Before watching, the first apprehension I had was, that this could be another template biopic film which depicts the journey of a winner after starting as an underdog or underprivileged or deprived. I mean films like Mary Kom, Pangaa, Dhoni etc, a trend which is now getting a bit repetitive these days and hence predictable.
And indeed Gunjan Saxena is a template biopic film which ticks off all the boxes. This means
* some over dramatised situations to play up the narrative,
* montage song to show the hero growing up,
* another montage song to show the hero training with rigour,
* Scenes to depict discrimination at workplace
* screen play which has a predictable sequence of “Initial setback-Fight-Qualification-Challenge in the climax- Final accomplishment”
This makes the film extremely predictable right from the beginning till end. The Director Sharan Sharma and his co-writer Nikhil Mehrotra play up the scenes bit too much when the first woman air force pilot joins the force. I am not surprised that the Airforce has objected to this lopsided depiction.
Sharan Sharma, a Dharma Productions protege makes a competent debut as a director. But the screenplay and writing doesn’t redeem the film beyond being average.
The cast in the film is impressive. Pankaj Tripathi as the supportive dad is as usual very good and displays subtle emotions as the situation demands. When we see Janhvi Kapoor, nepotism question raises the head in our minds. I had not seen her 1st film. But in this, she comes out with “flying” colours. Few more films and she will be more confident. She does a far better job than what Priyanka Chopra did in her 2nd film. The supporting cast also do their jobs as per the brief.
Gunjan Saxena suffers from its predictability. I don’t know if a better screenplay would have helped.
Its streaming now on Netflix and you may just want to watch it if you have nothing else to do on a weekend.