The Ghazi Attack looked thrilling right from its first look and Rana Daggubati looked dashing as a naval officer and nothing like his Baahubali villain. There was one snag in this plot and that came in the form of Taapsee Pannu’s Bangladeshi immigrant Ananya. There’s nothing inherently wrong in adding a few surprise characters, but having a forced female character to follow the ‘sex appeal’ angle might ruin the tightness of a very good plot. Just like the item girl, who seemed indispensable in the 1980’s, the need for a romantic angle or sexual tension is slowly disappearing from Bollywood.
The success of films like Dangal and Neerja or even surprise hits like Pink prove that audience prefer content over cliche. In The Ghazi Attack, a movie that has the chance to be a tightly scripted film about survival under unthinkable circumstances might get diluted with the addition of a character, whose only reason for being included in the plot was that she was a woman.
Pannu recalled in an interview with Bollywood Life, “Since women are not officially allowed to serve on a submarine in the Indian Navy, they could not have woman officer, so I am playing a Bangladeshi refugee who gets saved by the Indian Navy.” This shows ingenuity on the part of the filmmakers to bring a woman into the plot, however, if Taapsee’s role is nothing more than generic ‘cries and falls in love with the broad-shouldered man who saves her’, will it actually help or hurt the pace of the film where the clock is ticking?
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A look at survival films in Hollywood shows that romantic leads are often dispensed with – last year’s The Shallows, the Oscar-winning 127 Hours and Everest. There’s no reason that Indian audience wouldn’t have appreciated a similar approach to Rana Daggubati’s film.