First-time writer-director Sankalp Reddy’s war film The Ghazi Attack is set primarily in two submarines, and allegedly based on true events. It’s also apparently India’s first underwater war film, except that the water scenes are all done on a computer.
In year 1971, tension is building between India and Pakistan. In this scenario an Indian submarine, under the command of firebrand captain Rann Vijay Singh (Kay Kay Menon) is sent on a recce mission into the Bay of Bengal. To keep him in check, naval command assigns Arjun (Rana Daggubati) to the same mission. Between these two extremes of behaviour and beliefs is the even-keeled second officer Devaraj (Atul Kulkarni).
The Indian vessel S21 and Pakistani sub PNS Ghazi encounter each other in the deep seas and engage in underwater combat. Torpedoes are fired, damage is done, and only one vessel and its crew can survive. It’s riveting stuff and Reddy and his crew of cameraman, production designer and editor do work well to create the mood and environment. However you don’t really get a sense of the scale of the vessel of the claustrophobia of being stuck inside hundreds of kilos of metal in a deep ocean.
Captain Razzak helms Ghazi and is locked in combat with Rann Vijay and then Arjun as command of S21 transfers hands. The art of war of well represented with Reddy having obviously done a great deal of research into underwater combat and the design of a submarines. What lets down the narrative is the amateur computer graphics that appear very often throughout. Further more the performances are a bit inconsistent. While Kulkarni and Daggubati pull of their roles as well-trained officers, Menon is bizarrely hammy and Tapsee Pannu makes an appearance in a pointless role that could easily have been written out.
A brave effort, The Ghazi Attack manages to stay afloat and mostly keeps the audience’s interest.