The Uri Attack of 2016 was the straw that broke the back in India-Pakistan relations, leading to a diplomatic war between the two countries, and when news of a surgical strike behind enemy lines broke out, a few days later, there was much rejoicing among the public. Therefore, it was only natural, that the incident would find its way to the big screen, but is debutant director Aditya Dhar up to the task of narrating this exciting tale of guts and glory?
Major Vihaan Shergill (Vicky Kaushal) is a dedicated young military commando who after a successful mission in Myanmar, decides to resign from the army to take care of his Alzheimer’s stricken mother (Swaroop Sampat), but at the insistence of the Prime Minister (Rajit Kapur) and the National Security Advisor (Paresh Rawal), takes up desk job at the Army HQ in New Delhi.
But when the Uri attack occurs, and ends up hitting a little too close to home, will Vihaan heed the call of his conscience, and take the fight back to the enemy? With the support of a hawkish establishment, a steely glanced intelligence agent (Yami Gautam) and a grieving pilot (Kirti Kulhari), can Major Shergill win back India its lost honor, by striking fear, deep in the heart of the enemy?
The first few minutes of Uri take us into the attack on the Dogra regiment in Manipur and the retaliatory strikes in Myanmar, back in 2015, and for a while there, one sits back and wonders if Uri is a more cerebral take on the war movie, concentrating on the conflict within a soldier, but soon after walking out of the movie, realization sets in, that the director was so focused on the final strike, that he forgot that the build up to the climax is equally necessary.
While the cinematography by Mitesh Mirchandani is gorgeous, and the action choreography absolutely top notch, taking you right into the heart of the strike and keeping you on the edge of your seat, the rest of the movie is anything but, plodding from one convenient contrivance to another, therefore barely scratching the surface of what should have been an electrifying tale of a military triumph.
Vicky Kaushal does a fine job of playing the taciturn, yet passionate armyman, really coming into his element in the climax, right before the mission when he exhorts his men to storm the terrorist compound, but is let down by an otherwise insipid script, as are Yami Gautam who is absolutely fantastic as the poker faced intelligence agent, Kirti Kulhari who gets one of the best scenes in the movie, and Swaroop Sampat who portrays an Alzheimer’s patient with utmost dignity.
Rajit Kapur and Paresh Rawal are perfectly serviceable playing the fictionalized versions of Narendra Modi and Ajit Doval, and Mohit Raina makes a solid impression as Vihaan’s fellow military man, while Shishir Sharma, Satyajit Sharma and Mansi Parekh linger in the background. A mention must be made of young Riva Arora who makes a strong impact in her one big scene in the movie, and for a minute, made the movie seem better than it was.
To sum it up then, propaganda aside, Uri commits the crime of being insufferably boring, and no audience will forgive that.