Almost six months after its initial release, Uri: The Surgical Strike is getting a re-release on July 26. According to a report in Mumbai Mirror, the blockbuster film that turned Vicky Kaushal into a leading man phenomenon (almost overnight), will be released to commemorate the 20th Kargil Vijay Diwas. The day the Indian armed forces officially declared their win in Kargil.
“The idea of making the film was to instill a sense of pride in the hearts of every Indian and to highlight the incredible service of the armed forces for our nation. I’m honoured to be a part of this initiative where in Uri will be showcased across 500 theatres in the state on Kargil Vijay Diwas, ” producer Ronnie Screwvala was quoted in the report.
The Vicky Kaushal-starrer’s initial release came at a curious time, during the lead up to the 2019 general elections. The film found its way into campaigns too, where politicians started off their rallies by asking, ‘How’s the josh?’, a dialogue from the film.
Uri was criticised too, for showing one particular political leader in positive light, with many reviews calling the film ‘well-made propaganda‘. Playing the role of Major Vihaan Shergill, Kaushal’s character encourages the blood-lust in his men, something that was questioned by sections of the media. The film also had some stray references to 72 virgins (which was later removed), hinting at its casual Islamophobia.
It’s a little strange for a generic war film to be re-released on one of the most important days for the Indian armed forces. And it’s even more hard to digest the fact that the producers are doing it to ‘commemorate the day’ or ‘mark their respect’. From the looks of it, Ronnie Screwvala and co. are just trying to leverage on the sentiment of war heroes, by shoving down their (mostly) fictional retelling down the throat of the audiences.
Commemorating Kargil Vijay Diwas with the release of Uri is like marking Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary with the re-release of Maine Gandhi Ko Nahi Maara. No, it doesn’t make sense. Yes, it’s not supposed to either. But anything to earn a few extra bucks right, Bollywood?