Producers: Murad Khetani, Ashwin Varde
Director: Irfan Kamal
Cast: Sooraj Pancholi, Megha Akash
Written by: Irfan Kamal and Vishal Vijay Kumar
Cinematography: Jitan Harmeet Singh
Edited by: Chandan Arora
When we talk about war films even in Indian cinema, they are usually all about big battles and heroic sacrifices and vanquishing their enemy with wit and valor. However, not all wars need to be won on a battlefield, sometimes going out of your way on life's journey is all that it takes to be a good soldier.
Satellite Shankar tries to highlight one such journey of an Indian soldier and while the journey may have its bumps, it's certainly one we wouldn't mind embracing.
The film tells the story of Shankar (Sooraj Pancholi), a soldier with the purest soul, who with his little 'satellite' tries to help everyone on his way. Shankar (Sooraj) who injures himself during an attack trades his sick leaves to meet his mother and grandmother at his hometown Pollachi faces numerous obstacles that test his patience and strength. On his way, Sooraj meets different people and tries to solve each and everyone's problems without a thought. He even tries to connect with a nurse, Pramila (Megha Akash), with whom his mother is keen to set him with for an arranged marriage. What happens next, whether he can reach back on time to his battalion is what the story is all about
Satellite Shankar is weaved on a promising plot that has its merits -more than a few of them. It narrates a very different journey of a solider and the characters he meets on his path, coupled with the decisions he takes and goals he achieves make for an intermittently interesting watch. Sooraj is pretty decent in his do-good avatar and manages to strike a chord with the audiences besides looking a part of a soldier. Megha Akash is the surprise package of the film and every time she appears on screen, especially with Sooraj their scenes help elevate the entire narrative. Sooraj and Megha's chemistry is one of the prime reasons to watch the film, in no small part due to the latter's contribution.
Irffan Kamal's direction (who had collaborated on the script of Krrish) while good, in parts, could have been tighter as could his grip on the narration also has been. The sequences where Sooraj meets myriad characters on his journey and the bonds he forges with them do engage you, but a bit more thoughts on this presentation of these moments wouldn't have hurt. Aiding the film is Sandeep Shirodkar's background score which helps evoke emotions during crucial scenes and Jitan Harmeet Singh's camera work which captures the locales beautifully.
However, Kamals' screenplay in collaboration with Vishal Vijay leaves a lot to be desired and is one of the major impediments holding back the film. The writing becomes topsy -turvy at several important junctures, which reduces the desired impact. Chandan Arora's editing is another drawback of the movie which could have been trimmed by 15mintues, making the movie crisper and more engrossing.
Rounding things up Satellite Sankar is a decent watch especially for those who have been waiting for Sooraj Pancholi's sophomore effort. The film also throws up a welcome new addition to the Bollywood roster in Megha Akash (there is a reason she is in demand down south). If you could tide over a few of the films bumps and bruises, you may just emerge better.
Verdict: A reasonably emotional watch