Review: Parmanu – The Story of Pokhran

Genre: Action, Drama, History
Duration: 130 minutes
Language: Hindi
India Release Date: 25-MAY-2018
Pick-D-Flick Rating: 3 on 5

A look at India’s first confidential nuclear test series at Pokhran lead by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, during the time of PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure.

Overall Review:
Parmanu: The Story Of Pokhran documents the story of the Pokharan nuclear tests of 1998 when India tricked CIA satellites to conduct the tests. The film, directed by Abhishek Sharma, is a mix of fiction and facts although it portrays at the start point: Based on True Story. It attempts to re-construct a covert, complicated operation, in which India sneakily tested its nuclear weapons under utmost secrecy, right under the US spy satellites, and declared its arms might to the world. The story of the film is riveting: Ashwat Raina (John Abraham) tries to convince the government of India to invest their interest in nuclear energy for the protection of the country. He disappointingly quits after receiving no response from the government. Few years later, Himanshu Shukla (Boman Irani), who is the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, asks for Ashwat’s help to re-perform his initial idea for the nuclear tests in Pokhran. Ashwat forms the best team from the system, including Ambalika (Diana Penty), from the security department & the Mission Begins. Talking about the performances, John Abraham lives this role to the fullest, offers enough nail-biting sequences which are expected from a movie of this genre. Diana Penty looks clueless throughout the film with her sleek hair and perfect makeup all the time. Boman Irani leaves a little mark with his stern voice and impressive demeanour. Anuja Sathe (as John’s wife) has a little more to do and she shines within that small space. The first half of takes time to build the setting and the characters while the second half becomes a thriller as it struggles in its mission against time. Film brilliantly blends in relevant footage of international leaders speaking about India’s attempt at conducting nuclear tests that lends credibility to the scenario. Nevertheless, Parmanu has its flaws – it is marred by flimsy dialogue and the contrived character interaction. The speech towrds the climax is so lacklustre that one might give up instead of being inspired. Then there’s another parallel storyline about John and his Wife. Film has the numerous songs that play in the background which could have been just background music. It could have highly benefited with tighter editing (as there are sequences which needed scissoring and pace could’ve been even more tight). There are no nail-biting finishes or adrenaline-charged situations that would have sky-rocked Parmanu to stratospheric limits. While the premise is intriguing, the film doesn’t blow your mind away. Movie could have been highly engaging and entertaining thriller but this thriller has been embellished in true Bollywood style.

PDF Verdict:
Despite its flaws, Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran deserves your time for the sheer bravery of the officials who carried out the covert mission due to which India is taken seriously around the world. Watch this if you want superficial knowledge about what went down as India aggressively joined the nuclear arms race.

Ratings: 3 on 5
Performance: 3.5 on 5
Script: 3 on 5
Screenplay: 3 on 5
Music / Background Score: 3 on 5

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