Keerthichakra: Mohanlal, Major Ravi Film

Keerthichakra is a 2006 Malayalam war film directed by debutant Major Ravi, and starring Mohanlal and Jeeva. The film is based on true events related to militancy in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The film was released on 7 August 2006 worldwide. The film was dubbed into Tamil as Aran. The title is derived from the Indian gallantry award, Kirti Chakra. The film was a critical and commercial success. Keerthichakra is one of the few films to depict the operation style of the National Security Guards.

Cast and Crew

Language: Malayalam
Genre: Action | Drama | War
Banner: Super Good Films (Pvt) Ltd
Director: Major Ravi
Producer: R.B.Chowdhary
Story, Screenplay, Dialogue: Major Ravi
Cinematography: Thiru
Art director: Gokul Das
Lyrics: Gireesh Puthenchery
Music: Joshua Sridhar
Background Music: Rajamani
Distribution: Ramya Release
Release: 04 August 2006
Runtime: 130 minutes
Sound Mix: DTS
Certification: U
Cast: Mohanlal, Jeeva, Lakshmi Gopalaswamy, Gopika, Spadikam George, Cochin Hanifa, Sai Kumar, Biju Menon, Shweta Menon, Payal, Major Ravi, Sanusha, Shammi Thilakan, Baiju Ezhupunna, Santhosh Jogi, Ramesh Kanna, 'Ganja' Karuppu, Kiran Raj

Mohanlal’s Keerthichakra is slick, fast paced action movie set against the backdrop of army among an elite commando group fighting insurgency in Kashmir. Director Major Ravi himself an army man has paid rigorous attention to the minute details in the recreation of an operation against terrorists.

Keerthichakra moves at rapid pace (2 hours 9 min) and the bickering and bonding between men of honour from various states in India is well documented with some finely honed out performance from Mohanlal, Jeeva and Shammi Thilakan. The movie strikes a chord as it is straight from the heart as it is made by a writer who has seen the ugly face of terrorism in Kashmir.

Major Mahadevan (Mohanlal) is an honest, dedicated and fearless officer who heads an elite force in Kashmir against terrorist. Militants led by Afghani Nawab along with his group of mercenaries have come to Kashmir valley with a mission to blow up the holy Hazarathbal Mosque and create communal tension in the country. How Major Mahadevan and his buddies thwart Nawab’s plan forms the rest of the story.

Like Hollywood movies made on the US army and buddy-buddy friendship between an officer and his men, Keerthichakra is about the male bonding between Major Mahadevan (Mohanlal) and Jaikumar (Jeeva). Mahadevan is a veteran who has seen the ugly face of terrorism which has wiped his family (Lakshmi Gopalaswamy) off. The way Major Mahadevan puts his colleagues at ease like Krishna Kumar (Shammi Thilakan) who has an aversion to blood is well shot.

The film pulls at your heart strings as Ravi is able to convey what is happening in Kashmir at the ground level and how the centre is shying away from tackling the issue fearing communal backlash. How ordinary Muslim families in the valley are Indian at heart and does not care really for the Jihadi war is also essayed well by the director who shows the plight of Kashmiri family whose members are brutally raped and killed by the foreign mercenaries masquerading as Azadis. It’s a very brutal scene which could have been trimmed a bit.

The highlight of Keerthichakra is its spell binding climax which is getting the maximum claps especially the scene where Mohanlal is saved by Jeeva who dies in his lap. The punch line dialogues between Mohanlal and the ace terrorist Nawab also gives the film a patriotic fervor. Keerthichakra is given to Jaikumar posthumously at the end of the film though in the acting department Mohanlal walks away with all the accolades. His performance as Major Mahadevan is a tribute to our brave soldiers fighting the unknown terrorists. Watch his lips dry up in the emotional scene and his breakdown when his buddy is shot dead or the scene where his family is wiped off by a terrorist bomb.

Jeeva the Tamil actor has a more heroic role which he has done with felicity. The physical energy he imparts to the role has to be seen to be believed. Shammi Thilakan in a cameo as Krishna Kumar is a revelation. Lakshmi Gopalaswamy and Gopika have walk-in roles. Technically, Keerthichakra is chic with Thiru’s outstanding camerawork with Joshua Sridhar’s melodious music.

If you have an appetite for stark and angst and to be a part of an army man’s anguish and ruminations, go watch Keerthichakra.

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