One of the first lines of the film “Major” is: “He wasn’t just a soldier.” He had a whole life of his own.” And that is what we see: a man whose life made him a hero, as much as his actions on the battlefield. Many of his feats during the 26/11 attacks have been documented in the public domain. While the movie offers us a closer look at the challenges he faced and the true scale of his heroism, we also get a glimpse of the indomitable spirit of independence he carried within himself that gave life and joy to everyone around him. We don’t just love this movie because of the celebrated war hero that it is. We love it because it makes us fall in love with the man, with his charisma, his love for life, and most of all—his ability to follow his heart while still living for others. Let’s take a look at how the movie unfolds the story of his life.
The Early Years Of Sandeep Unnikrishnan And His Love Story With Neha
“Major” begins with Sandeep Unnikrishnan’s father giving him an earful for stepping into the PoK area. To which Sandeep coolly replies that it is ours, as in, it belongs to India. The next scene cuts to Sandeep’s childhood. We see that he is an inquisitive child who claims that he loves uniforms. He has always been fascinated by the Navy and has his heart set on joining them, even though his father wants him to become a doctor. He keeps his ambitions to himself while silently working towards them. As a child, Sandeep is shown to be somewhat scared of the things around him and often seeks his sister’s protection. He considers his dad to be his hero and watches too many Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. He grows up to be a hard-working student who has many friends. One day, he meets his new classmate, Neha, and instantly falls in love with her. Neha is quite a lonely teenager, with both her parents neglecting her to pay more attention to their own businesses and social lives. And here is a guy called Sandeep who makes her smile, who tells her that he is spending time with her, not because she is alone, but so that she wouldn’t be alone. There is a very fine line between sympathy and actual care, and that makes her slowly warm up to him.
As they start falling in love with each other, Neha comes to know that Sandeep wants to join the Navy. She comes to know this when he is being scolded by his father for applying in the first place, all the while holding his rejection letter in his hand. Neha knows that this one rejection is not enough to stop him. And she is not ready to compromise with his time, as she already does that with her parents. She communicates as much to him, making him realize in the process that joining the Navy is not the only way to be a soldier. Sandeep decides to join the Army and, while initially hesitant, his father gives him his blessings. At the NDA, Sandeep writes plenty of letters to Neha but never hears back from her. One day, he comes to know that his letters never reached their destination. Not just that, even her letters never reached him due to the actions of a meddling classmate who was acting out of spite and jealousy. He comes to know that Neha is leaving for Switzerland in two days and rushes to meet her. He clears up the misunderstanding and tells her that while he won’t have much time, whatever he has will belong to her. They confess their love for each other before deciding to be in a relationship. And as we all know, they get married and go forward in their lives.
Sandeep Unnikrishnan In The 26/11 Attacks
Sandeep works as a training officer, and as per the rules, they are not deployed on missions. But seeing the need of the hour, he requests to go ahead with the mission. Once at the hotel, he and his team had very little to work with. While the terrorists have a detailed blueprint of the place, he just has a hand-drawn map, as the architect of the hotel is on vacation, and this is all they could get. The standard protocols don’t work as they have absolutely no information on the terrorists. But Sandeep motivates everyone by saying they are enough with their wits and courage. It is hard to describe the horrors of that day, despite the sensitivity with which they have been captured on camera. Suffice to say, Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan rescues as many people as he can, all the while keeping a strong head on his shoulders.
There is a scene with his parents that really twisted our hearts. Sandeep’s father is under the impression that his son has not gone for the mission. But he is unable to get rid of the doubt in his heart as nobody is telling him where he exactly is. All he is getting as a reply is that ‘he has gone out.’ In his heart of hearts, his father knows. His mother, though, is somewhat oblivious. She refuses to pick up Sandeep’s call because she wants to teach him that he is not the only one who can ignore her, not knowing that she probably missed the chance to speak with him one last time.
‘Major’ Ending: Does Sandeep Unnikrishnan Rescue The Hostages?
We all know the events of that fateful night. We know that the Major’s last words were “Don’t come up, I will handle it,” as he single-handedly cornered four terrorists, sacrificing his life in the process. No story will ever manage to match up to such exemplary courage and selflessness. Yes, the major managed to rescue the hostages, and he was glad to give up his life doing so. Because that is what it means to be a soldier. Your first and foremost relationship is your duty towards your country and your countrymen. Next comes family and yourself. He died a hero’s death, doing what he loved best-serving his country, and we are forever proud of him for his valor.
Final Thoughts- What Works And What Doesn’t For The Film?
The best thing about the movie, after the story itself, was the casting. It is amazing how much Adivi Sesh actually looks the part. Prakash Raj never ceases to be a delight on screen, and Revathi is a breath of fresh air. Saiee Manjrekar looks sufficiently dreamy for the part written for her. It was a beautiful cast that put their heart and soul into the film, and it shows. The music is great, and the action scenes are amazingly choreographed. During those bits in the film, we literally feel the adrenaline rush. And the very nuanced portrayal of the emotional sacrifices made by a soldier’s family, of the strength it takes to see a loved one choose their country above all else, had us shedding a few tears.
In terms of what doesn’t work, we are not sure if we should question the length of the movie. While we enjoyed every bit of it, we couldn’t help but wonder if some parts could not have been done away with. It states in the disclaimer that some creative liberty was taken with the events that transpired. Maybe if they had limited themselves in that regard, we would have had a crisper storyline with a more hard-hitting impact. Regardless, it was a beautiful film, and we are happy to have spent the day watching it. Frankly, Prakash Raj needs to be in every movie on the planet, and Adivi Sesh’s charm is way too infectious for his own good. And we hope to see more of them in the future.
“Major” is a 2022 Indian Drama Biopic film directed by Sashi Kiran Tikka.