Directed By: J.P.Dutta
Starring: Jackie Shroff, Arjun Rampal, Sonu Sood, Gurmeet Chaudhary, Harshvardhan Rane, Luv Sinha, Siddhant Kapoor, Esha Gupta, Sonal Chauhan, Dipika Kakar, Monica Gill and Bijou Thaangjam
Zee Studios and JP Films’ PALTAN is a true story about how the Indian Army didn’t allow Sikkim to fall in the hands of China. The film starts off just after showing glimpse of how the Chinese Army dragged us into a war with them which made our country loose 1363 soldiers. Moving on its 1967 China wants to capture Sikkim by capturing Nathu La. India refused to give it to them during 1965. Now there is tension in Nathu La which is a strategically important corridor between India and Tibet. It is a story of brave hearts from the Indian Army’s Rajput battalion who fought against their Chinese counterparts. The first half of the film introduces us to the characters that play a key role in protecting Nathu La, Major. General Sagat Singh (Jackie Shroff), Lt. Col, Rai Singh Yadav (Arjun Rampal), Major Bishen Singh (Sonu Sood), Major Harbhajan Singh (Harshvardhan Rane), Captain Prithvi Singh Dagar (Gurmeet Choudhary) along with their Paltan who are given the task to protect the border. In the film you see both sides of soldiers’ lives, the on field as well as the personal lives of the soldiers. The film recreates the 1967 setting well but is not able to create the tension that the Army officers were surrounded with.
Technically the film is good, Cinematography by Shailesh Av. Awasthhi and Nigam Bomzan is very good, they are able to capture the beauty and the on – field tension of the place beautifully. Editing by Ballu Saluja could have been better. Music given by Anu Malik is good, its helps the film move forward. Writing could have been better, as some of the characters were loosely written which did not do to well to the film and was stretched quite a bit but the research done behind the film was fantastic as it has touched upon a topic of the Indo- Chinese war that many are not acquainted with.
Performances wise Jackie Shroff, Arjun Rampal and Sonu Sood stands out, they portray their role with full sincerity. They lead the pack as top ranked officers but also in their performances. Among the others Harshvardhan Rane and Luv Sinha gives their cheerful best. Gurmeet Chaudhary is okay, while Siddhant Kapoor has very little to do in the film.
Director J.P. Dutta puts together a team of young and experienced actors to portray real characters from this important yet much lesser known slice of history and manages to engage the audiences. Even after having loopholes in the script like the repetitive conflicts and the stories of the soldier’s personal lives which does nothing more than increasing the runtime, he still manages to rouse the climax by brilliant action packed scenes.