Pippa movie review: Absorbing and ambitious tale of valour and victory

Pippa movie review : Absorbing and ambitious tale of valour and victory

Pippa movie review: Absorbing and ambitious tale of valour and victory

What: Pippa - We always say that War is not the solution, but sometimes War becomes the only option left. Pippa chronicles the events that had forced our country to go into a state of war. The period drama directed by Raja Krishna Menon and produced by Ronnie Screwvala and Siddharth Roy Kapur is based on real events during the 1971 Indo-Pak war and the formation of an independent nation - Bangladesh.

Ishan Khatter plays the real-life tank commander, Captain (turned Brigadier later) Balram Singh Mehta and comes from a family of decorated officers. His father served the army and his elder brother, Ram (Priyanshu Painyuli) is a 1965 war hero and exemplified. The women in the family are his mother (Soni Razdan) and sister (Mrunal Thakur). Essentially, a non-conformist and not a stickler to rules, Balram aka Balli is relegated to desk job when he doesn’t follow the norms, until the war and the tanks really call him.

Pippa is not a biopic per se, but it draws the inspiration from the book, “The Burning Chaffees” penned by Brig. Mehta recounting the ferocious tank battle fought by the C Squadron 45 Cavalry which demolished the Pakistani General’s plan for victory and set the stage for the utter routing of their army and liberate Bangladesh from its clutches.

Krishna Menon, who made Airlift seven years ago, has a similar story of bravado to tell – on one of the lesser-known heroes and his dare devilry. And this time, it’s set against the backdrop of a war zone. Menon’s ambitious vehicle is mounted on a sprawling scale and the tank fights which have been rarely witnessed on the Hindi cinema celluloid, catapult the film to a new high. Priya Seth’s lenses capture the battlefield meticulously and AR Rehman’s rousing score uplifts the mood. 

Juggling between bravura, grit and fraternal fracas, Ishan Khattar imbues the soul of Brig Mehta with dollops of earnestness. There is a vulnerable side to him which Menon exploits to the fullest and fleshes up his protagonist to display a youthful swagger under the uniform. Priyanshu plays Capt. Ram with tremendous sincerity and his clumsy equation with Balli emanates authentic flavors. During the climax, when the two brothers unite, he says Balli used to envy his aching honesty of calling spade a spade. These moments are in shortage in the film which focuses mainly on the events instead of the character arcs. As a result, you don’t stay much invested in them. Co-writers Ravindra Randhawa and Tanmay Mohan could bring in more urgency in the plot. 



Pippa - final words

While the brothers stand at the spectrum of obedience and anarchy, Mrunal who plays the sister is secretly absorbed in the intelligence wing to decipher encrypted intercepts. Sohum Majumdar also plays a minor part of her colleague in the film. While we await Sam Manecksaw’s full blown biopic, there are scenes of this legendary man and Indira Gandhi, albeit played to a lesser impact.

I go with 4 stars out of 5 for Pippa.


Pippa video movie review

Here is our Pippa video movie review in Hindi 

Rating : 4/5

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About Ahwaan Padhee

Ahwaan Padhee

Ahwaan Padhee, is an IT Techie/Business Consultant by profession and a film critic/cinephile by passion, is also associated with Radio Playback as well, loves writing and conducting movie quizzes. More By Ahwaan Padhee

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