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Uri: The Surgical Strike

Uri: The Surgical Strike is a 2019 Indian Hindi-language military action film[6][7][8][9] written and directed by Aditya Dhar in his debut, and produced by Ronnie Screwvala under the banner of RSVP Movies. The film features Vicky KaushalParesh RawalMohit Raina, and Yami Gautam in lead roles. A dramatised account of the retaliation to the 2016 Uri attack, the film follows Major Vihaan Singh Shergill of the Indian Army, who plays a leading role in organizing it.[10][11] Uri was theatrically released on 11 January 2019,[12]and it grossed over ₹336 crore (US$55 millions) worldwide.[4][5] Going by domestic net collection the film falls among top ten films in the list of highest domestic net collection of Hindi films.

Uri: The Surgical Strike
URI - New poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Aditya Dhar
Produced by Ronnie Screwvala
Screenplay by Aditya Dhar
Starring Vicky Kaushal
Yami Gautam
Paresh Rawal
Mohit Raina
Kirti Kulhari
Music by Shashwat Sachdev
Cinematography Mitesh Mirchandani
Edited by Shivkumar V. Panicker
Production
company
RSVP Movies
Distributed by Zee Studios
Release date
  • 11 January 2019[1]
Running time
138 minutes[2]
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget ₹45 crore[3][better source needed] (Note: Figure includes print and advertising costs)
Box office est. ₹336.97 crore[4][5]

PlotEdit

The film is divided into five chapters.

The Seven SistersEdit

The first chapter opens up with an ambush in June 2015 on the convoy of the Indian Army troops in Chandel, Manipur by NSCN(K) militants. In retaliation, Major Vihaan Singh Shergill (Vicky Kaushal), a Para SF officer and his unit including his brother in law Major Karan Kashyap (Mohit Raina) infiltrate and attack the Northeastern militants and also kill its key leader responsible for the ambush. After a successful strike the Prime Minister of India (Rajit Kapur) congratulates him and the whole unit at a formal dinner. Vihaan requests an early retirement as he wants to be close with his mother who is suffering from Stage VI Alzheimer’s on which the Prime Minister offers him to a desk job at New Delhi near his mother instead of retirement to which he agrees.[13]

An Unsettling PeaceEdit

The second chapter shows Vihaan taking a desk job at the Integrated Defence Staff HQ in New Delhi and him spending time with his family. This segment also shows a brief description of the Pathankot attack. A nurse named Jasmine d’Almeida (Yami Gautam) is assigned to take care of Vihaan’s mother. Vihaan meets an Indian Air Force pilot named Flight Lieutenant Seerat Kaur (Kirti Kulhari) who is trying to prove her patriotism to her deceased husband who was an army officer who died in an ambush. One fine day his mother goes missing. He searches for her and he blames Jasmine for ignorance and tells Jasmine that there is no need of her security. Vihaan’s mother is found under a bridge and Jasmine reveals herself as an intelligence agent. The film reveals a note of why the families of the special forces soldiers were given security due to threat from the North-eastern terrorists.

Bleed India with a Thousand CutsEdit

On 18 September 2016, four heavily armed militants attack the brigade headquarters at Uri, Jammu and Kashmir at dawn, killing 19 soldiers in their sleep. The terrorists are killed but Karan dies in grenade explosion due to accidentally pulling the pin which was attached to the terrorist’s rifle which he picked up to examine it. The whole family becomes devastated including Vihaan. The Ministry decides to take strict action against the perpetrators of the attack. National Security Advisor Govind Bhardwaj (Paresh Rawal) suggests the idea of a surgical strike. The Prime Minister gives it a go and gives ten days for the strike. Vihaan leaves his desk job and leaves for Northern Command base in Udhampur. He requests GeneralArjun Singh Rajawat (Shishir Sharma) to count him in the operation to which he agrees. Vihaan chooses the elite Ghatak Force commandos from the Bihar Regiment and the Dogra Regiment along with the special forces as most of the soldiers killed in the attack were from these regiments. [13][14][15][16][17][18]

Naya Hindustan (New India)Edit

During the planning, Govind ropes in ISRO (for providing satellite images), DRDO (for drone surveillance) and RAW (for intelligence). At DRDO, he meets an intern named Ishaan who had developed a drone called Garuda which looks and is shaped like an Eagle.[19] With the help of the drones and satellite images they are able to get the exact location of the hideouts and training camps of the terrorists. Jasmine reveals her true name as Pallavi Sharma to Vihaan. During an interrogation, Vihaan and Pallavi are able to get the information about the handlers of the attack. He chooses Seerat to be his pilot. Govind also suggests to intensify the artillery shelling at the border for distraction and also to paint their assault helicopters with Pakistani Air Forcemarkings. The commandos also start training under Vihaan. The Pakistani officials suspect the Indian activities but dismiss it due to underestimation.

The Surgical StrikeEdit

On the night of 28 September the commandos leave for the strike in Pakistan occupied Kashmir(PoK) in Mi-17 helicopters. During the mission Vihaan’s helicopter is forced not to cross the Line of Control due to latest intelligence from spies in Pakistan that the Pakistani Army has Deployed an “AWAC” Early Warning Radar based Surface to Air Missile System to bring their Helicopter down. Vihaan improvises by going on foot through a cave (which was very risky due to darkness and the unknown presence of terrorists). His team successfully infiltrate and kill all the terrorists on the two launchpads. Similarly, other commando teams also manage to kill all of the terrorists. Vihaan kills Idris, the main perpetrator of the Uri attack in a hand-to-hand combat. The local police are alerted and the commandos who are low on ammunition and time escape. On their way back, they are heavily rained down upon by gunfire from both a nearby machine gun bunker and a Pakistani Air Force Mi-17 Helicopter which was scrambled to intercept Vihaan’s team. Flight Lieutenant Seerat comes to their rescue by firing back both at the Pakistani gunship thus driving it away and eliminating the machine gun bunker. Vihaan’s team successfully crosses LoC on the Indian side with no casualties. The rest of the assigned teams are also successful and are back with no casualties. Vihaan lands at Hindon Air Force Station at Ghaziabad. Pallavi gets acquainted with Seerat. The film ends with Vihaan, Pallavi, Govind and the commandos happily having a formal dinner with the Prime Minister.

