The death of Rajat, sports champ and caring older brother, spurs Deep Singh Sengar to push himself beyond human endurance to be a part of the Special Forces. His unwavering personal mission is to eliminate the militancy in Kashmir that blew up Rajat.
It’s a wonderful story to tell especially when it’s a fictionalised but true story with Major Deep Singh Sengar appearing in flesh-and-blood at the wrap-up of every episode to endorse what has been filmed. The Major and wife Jaya’s comments as the end credits roll give the 7-episode Series the authenticity that the inspirational story of grit requires.
However, the writing (screenplay by Siddharth Mishra) and narration (by director Vishal Mangalorkar) don’t match the thrill potential of the motivational tale.
Yes, you know that commanding officer Colonel Ranjeet Chaudhry (played by a starchily efficient Sushant Singh) is going to reserve his harshest comments and his toughest training for Deep. You also know that when it’s time for the rehab of a wounded hero who’s wheelchair bound, getting back on his feet will be his most gruelling battle. Additionally, he has demons creeping into his mind. At the end of it, ‘Don’t ever give up’ and ‘You have it in you’ are the takeaways from the Major’s awesome life.
But novelty is so absent in the underwhelming story-telling by Mangalorkar that keeping a finger on the fast forward button is tempting during large chunks of sequences. Nothing surprises you. The parents, especially the mother (Mrinal Kulkarni) with dark circles of worry, have routine, seen-before scenes. When wife Jaya (strongly portrayed by Amrita Puri) takes her time to tell Deep about his CAT exam, you know how he has scored. When a frustrated Deep barks at his young son, you know it’s coming. The kid too is a wee bit more annoying than cuddlesome. When Jaya seeks help from the only one who can do it, you know where she’s headed. And all of Colonel’s seeming cruelty is so obviously to bring out the best in Deep that your heart doesn’t go thumping with excitement.
But yes, the steel required of army wives and what spouses in general have to endure when a partner is incapacitated is as real as Deep Sengar’s battles – on the field, in civilian life and in his psyche.
Amit Sadh’s sincerity and the sheer physicality he brings to his performance as Deep Singh are admirable.
Watch it for it is a special story. One only wishes that the narrative had also kept us glued with nail-biting uniqueness.