The long wait has finally come to an end. Major Ravi’s directorial debut,  Keerthichakra, has made it to the marquee. The highly anticipated movie with terrorism in Kashmir as its backdrop is made from the perspective of the armed forces.

Does the war against terror on celluloid satisfy our expectations? Let’s take a look at some points before we answer that:

The casting of Mohanlal as the protagonist is near perfect though people may complain that his bulky physique doesn’t suit the role of a commando. But Mohanlal overcomes this shortcoming by the agility and the emotional roundness he gives to his character. Plus, the getup with greying sideburns goes well with his age.

The highlight of the film was supposed to be the camaraderie between Mohanlal and Jeeva. Both actors are good, and they make the effort to add spark as a team. But there is hardly any scope for comparison between the two.

Major Ravi is successful in keeping the feel of the film authentic most of the time. But there are certain times when the narrative lapses into the stereotypical terrain. Of course, they can be overlooked given the overall impact it creates.

However, the film lacks in pace. It loses the momentum in places. Going by the title, one expects the movie to be an action romp, but it seems that Major Ravi had other ideas. He has created a mix of typical Malayalam dialogue drama with larger-than-life heroes and action. And the songs composed by Joshua Sridhar act as speed-breakers in the story.

The other thing that jars is the characterisation. Except for the main characters; the others are cardboardish. The character played by Spadikam George, who is Mohanlal’s superior, deserves a special mention, as he is just a sounding board for our hero’s bombastic dialogues. Lakshmi Gopalaswamy and Gopika are just used as props for songs. It would not have harmed the story if they were dropped.

Being made from the perspective the army, Keerthichakra tries to present their case against the allegations of Human Rights violations against them, which sounds convincing. But somehow it misses the bigger picture.

It may be harsh to expect something highbrow on the situation in Kashmir from a commercial film, still we try to find some aesthetic symbolism in a sickeningly graphic gang rape involving terrorists.

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