Born to die

Mohanlal in Kandahar

Kandahar - the title of the film bears the whiff of the story, which is built around the Taliban-orchestrated hijack of an Indian Airlines flight in 1999.

When Major Ravi serves us with this filmi relish, we have to take it, smelling something stale. For, the director ( who seems yet to shed off his Keerthi Chakra/Kurukshetra euphoria) has dished out more or less the same old saga of characters and events. Thus we find ourselves once more with bold and upright Major Mahadevan ( Mohanlal) and his handpicked bunch of commandos. To embolden his buddies this is his advice : One is born to die and it is just a matter of time.

The director also finds time and space to reiterate that death of a companion is great pain – as he has done in his two previous movies.  Mahadevan’s grit and gumption again startles his wavering superiors. This time, when he ventures out to rescue the holed-up passengers.  

Big B’s appearance as Loknath Sharma, a respectable teacher, is touching though the icon utters barely a word or two in Malayalam. Sharma is the father of a “highly qualified, unemployed, frustrated youth” (Ganesh Venkatraman). For Ganesh, it is a good break while most other characters lie low.

While the first half of the film staggers on with trivial dialogues and scenes of military hardships, the defining latter half appears to end soon but not so well.

The film, also a commentary on ant-jihadi aspirations of Muslims (though in a dramatic way), ends up with this teaser: ‘Mission continues... .’ But enough of such missions and what we expect next time is one without any traces of repetition.

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