The appeasement of anti-national elements and growing intolerance towards the nationalists in Bollywood is well known to many. From Taimur to Raees and Shaurya to Haider, the Bollywood community tries to justify all the attacks of terrorists and portray the Indian army in bad light. But of late, the tide seems to have changed with the emergence of many films which are free of distortions and showcase the valor of the people of our nation along with the cruelty of the jihadists and politics played by corrupt people. One among these emerging films which celebrate our nation is the newly released Neeraj Pandey directed “Aiyaary”.
Ever since this film was slated for release, it had to face a lot of hurdles. From the delay in getting a censor board certificate to quashing a PIL filed against its release by Adarsh society, the film had to face a lot of delays and controversies around its release. And finally after getting over all these hurdles and hitting the screens the film is now dealing with rave reviews given to it by MSM journalists despite of many normal audiences praising it as a meaningful film with a great concept representing the change of air in the Bollywood industry.
After I heard about the PIL filed in Supreme Court by Adarsh society against the release of this film, which went largely unnoticed thanks to all the focus of national media on Hindu activists who were bashing Padmaavat, I had decided to watch this film and was waiting eagerly for it. As it finally hit the screens on February 16, I quickly booked my tickets and entered the hall only to be dumbstruck by its stupendous portrayal of the political and bureaucratic affairs in our country. In fact it even made me wonder if the rave reviews and the silence of media who were vouching for Padmaavat using their favorite “Freedom of Expression” dialog were tactics to steal the limelight from this film.
The film starts with a Major who was given the responsibility of Human surveillance hearing about the pressure by an arms lobby representative on the army chief to sanction the purchase of weapons from a company at four times greater than the original cost or face humiliation from media for creating secretly a special unit for killing terrorists who are acting against the nation across the globe without proper approval from the government and notice to other nations paving way for human rights violation. This makes the major go rogue against his own institution.
Hearing about this, the leader of the secret unit Col. Abhay Singh sets out to save his unit and prevent the Major from sharing secret surveillance records with others. Throughout this interesting journey the film shows the grip the national media journalists and bureaucrats in lutyens Delhi along with powerful businessman have on the affairs of our nation by forcing the government to make their moves according to their benefits which also includes removal of many honest officers. Finally as a total surprise the film moves away from the corruptions and powers of arms lobby to adarsh scam when Col. Abhay Singh prevents the media house from running the story about his unit by giving it the news about corruption on apartments built for widows of soldiers (pointing towards adarsh scam) which was found by the Major during his surveillance.
The interaction between Col. Abhay Singh and the journalist while handing over this story makes a very interesting scene which takes potshots at lutyens journalists. The journalist in this scene speaks the signature line, “This is still a democracy” criticizing the killings of terrorists for which he replies by saying, “Yes, this is still a democracy and you are here criticizing me despite of me being a decorated army officer only because we did it”.
On the whole, Aiyaary as film represents a change of air in Bollywood moving away from its signature illogical, story-less and masala-filled films. The efforts of Neeraj Pandey in making this film deserves a big applause. It is ironic that the mainstream media journalists who praise all the illogical masala films of Bollywood by showering it positive reviews are calling this slow paced and boring representing the crooked ways in which they try to block every honest attempt in this country as portrayed in the film. Thus, the film Aiyaary stands apart as an example of the change of air in bollywood which certainly seems to be moving away from its fun-filled movies towards movies with concept.