Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran, begins in the year 1995, where Pakistan was strengthening its ties with China and America, leaving India in a weaker position. Despite such a tense situation, all that concerned Indian bureaucrats was how they could bash China. However, Ashwat Raina IAS (played by John Abraham), a civil servant, thinks differently and believes that it is time for India to be a nuclear state. His zeal is dampened by a greedy politician who executes his plan at Pokhran without giving due importance to secrecy. The US satellite Lacrosse captures India’s activities, the plan backfires and Ashwat is handed a grade-II suspension.
The movie then cuts to 1998, where Ashwat and his family relocated to Mussorie and Ashwat spends his time tutoring civil service aspirants. Meanwhile, the political climate changes and Principal Secretary to the PM, Himanshu Shukla (played by Boman Irani) revives Ashwat’s dream project. A dream team codenamed Pandavas (inspired by the 90’s TV serial Mahabharat) is created. They head to Pokhran and they dedicate themselves to the sole purpose of making India a nuclear state. Despite challenges that were thrown in, they managed to do everything that would make their nation proud.
The movie catches up in the second half as the first half is invested in setting up the premise. The screenplay is taut and does a good job of bringing forth the fact that extraordinary is ordinary with a little ‘extra’. Despite the fact that we’d know how the movie would end, there are moments in the movie that could give you goosebumps. The movie strongly evokes a sense of patriotism, especially in the second half.