back

A benchmark war drama saluting the valour of every Indian martyr. 

Mesmerizing us already with a powerful feeling of patriotism JP Dutta has helmed hit war drama 'LOC Kargil' [2003] and 'Border' [1997], the veteran filmmaker is back after a long time with a film based on true events from 1967 Nathu La border conflict between India and China. The film begins with a war sequence where the Chinese troops with their backstabbing nature attacking the Rajput battalion right at the time when they are in deep sleep. We are presented with the stats of the soldiers 'Shahid' for their motherland and these horrendous figures make us realize what it takes to guard our country against cruel neighbours of us. The defeat we faced in the 1962 Indian-China war also called as the Sino-Indian war, was the beginning of the Chinese troops expanding their geographical vicinity.

The introduction scene is presented with a lot of intensity as a postman is delivering an official letter in the house of the sacrificed soldiers early in the morning and those cries make us feel for the lost lives. Moving onto the 1967 Nathu La border conflict where the Indian and Chinese troops are posted in front of each other and the Indian armed forces take no-nonsense restricting them.

Here we meet our Paltan introducing the head Jackie Shroff who plays Major General Sagat Singh the top player and the commander in chief and the pivotal troops that includes Lieutenant colonel Rai Singh Yadav played by Arjun Rampal who instructs every head of the battalion about the updated orders and discusses strategies from time to time. Next is Sonu Sood who plays Major Bishen Singh with a lot of command and we sense his seniority, Captain Prithvi Singh Dagar played by Gurmeet Choudhary and he is spot on with is Haryanvi accent. The man who is the showstopper in this war drama is Harshvardhan Rane who plays Major Harbhajan Singh a no-nonsense Sardarji and we do see him in the shade of Sunny Deol at times but he is thoroughly rustic and raw as well as quite loud which makes him super close to a lively character. Siddhant Kapoor bags an authentic role of a Chinese translator and is the pivotal man who communicates between the Chinese and the Indian Army being the official interpretation holding a camera covering the on-field situation all the time. Luv Sina plays one of the members of Paltan and he leaves an impact by the end of the film.

The backstory of these leading army men is displayed with a lot of real-life moments embraced with their love story. Monica Gill as Punjabi kudi who plays it so natural adapting the innocent nature of love during those times. She plays the love interest of Major Harbhajan Singh aka Harshvardhan Rane and plays the role with a lot of conviction and rawness. Dipika Kakar as Gurmeet Choudhary's love interest delivered an outstanding emotional act in the end. Sonal Chauhan as Sonu Sood's love interest matched the chemistry well and the only miss-fit was Esha Gupta who tries to play a Sanskari wife in a beautiful white saree couldn't hide her coloured blonde hairs and it is not convincing at all.           

Three songs in this 154 minutes film and every one of them is a true treat in context of the film's narrative. Whether it is 'Raat Kitni' by Sonu Nigam that plays when every soldier misses their loved one right before the night of war like operation Or the ambitious 'Paltan title track' which presents the brave heroic nature of the Indian Army men not stepping back in front of the Chinese troops. 'Main Zinda Hoon' a spine-chilling emotional number dedicated for the Shaheed soldiers brings tears in our eyes and the purpose of the film seems accomplished.

'Paltan' becomes a must watch film brushing the history of Indo-China war quite accurately and how the dispute is continued even today. A shaky camera work and a couple of un-synchronized dubbing serve some minus points. Although the battleground is shot cinematically and the picturesque frosty locations actually took us back to the scenes happening at those times. Cinematography by Shailesh Av. Awasthhi and Nigam Bomzan could have been slightly better. J.P Dutta's screenplay made it crisp and even being a war drama the film doesn't dip at any point.

Paltan must be thoroughly watched to witness the right attitude and fair nature of the Indian Army men and it still shouts we never backstabbed, they did, We battled to protect our Motherland.      

kingfisher backstage