Keerthi Chakra (2006)


Introduction

Keerthi Chakra is a 2006 Indian Malayalam-language war film written and directed by Major Ravi, in his debut directorial. Starring Mohanlal in lead role as Major Mahadevan and also features Jiiva, Nawab Shah, Biju Menon, Lakshmi Gopalaswamy, and Gopika in major supporting roles. The film is based on true events related to incidents that took place in Jammu and Kashmir. The film is the first in the Major Mahadevan film series. The title is derived from the Indian gallantry award, Kirti Chakra.

Outline

Major Mahadevan (Mohanlal) is an officer deputed to the National Security Guards (NSG). His native place is in Kerala. He has been assigned to counter-terrorism duties in Kashmir and commands an elite group of NSG commandos. He calls back his buddy Havildar Jaikumar (Jiiva) from his honeymoon because he has information about major activities of the militants; he feels Jaikumar is needed for the team. Havildar Jaikumar’s native place is in Tamil Nadu. The commandos raid a mosque in civilian dress and seize a big collection of arms and explosives. Havildar Jaikumar’s wife informs him over telephone, that she is pregnant with his child.

Later, during an operation focused on some cottages near the Dal Lake, a commando Kishori Lal in the team is killed and an outraged Jaikumar shoots down a captured terrorist who challenges the commandos. A human rights activist (Shwetha Menon) learns about this and threatens to file a complaint with the government. She later understands the situation and the sincerity of the commandos and decides not to proceed with the complaint.

Meanwhile, a group of terrorists from Afghanistan and Pakistan conspire to hit the Hazratbal Shrine with a missile; they think this will create unrest in the region and that the Indian army will be blamed. They hijack a house that offers a good vantage point on the shrine and plant the missile there. Some of them rape a girl in the house in front of her family and shoot a boy who protests. A military patrolling vehicle hears the gunshot; as they approach the house, they are fired upon. The patrolling team intimates the NSG, and Mahadevan and his team immediately join the battle.

After a long operation, the team kills the terrorists, frees the civilian hostages and disarms the missile. But a civilian informs that the chief of the terrorists is not to be seen among the corpses, and the commandos start a combing operation in the house. They locate the terrorist and Mahadevan recognises the man as the one who killed his wife and daughter. The terrorist is killed but he manages to shoot at Mahadevan. Mahadevan is covered by Jaikumar, who gets hit by the bullet and dies. Jaikumar is awarded the Kirti Chakra posthumously. Later Havildar Jaikumar’s wife gives birth to his son. She visits Havidar Jaikumar’s grave, along with his son.

Cast

  • Mohanlal as Major Mahadevan.
  • Jiiva as Havildar Jaikumar.
  • Gopika as Sandhya, Havildar Jaikumar’s wife.
  • Shammi Thilakan as Havildar Hari.
  • Nawab Shah as Terrorist leader.
  • Lakshmi Gopalaswamy as Mahadevan’s wife.
  • Biju Menon as CRPF officer Gopinath.
  • Santhosh Jogi as Commando Kishori Lal.
  • Saikumar as Colonel Dutta.
  • Spadikam George as Colonel Krishnakumar.
  • Cochin Hanifa as Nairettan.
  • Ganja Karuppu as Jaikumar’s friend.
  • Delhi Ganesh as Jaikumar’s father.
  • Paravai Muniyamma as Paati (Grandma).
  • Ramesh Khanna as Chinna Thambi, soldier.
  • Shweta Menon as Human Rights Activist.
  • Payal Malhotra as Kashmiri, mother of Sanusha.
  • Baby Sanusha as Kashmiri girl.
  • Kannan Pattambi as Tea boy Appukuttan.
  • Kiran Raj as Terrorist.
  • Baiju Ezhupunna as Commando.
  • Tamil Version:
    • Prakash Raj as Colonel DuttGanja Karuppu as Jaikumar’s friend.
    • Delhi Ganesh as Jaikumar’s father.
    • Santhana Bharathi as Sandhya’s father.
    • Paravai Muniyamma as Paati (Grandma).
    • Ramesh Khanna as Chinna Thambi.
    • Ragasya as an item number (Thottal Poo Pookiren).

Production

Major Ravi, a retired officer of the Indian army, planned a film on Kashmir militancy based on real-life incidents while he was under duty in counter-terrorism activities in Punjab & Kashmir. He wrote the film which reveals the actual mode of working of Islamic terrorist groups within India: their recruitment, training, target choosing, terror strikes, propaganda, and how Indian armed forces tackle the attacks via its special services forces. The movie develops with this backdrop and tries to convey the dedication and selfless service defence personnel exhibit while on duty. Ravi got R.B. Chaudhary of Super Good Films, a major production house in Tamil Nadu, to produce the film. The film was to re-shot and released Tamil as well. Chaudhary’s son Jiiva was cast in a major role in the film. A few additional scenes were shot for the Tamil version, Aran. The filming was predominantly done in Srinagar and Pollachi.

Soundtrack

The soundtrack has songs composed by Joshua Sridhar and Sajid-Farhad, penned by Gireesh Puthenchery, Sajid-Farhad and Pa. Vijay

Release

Keerthi Chakra received generally positive reviews.

Kirti Chakra performed well at the box office, becoming the third highest-grossing Malayalam film of the year (behind Classmates and Rasathanthram). The film also had a great opening. However, Aran – the Tamil version, which had additional footage of Prakash Raj, Jeeva, Santhana Bharathi, Delhi Ganesh, Paravai Muniyamma, and Cochin Haneefa; comedy tracks with Ramesh Khanna, Ganja Karuppu; and song montages featuring Jeeva and Gopika, was not well received, with the additional scenes being lamented as the reason. Mohanlal disowned Aran since his voice had been dubbed by another artist, Rajeev, without his consent.

Awards

  • Kerala State Film Awards:
    • Best Screenplay – Major Ravi.
  • Asianet Film Awards:
    • Best Feature Film on National Integration.
    • Best Actor – Mohanlal.
    • Best Director – Major Ravi.
    • Best Star Pair – Jiiva and Gopika.

Major Mahadevan Film Series

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Major Ravi.
  • Producer(s): R.B. Choudary.
  • Writer(s): Major Ravi.
  • Music: Joshua Sridhar (songs) and C. Rajamani (score).
  • Cinematography: Tirru.
  • Editor(s):
  • Production: Super Good Films.
  • Distributor(s):
  • Release Date: 03 August 2006.
  • Running Time: 144 minutes.
  • Rating: 12A.
  • Country: India.
  • Language: Malayalam.

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