It had all the green meadows and all the warmth required to make a memorable movie, but it lacked that one thing which is the keystone- the story. Picket 43 directed by Major Ravi falls short of expectation becoming yet another army-life movie. The prelude given by Mohanlal certainly infuses the patriotism-blood into the viewers but it clogs soon enough.
Havildar Hareendran Nair(Prithviraj) is disturbed by his posting to picket 43,the one station that nobody survives. He has been given a sniffer dog (Bacardi)to assist him on his lone stay at the picket which is a sandsack protected tent. Together they both traverse into the Kashmir LoC. It unveils before the audience a new face of kashmir ,with sunlit meadows and trickling creeks-in place of the usual ice-covered snowy lands. The loneliness of the soldier Hari is well potrayed with a bunch of scenes where he talks to himself and the aquaphobic Bacardi.
Time comes for cross-border friendship. Javed Jaffrey in the attire of a pakistani soldier(Musharaff) gets posted in the picket opposite to Haris’. The duo shares a camaraderie that reaches a point where Musharaff promises that he will not allow any pakistani infiltrators into india as long as he is guarding the loc. Meanwhile ,Lakshmi(Anshu Sharma)-Hari’s love interest gets married following her father’s whims.
In a scene,where Hari laments and throws into fire the photos of his beloved ,Musharaff offers him plain comfort by saying that all this pain would just be a joke to share a laugh with his wife in the future . The bar on education for girls,as is the case in several villages of Pakistan is being commented on in a brief scene. The second half features the same land in a snow-filled winter terrain and showcases a test of their friendship.
The friendship between the two hasn’t been given enough development with Javed Jaffrey given a much lesser screen space and a lilting stolid tone to his accent. Prithviraj does his role well while Renji Panicker overplays his part as the strict Colonel who is willing to standby his buddy in times of need.
The photography by Jomon T John is appealing to the eyes. The music by Rex Vijayan and Ratheesh Vega pumps up the mood when needed and mellows it when script demands.
With all due respect to the unwavering souls of the jawans and soldiers guarding our borders in the hostile climates, while I write this down in my comfortable latitude and longitude ,this movie becomes a devised one with the sole aim of being a tribute to the army men forsaking their lives for protecting our Bharath Matha .