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Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran  : Historic, Patriotic & A Terrific Thriller
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Friday, May 25, 2018
Action
Abhishek Sharma
John Abraham, Diana Penty, Boman Irani, Zachary Coffin

Rejoice, for Hindi cinema has finally done it. Writer-Director Abhishek Sharma chronicles a momentous achievement by India by combining a high level of patriotism with the nail-biting tension of a thriller.

 

Most of us know that India went nuclear in 1998. But little do we know the international politics against which a team of the finest minds of India came together to carry out the nuclear blasts.

 

After being booted out and being unfairly blamed for a failed nuclear test, government official Ashwat Raina gets a second chance to put his plan into action. ‘Darke nahin, karke dikhayenge,’ was Ashwat’s plan for India. Himanshu Shukla, the smartnew Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, ensures that Ashwat’s floppy disc with complete details doesn’t remain a coaster for some bureaucrat’s tea and coffee. With Shukla’s backing, Ashwat puts together a team of five like the Pandavas. In charge of security is Nakul, only it amusingly turns out to be Ambalika, a lady officer. “And you’re Krishna, the charioteer,” says Shukla to Ashwat.

 

Using daily passwords and only their covert names, the team of five and their dedicated men have to carry out the nuclear tests in great secrecy. Local khabris, Pakistan’s ISI and America’s CIA have all to be beaten. This where the screenplay scores as it shows how well it was executed right down to taking care that tyre marks don’t show up on the satellites. The spy network and their handlers in the CIA add to the thrill. Sandstorms, the weather and coalition politics further contribute to keeping it interesting.

 

Ashwat’s family, particularly his wife, is interwoven into the story to show just how big a secret the operation had to be.

 

John Abraham as Ashwat and Diana Penty as the security officer are sincere. Boman Irani makes a suave Principal Secretary. The team of skilled men is also well cast.     

 

Without much distraction, Parmanu sticks to recounting the true tale of how a team of experts carried out the nuclear tests against unimaginable odds in the Vajpayee era. And it salutes late President Abdul Kalam. Although it has been cinematically dramatized, you can’t help feeling a lump in the throat and come out feeling an inch taller.

 

Verdict: However, this is strictly for the English-speaking elite audience. Don’t go in expecting another Raazi which was laden with romance and drama.

 

For a taut patriotic thriller that’s inspired by true events, Parnamu: The Story Of Pokhran gets a healthy 3.5* rating.

 

Direction: 3.5/5
Screenplay: 4/5

Story: 4/5
Dialogues: 2.5/5

Music: 3/5


Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author
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