CastEdit

ProductionEdit

Uri was announced by producer Ronnie Screwvala after one year of the surgical strike in September, 2017. The film was directed by debutant Aditya Dhar. He said that the film is “the story of what was imagined to have happened in those eleven days.”[20] The principal photography began in June 2018 and was finished in September.[21][22]Kaushal went through extensive military training for five months and gained weight. He trained for five hours a day and three to four hours of military training to enhance the stamina. He also received gun training at the naval base in Cuffe Parade in Mumbai.[23] He called it “physically the most challenging film for me”.[24] He injured his arm while filming an action sequence in it.[25]

Kaushal and the supporting cast trained at Mumbai’s Navy Nagar with Captains and Majors teaching them slithering, using arms and ammunitions and other drills used by the armed forces.[26] Uri was largely shot in Serbia and was wrapped up in Mumbai.[24] The Indo-Pak border, the LOC and other areas resembling military posts and terrorist camps were recreated in Serbia.[26]Yami Gautam underwent mixed martial arts training.[27] She called the process of shooting as “exhausting yet enjoyable.” The film also starsParesh RawalMohit RainaIvan Rodrigues and Kirti Kulhari .[28] Screwvala said that the film has elements of “war, action, and strategy based on a true story” that the “Indian audience is yet to watch such experience in cinema.”[29]

Marketing and releaseEdit

A teaser was launched one day before the second anniversary of the strike on 27 September 2018.[30]The official trailer of film was released on 5 December 2018.[31]

The film was released on 11 January 2019.[1] To curtail piracy, the makers of Uri: The Surgical Strikedeployed a 3.8 gigabyte fake version of the film over networks like torrent.[32] However, the film was leaked by the bootleg website Tamilrockers within a week of release.[33].The satellite and digital rights of the film were bagged by Zee Network for a huge price.

ReceptionEdit

Critical responseEdit

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 70% based on 10 reviews, with an average rating of 5.86/10.[34] Namrata Joshi writing for The Hindu stated: “Whichever side of the political divide one may stand, one can’t dismiss Dhar’s canniness and craft, despite knowing that he is lionising the obvious and providing a one-sided narrative.” Amman Khurana of Times Now News, giving 3 stars out of 5, comments: “Uri: The Surgical Strike is a rather mature film. It somehow knows that it is catering to the viewer that is tired of watching the men in uniform who thump their chests to show their love and passion for the country.” He further has to say: “The stunning cinematography and the VFX work ensure that Uri: The Surgical Strike does not pass off as a comic-book account of the operation.” He concludes: “Uri: The Surgical Strike is a good one-time watch. If not for anything else, watch it for Vicky Kaushal, who brings the right amount of intensity to his role and drives the film from start to finish.”[35]Taran Adarshrated the film 3.5 stars out of 5, says “Uri is one film that *should* be watched… Absorbing screenplay, superbly executed combat scenes, efficient direction Aditya Dhar… Uri is thrilling, gripping, instills patriotism, without getting jingoistic.”[36] Raja Sen writing for Hindustan Timesstated: “While watching Uri, I kept wondering about the point of such a self-congratulatory film,” and rated it 2 stars out of 5.[37]

Box officeEdit

Uri: The Surgical Strike in opening weekend earned ₹35.73 crore from domestic circuit. In the first weekend the film collected ₹70.94 crore from pan India. It grossed ₹289.68 crore from India and ₹47.29 crore (US$6.6 million) from overseas taking the worldwide gross collection to ₹336.97 crore(US$52 millions).[4][5]

The film crossed the ₹100 crore (US$15 millions) mark in gross collection on 8th day of its release. It took 15 days to gross ₹200 crore (US$31millions) and in its fourth week of release it grossed ₹300 crore (US$46 millions). It took seven weeks to gross ₹336 crore (US$52millions)worldwide.[4][5]

Box office performance
Days to achieve Worldwide gross Notes
8 ₹100 crore (US$15millions) [4]
15 ₹200 crore (US$31millions)
28 ₹300 crore (US$46millions)

Uri: The Surgical Strike is the highest grossing Bollywood film of 2019. Going by domestic net collection the film falls among top ten films in the list of highest domestic net collection of Hindi films.

ImpactEdit

The protagonist in the film asks his squad “How’s the Josh?” (Hinglish for “How’s the spirit?”)[why?]The squad replies “High, Sir!”. This question is asked to the cadets in military academies in India to test their enthusiasm. This dialogue went viral over Indian social media.[38] The dialogue was quoted by several individuals and institutions. The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi while inaugurating the National Museum of Indian Cinema of Films Division of India in Mumbai asked this question at the beginning of his address to film fraternity attending the ceremony.[39] The Indian Cricket Team after winning ODI series in New Zealand raised the morale of the team by asking “How’s the Josh?” for coming T20 series;[40]and Mumbai Police used the slogan to raise the awareness about cybersecurity.[41][why?]

SoundtrackEdit

URI: The Surgical Strike
Soundtrack album by

Released 4 January 2019[42]
Recorded 2018
Genre Feature Film Soundtrack
Length 20:05
Language Hindi

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