Vicky Kaushal in Uri: The Surgical Strike | UriFilm/Facebook
Vicky Kaushal in Uri: The Surgical Strike | UriFilm/Facebook
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Aditya Dhar’s film on the 2016 surgical strikes starring Yami Gautam and Vicky Kaushal only glorifies war in an election year.

Usually war films don’t glorify wars. Films like Saving Private Ryan, Inglourious Basterds and Dunkirk were critically acclaimed because they showed that no one really wins in a war. Clearly, writer-director Aditya Dhar does not seem to think so. Because his film Uri: The Surgical Strike —starring Vicky Kaushal and Yami Gautam — has one message and one message only: War is good, because REVENGE.

The 2016 surgical strike by India has been a controversial topic and has generated conflicting narratives between India and Pakistan about what actually happened. Pakistan maintains that there was no such strike and India insists it was successful. The result? A Bollywood film that employs a thousand cliches about Pakistanis, Muslims and glorifies war, extra-judicial torture, and confessions under duress — all to chant ‘Jai Hind’.

Vicky Kaushal plays Vihaan Shergill, an Indian whose mother has Alzheimer’s and whose brother-in-law Karan (Mohit Raina) was killed in the Uri attacks in 2016. Armed with pure revenge and some very attractive biceps, Shergill insists that he would win the battle against Pakistan without harming anyone. Cue bullets, blasts, an eagle-shaped drone, a thumpy Punjabi folk soundtrack (that is also shared by Pakistan, and only makes you think of how pointless war between the two countries is, because culturally, politically we’re cousins) and battle cries that whitewash war.


Also read: Why Modi govt only boasts about surgical strikes on national security front


The film makes Pakistanis look like headless chickens suffering from gas. I’m not kidding. One of the Pakistani officers who speaks perfect Urdu is chugging antacids and burping at the speed of light. One of the ministers is golfing and can’t even make the putt. It’s as if director Aditya Dhar is saying, “Imagine the kind of incompetence they must display on the policy table!”.

The Indian policy makers smile and use Israel’s examples in war and call Pakistan a terrorist state over and over again. There is simply no nuance about the Kashmir issue and why militant groups in Kashmir are fighting a dirty war. It made me wish there were less films like these and more films like Vishal Bhardwaj’s Haider.

And most importantly, a plea on behalf of all Pakistanis: Indian writers and directors, can you at least get our jargon straight? For starters, Pakistanis don’t start and end every sentence with “Janaab”. Pakistan is a very diverse and culturally rich country. Someone sitting in Punjab would not talk like someone from Karachi. May be if you unbanned our TV content, it would help you write more realistic dialogues for Pakistanis.

It’s an election year in India and the ‘josh’ to produce jingoistic films is definitely high, but it’s disappointing to see a powerful, influential industry like Bollywood resorting to reductive, hyper-nationalist films. Films like these serve as propaganda and only become tools to add to the hatred for Pakistan.

The world’s got enough hate already, hasn’t it?


Also read: Any resemblance of Anupam Kher to Manmohan Singh is purely accidental


My final verdict: Uri: The Surgical Strike is a well-made film that is an attempt to assure hyper-patriots that Bollywood will produce 10 films each year to satisfy nationalists, but only produce one film like Haider in a decade to speak the truth as an artistic community.

The author is a Pakistani liberal, feminist journalist, movie reviewer, YouTuber, Supermom & biryani connoisseur. Her Twitter handle is @mahwashajaz_

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44 COMMENTS

  1. Well PPL like burkha Dutt and Gupta are juice of the NDTV shit known for anti national pro terrorist propaganda, that are in the payroll of Pak and Pak national Congress(formerly indian national Congress)…..if their masters want them to bark, they have to oblige them by barking in the required tone and tune…..

  2. Dear Print, please don’t underestimate your readers stooping such ridiculously low levels. Everyone can see when a blatantly agenda driven narrative is pushed. We understand that it pains you to see the movie doing well, but have some class 😉

  3. Please practice what you preach, try inducing these thoughts into the heads of your fellow countrymen and if you succeed good for you because we are content with what we have.
    – your wellwisher across the border

  4. Please practice what you preach, try inducing these thoughts into the heads of your fellow countrymen, and if you succeed good for you because we are content with what we have.
    – your wellwisher (Indian)

  5. She has written a load if rubbish, far detached from the reality on the ground. Wonder why do you publish such drivel, to promote your faux narrative about peace and amity with Pakistan and they love Indians from the bottom of their hearts.

