1971 Beyond Borders Review : An attempt to bring out Keerthichakra again !
1971 Beyond Borders, Mohanlal’s fourth in the Major Mahadevan series after Keerthichakra, Kurukshetra and Kandahar has finally hit screens today. The movie has been released in a huge number of screens all over India, making it the biggest ever for a Malayalam movie. This Major Ravi directorial has Mohanlal in a dual role and is based on the 1971 Indo-Pak war.
The film starts off with Mammootty’s narration about the war and it’s background. Initial portions of the movie are set in Georgia where Mahadevan, who is now with the UN peacekeeping force, is seen rescuing Pakistani soldiers from terrorist attacks. On a parallel track, retired army man Brigadier Sahadevan is sharing stories about the 1971 war to his grandchildren.
Major Ravi has tried to convey the noble thought of war not being a solution to anything. Similar to his own Picket 43, here has again tried to showcase the Pakistani soldiers in good light.
1971 Beyond Borders is a well blended mashup of Major Ravi’s previous movies. The film is a recurrence of the already explored emotional side of soldiers and scapegoated colleagues. Add to that a whole lot of clichéd sequences. Eventhough it’s a movie based on true events, the director should have consciously stayed away from his usual narrative pattern and tried to bring in something novel in the screenplay.
On the performance side, Mohanlal is the solid backbone of the movie. His amazing energy levels while delivering the dialogues helps in maintaining the intensity of the movie. The actor has given a terrific performance while appearing in three different looks. Had it been any other actor, it would have certainly been a tiresome watch.
Telugu actor Allu Sirish was a big let down. He failed to justify his character and looked completely out of place. His acting in many scenes looked very amateurish and intolerable to an extent. Apart from Mohanlal, Asha Sarath and Bollywood actor Arunoday Singh, who played the Pakistani Major, all others were disappointing with their performances.
The movie’s major asset is Sujith Vaassudev’s cinematography. This is most probably the best work in his entire career. Leaving aside the colour tone in the climax portions, he has presented a true visual spectacle. The songs were good but Gopi Sunder’s background score lacked consistency and didn’t have much of an impact.
Overall, 1971 Beyond Borders took off safely from Kandahar and Kurukshetra but failed to land in Keerthichakra. Major Ravi’s best movie till date is Keerthichakra, so it seems like the director is trying to make the same movie everytime he wields the megaphone.