Verdict – A mashup of Major Ravi's own war films.
With his earlier films like Keerthi Chakra (2006), Kurukshetra (2008) and Kandahar (2010), director Major Ravi has made the onscreen character Major Mahadevan iconic; a character that is sure to feature in almost every list of iconic characters played by the Megastar Mohanlal. Because of which, Mohanlal was honored with the prestigious post of Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army of India. The first and the only Indian actor till date, who has received this prestigious post. So when 1971 Beyond Borders comes as the fourth instalment of the Major Mahadevan series, the audience can’t be blamed if they have high expectations from the film.
The director starts off the film in Georgia, where Colonel Mahadevan and his team save a few Pakistani soldiers as a part of the UN Mission. Soon he comes to know that he saved the life of a Pakistani soldier whose father was killed by his dad, Major Sahadevan, during the India-Pakistan 1971 war. And that’s how the director unfolds an important anecdote from Major Sahadevan’s life which is set against the backdrop of India-Pakistan 1971 war.
Actor Mohanlal who made a hat-trick of blockbusters with Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol (2017), Pulimurugan (2016) & Oppam (2016) has performed both the roles of Colonel Mahadevan & Major Sahadevan effortlessly. Arunoday Singh (Pakistani Lieutenant colonel Raja) leaves a lasting impression as Pakistani soldier who is different from what the audience usually get to watch. Allu Sirish, who plays the role of Lieutenant Chinmay, makes his Malayalam debut and does a decent job considering what was given to him. The rest of the cast has also tried sincerely for the roles offered to them.
Talking about the direction, Major Ravi fails to recreate the India-Pakistan 1971 war convincingly. If the director who has also written the film concentrated more on the situations that led to the war and weaved the story accordingly, then the outcome would have been better. Instead, he focusses on over-the-top patriotic scenes and the plight of soldiers from both the sides, which is not drawn convincingly and ends up being clichéd. The cinematography by Sujith Vaassudev is the highlight of the film. His frames wonderfully capture the snowy Georgia and the last 15-20 minute war scenes are remarkable, the first of its kind in Malayalam cinema. The music is disappointing and background score ends up being very noisy.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
Once again, you will see Mohanlal reprising his iconic onscreen character of Colonel Mahadevan. The film tries to convey what Gandhiji meant by saying, "An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind". It gives a strong message that fighting wars for borders and orders are for no good and will bring only irrecoverable losses for both the nation.