  6. Great movie.

    Haan madam. Aman ki Tamasha keh rahe hai ki humko shared cultures hai…Kapda ek hai, Khana ek Hai, etc. Lekin wo log nahi maanthe ya samajthe ki dharm ek nahi. Patriots yahaan zyaada hindus hi hai, army me bhi. Tere mulk me to musalmaan hi hai, jinko “idol worshippers” se nafrat hai. Yeh hi hai fark humse aur tumse beech, aur ye kabhi sync nahi hoga.

    In short, get lost, and take the Print with you.

    Sincerely,

    A Madrasi.

  7. This is not a war movie. War is no good. This is a surgical strike movie. So please watch movies like Argo, and others that are based on intelligence and quick operations like killing Osama movie …. etc

  8. To the Print and the Writer,

    If you really care about stopping hatred between two countries start by acknowledging that your holy book Quran teaches the hatred and is full of hatred and bigotry for other religions in the world. You see, to solve a problem you need to acknowledge that there is a problem. And the root of all the hatred is the hate verses in the holy quran.

  9. Why author is worried about trend in Hindi film industry? At one place their supreme court banned Indian contents on TV saying it damages Pakistani culture ( I don’t know what is the culture of Country that did not existed 70 years back and has been remained beggar ).
    Their academia is full of hatred towards Hindus and Sikhs. Primary school students were tough negative things about Hindus and glories of Islam. It is funny that a person from such a hell place is teaching us how to choose topic and what to include in our cinema.

  10. First the movie is based on the true story followed by the aftermath of URI attack, courtesy to the terrorists based out Of Pak. Second the surgical strike was carried out in retaliation on the bloodshed ensued because of the attack. Third, it was not encouraging war.Fourth, Pakistan military has left no stone unturned to attack India on multiple occasions. India is known to have never carried out an attack first, Proof, we kept silent even after the Pathankot terrorist attack. And may I brush up the authors memory on Mumbai terror attacks – courtesy, terrorists funded by Pak. So ma’am cut the crap and preach your country first

  11. Ma’am, first of all, cool coincidence as my pseudonym as an Urdu poet is Mahwash. ☺️
    Thanks for your considered review of Uri. One point that I would disagree upon is your calling this a war movie. The Surgical Strike was a covert operation conducted by the military and intelligence arms of Indian defence. The reason it had to be covert and not belligerent action was so that the general population of either country would not be embroiled into yet another war. Hence comparing this movie to Dunkirk or Inglorious Basterds seems a strange choice; I’d rather compare it with Munich or Zero Dark Thirty, both relating to real-world covert ops. Pakistan has denied Indian claims of the Surgical Strike. Not sure if Pakistan denounced the American claim of the Operation Neptune Spear as well. In many ways the two operations were similar in execution, and the countries claiming to be the perpetrators of both have submitted videographic evidence.

    Comparison with Haider also seems unjustified. Many Indian movies have tried to show the plight of Kashmiris and how AFSPA has impacted their lives and even the dignity of their deaths. In case of the Surgical Strike, the action lay on the Pakistani side of Kashmir. The plight of Indian Kashmiris was not relevant here; support and abetment of terrorist factions is called into question.

    Anyway, I enjoyed reading your review. Not sure how you got to watch the movie as Pak must have banned it. They even effing banned Manto!!!

  12. When Pulp Fiction writers starts calling themselves Journalists what you get is : ThePrint/TheWire. Media is fourth pillar of democracy, so it matters a lot for a country. In the current scenario ThePrint/TheWire has reportedly shown how low they can get to defend or spread propaganda of particular groups/parties. Presstitutes aren’t great for reportage as they have sold their souls for little bit of lucre.

  13. Too all the people commenting negatively we must stop clicking on any print link we must completely boycott any webpage or article related The Print

  14. Oyhoy print Kitna Dhua nikalega be Modi ki burai karte karte Army ko bhi lapete me lene lage agar Modi Bolta to doubt karo Paar army kA DGMo jaab bolta uspe bhi shaq ….The Print what’ the F**k……

  15. You say that ” the movie depicts Pakistan as a terrorist state”. The hollywood movies have been doing the same with Russia. In most of the hollywood action movie plots involving nucler arsenal situation “the villian is always a Russian ( or a former citizen of USSR).. In some of the movies, the hollywood has directly shown the whole Russian Political setup as bad and corrupt and the USA as the harbinger of peace and a new era….. Nobody has ever questioned that…..?
    And this movie is about “Surgical Strike” i.e. a (limited) tactical assault on the disturbing elements who dared to threaten the peace of a nation.
    In no way the movie glorifies war…. It only dramatizes the events (as it is a movie) leading to the culmination of the “Surgical Strike” by Indian armed Forces. A few months back, a documentary was aired by a Foreign Channel regarding the same.
    And, if u have watched “Dunkirk” u know that it is based on a british evacuation mission in World War II. So there is no point in comparing Dunkirk with Surgical Strike.

