It is one of those pleasures in life which doesn't cost much. Watching a good movie in near empty cinema hall without being disturbed by noisy college kids or by never ending mobile phone beeps. Added advantage is that you don’t have to jostle at the popcorn counter during interval and you can occupy any seat you want. It feels as if a private screening has been arranaged just for you. When I walked into the hall to watch 1971, I had little expectations and just wanted to kill some time. I was in for a surprise. It turned out to be unusually engaging and well made movie. Movie's plot revolves around attempt of few Indians prisoners of war of 1971 who are lodged in Pakistani jails and are moved to a new camp near the border to avoid their detection by visiting Red Cross. Bollywood has a bad record of making mainstream movies which deal with politics or war and most of such movies end jingoistic, over the top (Border) and sometime unintentionally funny (various) . 1971 is more restraint and except for few cinematic liberties it takes, like in climax scene, it is rather realistically made. For once there are no songs and dances which would have killed the pace of the movie. A good movie is which engages and which makes audience feel the character’s travails. 1971 does it pretty well for most parts. Most of characters are well etched out and acting is also top class. Some of scenes are absolutely fantastic, like the one in which on the run prisoners see Pakistani army marching into the village, the scene where Ravi's character kills himself to let his friends escape and a scene where Manoj Bajpai see the Indian side of border after the day break. Fortunately makers have made sure that characters are not made larger than life like in earlier PoW movie called "Deewar-lets bring our heroes back". The drama behind escape is engaging and creates necessary tension for action to be gripping. Dialogues are sensible and cinematography apt. After the movie I wondered why there was just handful of spectators in theatre to watch such a good movie!! It is far better than many karan Johar movies.
Though the movie has fictional plot, it is based on real facts. During 1971 war,