After the disappointing "Mariyam Mukku, I was wondering whether to head back home as I didn't want to spoil it further. However, the posters of Prithvi's "Picket 43" enticed me to stick around, though I was kinda apprehensive since it was helmed by Major Ravi. Since Prithvi has rarely made a wrong choice in the recent past, I decided to check out his latest venture in the very next show itself. So will it be yet another trite war movie from the Major???
Picket 43 was a dreaded outpost along the LOC which was the site of frequent militant infiltrations and unrest. Much to the dismay of our Armed Forces, none of our jawans posted there has made it back alive with the previous one also mercilessly slaughtered. The latest recruit to the outpost was Havildar Harindran (Prithviraj) who was accompanied by the sniffer dog, Bacardi. No sooner had he landed there, he was greeted by a barrage of gun shots from across the border. But this hostile scenario seemed to change, when the Pak forces recruited a replacement in the form of Ranger Musharaff (Javed Jaffrey). With time, Hari & Mushraff develops a bond of friendship but will it be able to resist the test of political instability which invariably rears its ugly head coz of the frequent ceasefire violations???
It's been quite some time since Major Ravi has proved his worth behind the camera & so to be frank, many wouldn't have laid much hopes on him. However, I am glad that he has proved us wrong with a pretty decent script which focused on friendship between two unlikely characters such as the Jawan & the Ranger. But still, the story seemed pretty superficial as it didn't quite delve into the details of their relationship & the hostile environment that they were part of. On the contrary, I felt more emphasis or rather screen space was given to the relation between Prithvi & Bacardi. Whatever said, I absolutely liked the climax which brought the attention back to the core matter. The technical aspects were pretty impressive be it Jomon's delectable visuals, the BGM by Rex & Ratheesh Vega's music.
Prithvi was brilliant as the protagonist who showcases a myriad of emotions both physical and mental with elan. Javed Jaffrey was aptly cast & he has done utmost justice to his character. Bacardi being a trained canine didnt seem to be perturbed by the cameras while Renji Panicker also has done a fine job as the Officer in Charge. As for the rest, the heroine cast opposite to Prithvi was pathetic as she struggled to emote in the few scenes she appeared.
Verdict: Prithvi's brand value will ensure that the film has an impressive initial. In addition, he has once again reposed our faith that his choice of movies are something that we can bank on as his latest venture also had a decent story to convey. In short, it's definitely worth getting a ticket for this one!!!