Intense and explosive are words that have been used to describe the teaser and the trailer of the action film Uri: The Surgical Strike (2019).
Now, the film’s makers have released the ‘Challa’ song and you can see the intensity of Vicky Kaushal reach fever pitch, while the music and the action in the visuals are explosive. The handler of this track is Shashwat Sachdev.
But more on the music later. First, the visuals. Both Shishir Sharma and Vicky Kaushal played Pakistani soldiers in Meghna Gulzar’s Raazi (2018). It is a homecoming of sorts for them as Sharma plays senior Indian army officer Man Singh Rajawat who assigns Major Vihan Shergill (Kaushal) the task of carrying out a raid in Pakistan to destroy terrorist camps.
‘Challa’ shows how Major Shergill and his team prepare for the onerous task. Be it the trailer or the song, Kaushal looks like a man possessed, a volcano waiting to erupt, as he puts his team, and himself, through the grind. We get a brief glimpse of Kirti Kulhari, who is recruited as a pilot by Shergill. Not just their training, but we also get to see some tough methods used by the army during interrogation.
One of the more impressive aspects is the presence of Muslim soldiers in the unit. Of course, we do not know what the composition of the real team that carried out the strikes was, but this aspect of the team in the film helps to at least reassure viewers that the movie will be a balanced, non-jingoistic one.
The army is reputed to be a highly disciplined force with every soldier putting national interest above all else, and Kumaar’s lyrics, too, dwell on the fact that these men are more than keen to sacrifice their lives if that is what it will take to bring the enemy down. The lyrics are inspirational and trigger patriotic sentiments, leaving you with goosebumps.
The song is sung by Romy, Vivek Hariharan and Sachdev himself. Romy Khan was the shooting voice in the ‘Sahiba’ track from Phillauri (2017). This time the Punjabi singer hits your senses like a bomb.
Romy has a tone and pitch similar to seasoned singer Sukhwinder Singh. Vivek Hariharan and Shashwat Sachdev lend the additional vocals, but the power and intensity of Romy overpowers all others.
Guns galore, blazing tanks, choppers, the ‘Challa’ track is loaded with ammunition. The explosions, though, are a bit loud and make it difficult to hear the lyrics playing to the visuals. Sachdev, though, chooses impact over lyrics. You can’t really blame the composer. He, too, must have been charged up.
There is a touch of heavy metal to the track, but what intrigues us is the tumbi tune in the intro and the antara. If one listens carefully, the tune brings back memories of the ‘Friction’ track by the band Imagine Dragons from the Hollywood action film Mission Impossible: Fallout (2018). Imagine Dragons used a particular plucked instrument for the same. The tune plays in ‘Friction’ from the onset whereas in ‘Challa’ it is woven into the core rhythm.
The high notes playing to the verse ‘Challa sirte banke kafan jad tureya tanke maut nu wajahn maare ve thar thar kambde saare‘ (x2) also seem familiar, but we could not recollect where we have heard those before.
The final part of the song hits you like a heavy metal number, the blazing bullets only adding to the hard rock experience.
All said and done, ‘Challa’ is an explosive war cry that will lift even dying spirits.
Watch the song below and let us know if you are planning to watch Uri: The Surgical Strike in the theatres next month. The film is scheduled to be released on 11 January 2019.