AE WATAN MERE WATAN is worth watching

Ae Watan Mere Watan Review {3.0/5} & Review Rating

Star Cast: Sara Ali Khan, Emraan Hashmi, Abhay Verma, Sparsh Shrivastava

Ae Watan Mere WatanAe Watan Mere Watan

Director: Kannan Iyer

Ae Watan Mere Watan Movie Synopsis:
AE WATAN MERE WATAN is the story of a brave freedom fighter. The year is 1942. Usha Mehta (Sara Ali Khan) lives in Bombay (present-day Mumbai) with her father, Justice Hariprasad (Sachin Khedekar) and aunt (Madhu Raja). Hariprasad is a staunch British loyalist and believes that without them, India wouldn’t be able to function properly. Usha, meanwhile, believes in the principles of Mahatma Gandhi (Uday Chandra). She participates in agitations along with her friends Kaushik (Abhay Verma), Fahad (Sparsh Shrivastava), Antara (Aditi Sanwal) and Bhaskar (Pratik Yadav). Balbir (Godaan Kumar), a Congress worker, notices them and asks them to join the party. On August 8, Gandhiji passes the ‘Quit India’ resolution and gives a new slogan to the country – ‘Do or die’. The next day, the British government arrests Gandhiji and all other major leaders of the Congress. The newspapers and radio channels are censored and as a result, the voice of these leaders doesn’t reach the masses. This is when Usha decides to start an underground radio station. With the help of a radio engineer, Firdaus (Anand Tiwari), she’s able to set up a radio station, called Congress Radio. She plays the speeches of Congress leaders every night at 8:30 pm. Soon, people across the country learn about the radio station and it boosts them to fight the British. Dr Ram Manohar Lohia (Emraan Hashmi), who has escaped the clutches of the British, realizes that Congress Radio can be a powerful tool to gain independence. He meets Usha and his team and they decide to expand the radio’s reach. Meanwhile, the British government is stunned by the impact of Congress Radio. They assign a no-nonsense officer, John Lyre (Alexx O’Nell), to kill the radio station and nab the ones running it. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

Ae Watan Mere Watan Movie Story Review:
Darab Farooqui and Kannan Iyer’s story is fascinating and it presents an untold chapter of India’s freedom struggle. Darab Farooqui’s screenplay is effective. The storyline itself is so intriguing that the script automatically succeeds in involving the audience. However, at some point, the writing could have been tighter. Darab Farooqui’s dialogues are conversational and reminiscent of the bygone era.

Kannan Iyer’s direction is first-rate. In 133 minutes, he depicts multiple subplots, while keeping the focus on the track of Usha and her quest to run a rebel radio station. This aspect is the best part of the film as it’s novel. There have been films on Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh, Sardar Udham Singh, the 1857 revolution, partition etc. However, this is the first such film on the Congress Radio. It’s quite fascinating to see the British trying their best to locate where the radio station is held. Such sequences keep the viewers invested. A few scenes that stand out are Usha lying to her father about working at Congress, Usha’s decision to set up the radio station, Firdaus’ escape etc. The scene at the mosque is the most nail-biting sequence in the film. The finale, too, is well executed.

On the flipside, the love story track is the weakest part of the film. Kaushik’s decision to leave Usha and later return is unconvincing. The direction is overall satisfactory but in some places, it leaves a lot to be desired. The not-so-great VFX and production design also hampers the impact.

Ae Watan Mere Watan – Official Trailer | Sara Ali Khan | Prime Video India

Ae Watan Mere Watan Movie Performances:
Sara Ali Khan tries her best to deliver convincingly but in places, her performance leaves a lot to be desired. In some scenes, however, she brings out the vulnerability and valour of the legendary freedom fighter very well. Emraan Hashmi gets a rocking entry scene and is terrific. It’s difficult to imagine him playing a freedom fighter. But Emraan comes out with flying colours. His dialogue delivery is spot-on. Sachin Khedekar is dependable. Though he’s missing for most parts of the second half, he nevertheless leaves a mark. Sparsh Shrivastava, recently seen in LAAPATAA LADIES [2024], steals the show. Abhay Verma does well but is let down by the writing. Alexx O’Nell is wonderful as the antagonist. Madhu Raja is adorable. Godaan Kumar, Anand Tiwari, Chrisann Pereira (Julie) and the actor playing Daulat Khan lend able support. Uday Chandra is just okay and fails to reach the benchmark set by the other actors who have played Gandhi in the past.

Ae Watan Mere Watan Movie music and other technical aspects:
The songs are soulful but won’t have a shelf life. The title track is not upto the mark. ‘Julia’ is catchy. ‘Dua E Azaadi’ comes at a significant juncture. ‘Qatra Qatra’ catches attention as it’s sung by Sukhwinder Singh. Utkarsh Dhotekar’s background score is in sync with the film’s theme and period setting.

Amalendu Chaudhary’s cinematography is neat. Amrita Mahal Nakai and Sabrina Singh’s production design lacks the realism factor. One gets an impression that it’s a set and not the streets and buildings of Bombay in the early 40s. Futureworks Media Ltd’s VFX is tacky. Ratna Dhanda’s costumes, however, are authentic. Serina Tixeria’s hair and makeup deserves a mention. Vikram Dahiya’s action is a bit disturbing, as per the requirement. Sangeeth Varghese’ editing is smooth.

Ae Watan Mere Watan Movie Conclusion:
On the whole, AE WATAN MERE WATAN is worth watching as it presents an untold chapter of Indian history.

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