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2004 l U l 131 Mins l Rating:
Agnipankh (The wings of fire in Hindi) is an Indian film directed by Sanjiv Puri released in 2004. Based on the true story of Air Force personnel in Srinagar, Kashmir. Vishal, Sameer Kelkar, and Siddharth Singh are Indian Air Force pilots who have been assigned to handle the latest fighter jets to be used against their enemies, the Pakistanis. While flying several sorties over enemy territory they gain valuable experience and it is this that prepares them to go into enemy territory. Unfortunately for them, they are captured and held in an encampment for war prisoners, treated brutally, and questioned ruthlessly. Despite this, they do not reveal any sensitive information. In this camp they meet several inmates who have been imprisoned since the 1971 war with India, and one of them is Shamsher Singh Shekawat. With him, the trio plan an escape into the night and into the wilderness of the border of no man's land between India and Pakistan - with a ruthless Pakistani Military Commander hot on their tails with instructions to shoot at sight. The foursome know that they may not survive.
Agnipankh, Jimmy Sheirgill, Rahul Dev, Sameer Dharmadhikari, Akshay Anand, Shamita Shetty, Divya Dutta, Richa Pallod, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Aashish Vidyarthi, Vrajesh Hirjee, Benjamin Gilani, Kiran Kumar, Anang Desai, Vishwajeet Pradhan, Daya Shanker Pande
by Taran Adarsh | Posted Feb 28, 2004
Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision P. Ltd.'s AGNI PANKH tells the story of those who guard our skies and protect our land. Unfortunately, the film does not work because a good story idea is ruined by shoddy writing.
This is the story of Siddharth [Jimmy Shergill], a flamboyant fighter pilot who is quite a ladies man, Sameer [Sameer Dharmadhikari], also a fighter pilot who is always at loggerheads with Siddharth and Vishal [Rahul Dev], who is the voice of sanity.
It also tells the story of Nupur [Divya Dutta], Anjana [Shamita Shetty], a tomboy, who is secretly in love with Sameer and Surbhi [Richa Pallod], who does not like flying or pilots but suddenly develops a liking for them after a few meetings with Siddharth and ends up falling in love with him.
Then, suddenly, war is announced. Siddharth and Sameer fall in the enemy trap and become POWs. They meet Vishal, who is considered dead, but is in fact hiding from Pakistani soldiers. The rest of the story is about their escape from the jail and reaching India.
The biggest problem with the film is its script, which has several loose threads hanging. A lot many questions are left unanswered and the viewer starts feeling restless after a point.
Besides, the screenplay moves on too many tracks simultaneously. Neither the war part looks authentic, nor does the love story strike a chord.
Though a few sequences have been deftly executed, they're far too less in number to undo the harm. Moreover, the film fails to arouse the patriotic feelings in the viewer, which is so important in a film like this. A film like BORDER [J.P. Dutta] and HAQEEQAT [Chetan Anand] succeeded in a big way mainly because the patriotism factor was very, very strong.
Even the dialogues, that are a mainstay in an enterprise like this, are far too ordinary this time around.
Director Sunjiv Puri does not convince either as a writer or as a director. From the scripting point of view, the film looks like a half-hearted attempt. As for the direction, it's below the mark as well.
Prittam's music looks more like a gap-filler. None of the tunes are appealing. The background music [Salim-Sulaiman] is strictly okay.
Cinematography [Inder Ji Bansal] could've been better. Given the fact that the film has been shot in Kashmir, the film should've scored marks in the visual category at least. But Kashmir hasn't been captured to the optimum by the lensman.
Now to the performances!
Jimmy Shergill is alright, though he tends to go overboard at times. Sameer Dharmadhikari doesn't impress at all. Rahul Dev has been wasted.
None of the leading ladies, Richa Pallod, Shamita Shetty and Divya Dutta, get scope to display histrionics in this male-dominated enterprise. Vrajesh Hirjee tries to provide some relief. Kiran Kumar is okay.
On the whole, AGNI PANKH is bound to go unnoticed since the flaws outnumber and outweigh the assets. Below average.