody pays heed to Ashwat and one of them uses his floppy as a coaster to hold his tea cup.
Post the meeting, Ashwat’s senior coaxes him to prepare a brief report on his master plan and he will share it with the Prime Minister. He does but the plan is executed without Ashwat’s involvement and fails! Ashwat becomes the scapegoat and is terminated from the job.
He now lives in Mussoori and works as a private tuition teacher from home until opportunity knocks his door again in the form of Himanshu Shukla, principle secretary to the Prime Minister.
Rai wants Ashwat to lead Pokhran 2 and this time Ashwat leads the operation like a Kurukshetra warrior with his able team of Pandavas.
What goes against the film are some exaggerations, some creative liberties and some facts distorted but all this can be overlooked because the tension is gripping and has you at the edge of your seat.
What works for the film is the taut screenplay, crisp editing, the treatment, the pace, refreshing music and cinematography capturing a sand storm.
Priya Runchal is convincing as John’s wife and John embraces Ashwat wholeheartedly, his journey from the junior bureaucrat to a demoralized officer who finally finds his mission is admirable. As always Boman Irani is the soul of the film in yet another sizzling performance.
I salute the producers of the film for choosing Pokhran 2 as their subject and bow to my country for its courage in face of adversity.
I rate Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran with 4 stars.