A few months ago when one of my friends asked me about why there were not many “Hijack genre movies” in Indian cinema, I told him that this genre would not work in our nativity as air travel is often seen as a luxury in our cultural milieu and hence would not work as an universal subject. Added to it, any hijack story would require no songs and makes for such less glamor show and hence a definite no-no for any hero. But to my surprise, “Gaganam” came and did shock me and proved me wrong. Well I am happy to be wrong, as the film is a taut thriller which is a new experience for our audience. Then what is “Gaganam” about?
2 years back in Kashmir, Major Ravindranath (Nagarjuna) risked his life and captured Yusuf Khan, a dreaded terrorist, after losing his colleague. Now in Chennai, a flight takes-off to Delhi with around 100 odd passengers and is soon declared as hijacked by a group of terrorists who want to get their leader Yusuf Khan released from the custody of Indian Government. A group of officials are entrusted with negotiating with the terrorists headed by Viswanath (Prakash Raj). Major Ravindranath makes his presence from the army at the spot and pitches for a commando operation.
Will the Government accept the demands of the terrorists or will it bow to the proposal of Ravindranath for a commando operation. What are the obstacles the passengers who are held as hostage face with the terrorists and how will the media and outside world react to the hijack forms the entire crux of the film.
“Gaganam” is a classic case of cinema being cinema. It just focuses on the story it wants to tell and does not waver even one bit in its narrative. It has no songs and no other personal dramas of its hero neither does it shows its hero deliver lengthy dialogue to prove heroism . The credit of “Gaganam” should be given first to Nagarjuna for shedding away his image and doing this kind of heroic role of different sorts. The producers, Dil Raju and Prakash Raj have done commendable job to produce this modern-day thriller.
The director and story writer of this film, Radhamohan should be put on a pedestal of accomplished directors as he had a tough job to do within Indian conditions. He had to entertain the audience as well as narrate this tense tale of crime and danger without ruffling any religious beliefs. And it is to his credit that he satisfies the common film lover as well as cater to the tastes of a world cinema buff. He had a screenplay which had enough to keep interest levels going and armed with competent actors to deliver the goods, Radhamohan gave a delightful experience for the viewers. There might be some complaints over the sluggish pace and very plain Villains (terrorists) without any dominant personality, but these are minor mistakes which do not affect the experience a wee bit.
There are plenty of moments which deserve a mention in this film, but I would reveal nothing as it would rob the sheer joy of experiencing the film.
Go for this Gaganam and experience it. A worthy effort.