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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Terrorism acts are committed in the name of religion. Although the film debates the role of religion in such acts, it makes it abundantly clear that the culprits are not real people of faith.
Positive Role Models
Sooryavanshi is a courageous law enforcer who will stop at nothing to seek justice and catch the terrorists. But in doing so he loses sight of other important aspects of his life, such as his wife and child, who he accidentally endangers by being careless.
The film is set in India, and so the vast majority of the cast are of South Asian descent. Nearly all leading roles belong to men however, with only one notable female character, being that of the lead character's wife. Terrorism acts are committed in the name of Islam, although the movie makes it clear that India is full of "good" Muslims, and that the terrorists are not representative of the religion.
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Violence & Scariness
The violence is consistent from start to finish. Real news footage displays the destruction caused by terrorist acts. There are explosions, shootouts, as well as fist fights and car chases. A child gets caught up in the crossfire. Characters create a bomb, and one terrorist shoots and kills themselves to avoid being tortured. There are a lot of casualties, with people falling from buildings, and being stabbed and shot. Characters are seen being lowered into their graves.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters are seen kissing passionately in their car.
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Some use of "bastard."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sooryavanashi is a Bollywood action movie, based on real events, with non-stop violence, although it is heavily stylized reducing the impact somewhat. The movie looks at some of the many terrorist attacks that have taken place in India over the years. It debates whether religion can be blamed, although its stance is clear: that those killing in the name of religion are not representative of the Muslim community. The film follows DCP Veer Sooryavanshi (Akshay Kumar), the chief of the anti-terrorism squad as he hunts down those responsible. Sooryavanshi is flawed and makes mistakes. But he is inherently a good person and valiantly tries to catch the terrorists and protect the Indian population. There are occasional images from real-life news footage of the destruction caused by actual terrorist attacks. There are countless deaths, including a man shooting himself in the head, a torture scene, and a child getting caught up in the violence. There are also characters seen making bombs and multiple explosions. The one female character of note is Sooryavanshi's long-suffering wife, Ria (Katrina Kaif). The movie is in Hindi with English subtitles available. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is an entertaining action thriller that's only real shortcoming is the clumsy way it covers a real-life event, that has real-life repercussions. Sooryavanshi is vibrant, colorful, and has slick dialogue. There are memorable musical numbers too. In fact, Kumar's titular character even gets his very own jingle, with his name sung in the background when he does something courageous. Though none of this is a bad thing as such, and is true to its big-screen, big-budget Bollywood roots, it can't help but feel out of place. After all, it's dealing with a sensitive subject; that of terrorism that has plagued and caused great destruction to India across the past three decades.
The film appears to want to be bold and vivacious, but also profound and emotionally charged. This mixing of styles undermines the film's commitment to reality, especially when it tries to delve into the poignant and urgent elements of the narrative. That said, it is enjoyable, and when you remove the real-life happenings, and separate them from the film at hand, what you're left with is an electric, compelling thriller with some really impressive, well-choreographed set-pieces.
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