Finally, there’s a war movie that breaks away from the usual Bollywood clichés, and it’s called Pippa. Directed by Raja Krishna Menon, this film stands out by portraying action in a believable way, featuring genuine-looking soldiers and revolutionaries.
The movie takes a bit to get going, but once it does, it paints a picture of battlefield courage without the usual superficial bravado. The heroes here face personal challenges, doubts, and fears alongside their mission.
Produced by Ronnie Screwvala’s RSVP and Siddharth Roy Kapur’s Roy Kapur Films, Pippa puts a just cause and the people fighting for it at the forefront. It’s more about real human experiences than flashy patriotism.
While not everything in Pippa is perfect, it succeeds in maintaining a sense of restraint, even when dealing with violence, courage, and death. The intense battle scenes are crucial to the story, but they don’t overshadow the other aspects of the film.
Set during the Battle of Garibpur in November 1971 and starring Ishaan Khatter, the movie keeps the human element in focus. It revolves around three siblings – two army boys and their spirited sister, a Delhi University student activist, recruited by India’s spy agency for a crucial mission.
The film starts with a quick historical context by real-life war hero Captain Balram “Balli” Singh. Despite some initial hiccups, Pippa gains momentum and focuses on a young soldier’s journey for redemption in the midst of war.
Balli, the impetuous captain, faces internal inquiry for defying orders but ends up playing a key role in the conflict. The film also explores the involvement of his elder brother and sister in the war effort.
Pippa has its flaws, like the remix of a powerful song, but it avoids the typical jingoistic tone. The film highlights the 1971 Indo-Pak war’s aim to create a new nation and emphasizes the camaraderie among soldiers.
Pippa effectively brings out the humanity behind India’s involvement in the conflict, despite the challenges and costs. It’s a story of brothers-in-arms, a family, and an army thrown into someone else’s war because it was the right thing to do.
The film skillfully navigates the war room dynamics without glorifying it, giving credit where it’s due. Notably, the cinematographer and editor are both women, contributing to the film’s unique texture and rhythm.
Ishaan Khatter delivers a solid performance, supported well by Mrunal Thakur and Priyanshu Painyuli. Pippa deserves applause for being a war film that doesn’t overwhelm our senses. It’s a remarkable achievement.