So, I had to be clear to watch this film without expectations. But for some reason the moment I saw John Abraham, his mannerism and looks, just reminded me of the Hollywood film Munich. I forgot about it the next second and continued watching.
I felt that the narration was unimaginative and plain. A broken military officer walking into a church, without any hope for redemption. Unfortunately, though it sounds good, because of the treatment, these were the most boring scenes. Its about his redemption, but it was resolved rather too quickly. First, he talks to a priest (and hence telling the story as a flashback to us in the audience) and second, he runs back and types it out on paper; and that's really how the protagonist fulfills his goals and thus the story concludes itself.
The first half was full of historical events unfolded to set the scene for the main assassination plot in the second half. This seemed like two films to me as the two parts had very different pace in them. In fact the film gets into the thriller mode after the interval.
Coco cola offered to a journalist in the base camp. That symbolism tells us a lot. The foreign hand being faceless, shadowy interest groups, pulling all the strings and double crossing everyone to secure strategic commerce and trade. That is the conspiracy part constantly outsmarting/eliminating the people with the power to clean the mess. It must be slight let down to know that the investigative break through which comes to our nations rescue is from a befriended foreign journalist.
Nor could the film appropriately balance this protagonist's love and duty vis-a-vis his nation & his wife; as a result the audience was left more emotionally confused. So, why was he shown as being broken (because of his failure to stop the assassination) when we, as the audience, had connected and cared more for his wife? I don't get the reason why would a battle hardened military man cry in horror as if he is sensitive enough to have been traumatized by all the killings in this war? In fact the only guilt he carries is about not saving the ex-PM and not even for his young loving wife who was killed instead of him?
I don't know if I really care about Sri Lanka's geography having hills or flat lines. But I liked the intricate ways we get to see how things actually operate on the ground on both sides. The ideologies are shown as idealistic, politically narrow and their results practically brutal. Only death is victorious, no-matter its the poor Lankan locals or the Indian peacekeepers.
The ending song and poem was too weird and jarring. So, overall there are plenty of structural flaws in the plot but also the film is about such a great topic. It had some solid scenes; gritty aesthetic shots and good sound edits. Most of the casting is superb too.
Finally, why this film now? Is it relevant or relate-able in anyway for the nation today