  16. What the eff does the writer mean by Indians having preconceived notions about “Muslims”; I am surprised Print editors left that idiotic innuendo pass, without editing it.

  17. Im not sure if the writer is going to read this comment. But FYI , the burping of the officer was very necessary and forced for the situation, as he was giving codes to the indian officer on the phone in an unsecured line. So basically he was using morse codes in a way! Get your facts right miss.

  18. Hahaha..if you ask a pakistani to review this movie what you do expect? will they say their pakistan is bad? No….There are more than 100 nations in world. if one country hate india let them hate..don,t give a fuck about them……ever listen their anchor and govt authorities talking about india. They completely hate India.than why should we treat them with love…go get a life The Print and Wire.

  19. Maam u have put across some really good points..hyper nationalism, jingoinsm, bollywood becoming puPpet #thankyou #iamsorry on behalf of my countrymen for disrespecting u through their comments

    • PaKis never expressed SORRY for all the Terrorism & unprovoked Killings they r inflicting on us from the start of its formation but MORONS like u always ready to say SORRY even just to defend ourself against their Barbaric TERRORIST attack on us, bcoz of FOOLs like U they never realise but more encourage to bleed india more & more

  20. It is not surprising. This woman’s husband was killed in Terrorist camp by Indian forces. A film which is going to portray India in good light has evoked nationalised and patriotism among youngsters in India across all the states. If this woman is so concerned about the culture, language, food etc etc between two countries, she shall first Masud Azhar followed by Salahuddin, Dawood and rest of militants and those who back them. The Print and The wire are on purpose publishing such articles to gain cheap publicity like a Prostitute who looks at every Tom, Dick and Henry with lustful eyes

  21. The fundamental flaw in this article is the author’s comparision of a war movie with a terrorist fight movie… please compare this movie with Zero Dark Thirty as in this movie no innocent life was lost unlike a war. Zero Dark Thirty glorified killing Osama Bin Laden and rightly so, then what is the problem with glorifying killing terrorist in Uri. The author needs to research her material for well instead of crying HYPERNATIONALIST.

  22. The author is overwhelmed with the performance of Ajkml Kasab back in 2008 and do not digest URI. “It” (the 3rd gender) is required to be sent to 72 Hoors for further brainwashing. Grow up and see the world without spects of jihad, u will come to know why URI is best reply to your every A%##h A$%#r in our border

  23. lol pakistanis are terr**ists. you guys are global beggars too. and What’s with this equal equal @ThePrint . why give platform to anyone from Pakistan. Do you know Afghan people also love Indian culture and movies, Have you ever given them space on your platform. Afghans have also been the victim of Pakistan’s jihadi policies.

  24. Why u people r so eager to print the review of not so famous Pakistani writer, we don’t need her suggestions what we should watch or what we should not watch. For her definitely Haider propaganda is more suitable than the reality of Uri

  25. Talking in behalf of the peaceful,patriotic,freedom fighters(terrorists) ,called by so called hyper nationalists of India.And what a great article by wire supporting those poor peole who killed 19 soldiers within uri.And ghose hyper nationalists who go out there killing so called freedom fighters.Sorry readers who thought this is my view.This is the view of the so called best article group wire.And sorry wire I too is a hyper natiinalists who want take revenge cor the 19 great soldier who lost their lives and stand with the widows who lost their husbands,to the parents who lost fheir children,amd the children who lost their fathers.Now I know wire you are gonna stand wth the terrorists and ask more and more pakistanis about their view about uri.Arent you ashamed to create such an artucle and live as an disgrace to both Indian people and the country.Oh sorry I was gonna stop this article but to make my identith clear I end this comment by saying JAI HIND and salute all soldiers who carried fhe surgical strike,and adithya dhar and vicky kaushal.And Yes i am an ultra nationalist.

    • The writer is a Pakistani women, how can she tolerate that Indian soldiers struck them in their controlled land. The article is her controlled expression of depression over the strike and not the review of a movie. She would have been liked it only if it has shown the terrorist win, because they are their own soldiers in disguise.

    • You are not able to comprehend the difference between the movie and the actual event.

      If the movie glorifies extra-judicial deaths, even I as a patriotic Indian will condemn it because that has alienated Kashmiris.

          • Are comparing terrorist attack to taali? Taali nahi hai Thaapad hai and that’s also from both hand. It feels like @ThePrint is becoming a global media for terrorist sympathizer.
            You don’t like Uri because its too much patriotic, but u a**holes like Haider. Its a movie on terrorist. If a army guy takes revenge keeping interest of Nation, its bad, but a terrorist killing army is good. People like “Mahwash Azaj” prooves that terrorist have religion.

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