A movie about heroism and brotherhood is being released in the UK to honor the brave Gurkha soldiers from Nepal and India who have a strong alliance with the British army. Lead actor Ritesh Chams, a retired Gurkha who was wounded in Afghanistan, brings an authentic touch to his performance. Other members of the cast who are also former soldiers add to the authenticity of the film. However, the script written by director Milan Chams and Giriraj Ghimire is filled with cliches and sentimental moments, which may appeal to the target audience.
The beginning scene shows an older man in present time placing flowers at a monument on a mountain on November 11th. He is paying tribute to his ancestors and soldiers who have passed away. He tells his grandchild that he is there to honor those who fought bravely and died in the world wars. However, this may be a poorly translated subtitle or a misleading statement, as the flashback we see of the old man’s younger self is actually during the Malayan Emergency from 1948-1960. During this time, the Gurkhas fought alongside British soldiers against communist rebels fighting for independence. This is a completely different situation.
Regardless, the youth we encounter are not preoccupied with politics or colonialism. They resemble a typical group of soldiers in a war movie, consisting of jesters, scoundrels, and honorable heroes. Their purpose is to fulfill their duty as soldiers and return to their families. It is not clear which one is our seasoned narrator, but the one who emerges as the primary hero is Cpl Birkha Bahadur Rai (Chams). Along with his comrades, he is tasked with venturing into the jungle to rescue fellow soldiers who have been abducted by a dramatic Malay villain. They trudge through challenging terrain, mud, and even tiger-inhabited areas, occasionally exchanging jokes but mostly displaying determination. Meanwhile, back at home, Birkha’s young wife and mother anxiously await his safe return, often shedding tears and wishing for his quick arrival. The exaggerated performances draw inspiration from Indian cinema rather than classical war films by directors like Howard Hawks or Steven Spielberg, but that is not a flaw.