John Abraham’s Parmanu is based on patriotism. Parmanu is a great story said with little certainty. Director Abhishek Sharma of Tere Bin Laden series assembles a reel-real story that reconstructs the Pokhran operation in which India secretively tested its nuclear weapons, hiding away from the US satellites, with letting no detail of the operation trickle out.
In the 90s, Pakistan already has nuclear weapons, courtesy China while India has lost its solidest ally-the Soviet Union. Not only this, India has America breathing down her shoulder and not allowing her to explore nuclear options. Ashwat Raina, a junior bureaucrat in the Research and Strategy Department, has a plan to make India a nuclear state, but there are problems plentiful ranging from lethargic bureaucracy to American satellites regularly monitoring India to crack down on any plans to seek nuclear supremacy. How Raina manages to save the day against all odds, forms the rest of the plot.
John Abraham makes an attempt to play a regular guy. He is good enough. Boman Irani is admirable as the senior PMO official Himanshu Shukla. Diana Penty is OK in her limited space.
As for the movie, though the concept is quite worthy, ‘Parmanu’ fails to become an edge-of-the seat thriller like ‘Argo’ (a film John had compared ‘Parmanu’ to) due to its faulty execution.
Parmanu’s music is also an average one. The camera work is not slick enough, though the special effects used to show the movement of satellites and the climactic nuclear explosion, is above average. Abhishek Sharma’s handling, mainly jingoistic, remains loyal to the patriotic tone. Admirably, the material is research backed, drawing authenticity with precision.
Clearly the best thing in Parmanu is its flawless writing. So while, it essentially never rises above its flawed acts, the sheer concept and buildup of the movie is worth praising. It’s rare to ever credit writers for the good screenplay but Saiwyn Quadras and Sanyukta Shaikh create a taut thriller, throwing in a few gratuitous personal subplots but maintaining a singularly patriotic tone.
In general, ‘Parmanu’ is an average film with patriotic theme and worthy to watch once for knowing about secrets behind famous incident of Pokhran nuclear tests.