Gunjan Saxena Movie Review: Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl is the story that will make you smile, warm your heart and will leave you teary-eyed as the girl from Lucknow, who since childhood inspires to be a pilot, crosses all the hurdles in the typical man’s world to become India’s first female combat pilot of the Indian Air Force. The film very categorically portrays the prejudice and patronising attitudes of the male pilot officers and trainees who believe that it is difficult for a woman to protect the country as she is not physically strong as men.Also Read - Gunjan Saxena The Kargil Girl Releases on Netflix: Here is All You Need to Know About Real Gunjan Saxena

Gunjan joins the IAF training academy and becomes the only woman to pass all the tests and trainings but the actual struggles begin once she goes to the Indian Air Force base which has only male pilots and Gunjan, the only woman in the base. A female pilot had to use men’s washroom because the base had no women’s loo or locker room. Gunjan gets late every day to her practice session because she had to run to her dormitories from the class to change clothes which makes her late for the session. She then decides to make her own changing room in the men’s locker room, making her male counterparts uncomfortable. However, the male officer cancels her practice session every day because none of the male pilots wanted to take her for the session fearing she might panic or is not worth their time.

Her timely decisions and strong will to learn and practice conquering all the hurdles that make her shine out in the patriarchal world dominated by men. When she flunks the reporting time, another male officer, played by Manav Vij, teaches her and makes her the best pilot in the academy that she even becomes top rank holder beating her male counterparts.

Vineet Kumar Singh’s ‘oh so tough’ attitude makes her prove her physical strength against a male pilot with a hand-wrestling session. However, she clears the roadblock with the constant support of her father Anup (Pankaj Tripathi), and tough yet considerate recruiter (Manav Vij). The dialogue that declares male cadet dominance would be ‘We are here to fight for the country, not to give equal opportunity’.

And the other incident that declares misogyny is during the Kargil War mission where a politician talks about having a female pilot in defense and can’t put ‘nation’s daughter in danger’. Vineet’s character says ‘The issue of your safety has become a national issue, our priority is to defend the country, not you’.

This brings to us to Anup, Gunjan Saxena’s father, who is exquisite, dotting, and a progressive father. He pushes his daughter to fulfill her dreams by putting in the triple efforts and not just be a woman that excels in household chores. His presence lights up the screens and is a delight to watch.

Angad Bedi’s character, Anshuman, on the other hand, is a protective brother, that leaves the audience confused if he wants his sister to fly high or not. His character also leaves a strong impact on the narrative.

The film’s climax is the Kargil War mission carried by Gunjan Saxena that will make you feel proud and finally her male counterparts including her brother, salute, and celebrate her bravery at the war ground.

Director Sharan Sharma did not stretch the film unnecessarily and thankfully did not make it a Kargil War film. Sharma’s experiment with Janhvi Kapoor was a good choice and she has done a decent job.

The film has a lot to celebrate especially the beautiful portrayal of the father-daughter relationship and her will for not giving up in the patriarchal, male-dominated society and rising up among the misogyny of the society and the academy.

A Must Watch!