If you ask me whether Picket 43 is the best film of Major Ravi, I would rather say it was his best chance till date to create an unforgettable movie. Picket 43 is one movie which has a very unique theme, but an entirely unplanned screenplay. Clocking at 107 minutes of total running time, Picket 43 is enjoyable mainly because of the beautiful cinematography and powerful performances from Prithviraj and Javed Jaffrey. With the kind of least expectation a majority have on Major Ravi films due to the lack of performance of his movies, there is a possibility that you will end up liking it more than what it deserves.
The story is about Havildar Hareendran who is assigned to take his posting in Picket 43. The picket is known for cease fire violations and our central protagonist is kind of a normal human being with considerable amount of fear. The story focuses mainly on the bonding Hareendran manages to create with his Pakistani counterpart Musharaf Khan. How both of them manage to create that chemistry between them which results in the mutual care and admiration. The ultimate result of this friendship beyond borders is what Picket 43 showing us.
I can list out a numerous number of faults and Major Ravi clichés in this movie. But all those arguments to call it as an okay film gets a strong set back when I look at the climax of the film which is more of an emotional one rather than gunfire battle climax. Prithviraj Sukumaran’s portrayal of Hareendran towards the climax is a really tremendous one. And with Jomon T John capturing those heart warming sequences beautifully, you will leave the theatre with a smile of seeing a good film on screen. Too much of Mohanlal praising, a documentary feel in the beginning, the dramatic story set up to create an awkward communal harmony are some major drawbacks of this Major Ravi film which might play inside your head for a majority of run time.
As I already mentioned, Prithviraj Sukumaran delivered a classy performance in that climax sequence. The fact that the audience never hauled at this scene which had minimal background score, certifies the fact that he is a much evolved actor. The occasional humour in the screenplay was also performed nicely by him (he has lessened the degree of overacting he used to do in comedy sequences). The other major character in this movie is performed by Bollywood actor Javed Jaffrey. The easy go nature of the Peshawar Pakistani was portrayed effortlessly by the veteran. The genuine diction in both Prithviraj and Javed Jaffrey’s Hindi also needs to be appreciated. The leading lady who comes in two or three scenes is utterly disappointing and you can see Major Ravi offering her very less close up shots. In a way Ranji Panikkar has replaced Mohanlal and also get to say those English dialogues he used to write.
More than the direction part, I think it’s the uniqueness of the story part that makes Major Ravi’s contribution to this movie a major one. The direction from the soldier is still very much the same and the screenplay at many places do sound like a preachy patriotic one. But when it comes to the individuals, Mr. Ravi has succeeded in creating some fresh reasons for the characters. The dialogues in Malayalam weren’t that charming while the Hindi ones sounded quite natural. Biggest positive from the technical crew was undoubtedly Jomon T John’s cinematography. At many areas I could sense the camera man doing something different from the usual frames we see on war films. The uneasy climatic changes were also visualized nicely. Nice music from Ratheesh Vega. Extremely good background score from Rex Vijayan. Edits were a bit lazy in the first half.
So overall it’s a surprise hit from Major Ravi. Executing the very risky idea of creating an emotional climax for a film based on the rivalry of two nations, Picket 43 becomes a satisfying entertainer. The rating for Picket 43 is 3/5. It lived up to the expectations the trailer created.
Executing the very risky idea of creating an emotional climax for a film based on the rivalry of two nations, Picket 43 becomes a satisfying entertainer.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended