Gunjan Saxena Movie Review: Pankaj Tripathi helps Janhvi Kapoor soar in an inspiring film
Janhvi Kapoor-starrer Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl is named as cleverly as it is written. The film is first about Gunjan Saxena’s journey, and then about her contribution to the Kargil War.
“Jai Hind, Officer Saxena,” says Major Anshuman (Angad Bedi) to his sister, IAF officer Gunjan Saxena (Janhvi Kapoor) in the climax of the film Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl. In just four words, Major Anshuman summarises the epic journey that we, as viewers, embarked upon two hours ago. Inspired by the true story of the first woman IAF officer flying into a warzone, the film makes it clear at the start – through a disclaimer – that the IAF supports equality in the skies. Presently, there are 1,625 women officers in the Indian Air Force. But the scenario was quite different in 1994.
In the very first scene, the film takes us to the Kargil War of 1999 and a few moments later, Janhvi Kapoor, as Gunjan Saxena, sprints towards her chopper to carry out a mission. Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl has been named as cleverly as it has been written. The makers have made their intent clear in the name itself, that the film is first about Gunjan Saxena’s journey, and then about her contribution to the Kargil War. We all know about Gunjan Saxena’s valuable contribution to the war, which made her the first woman Shaurya Chakra-awardee. But director Sharan Sharma’s film focuses on an entirely different battle that she had to fight with the society before getting a chance to serve her country.
Barely 4 minutes into the film, the narrative moves to the past and we are taken to 1984, where a young Gunjan is on a plane with her brother. It is here that she sees a cockpit for the first time, which leaves her awestruck. “Yahan baithne ke liye aapko pilot banna padega,” she is told. And so, the little girl vows to become a pilot.