Pippa is a 2023 Indian Hindi-language biographical war film based on the life of Captain Balram Singh Mehta of India's 45 Cavalry regiment who, along with his siblings, fought on the eastern front during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. Named after the Russian amphibious war tank PT-76, which floats on water like an empty ‘pippa’ (tin) of ghee, the film traces Mehta's coming-of-age as he steps up to prove himself in Bangladesh Liberation War. It is an adaptation of real life events during the Battle of Garibpur in 1971, and is directed by Raja Krishna Menon. The film was produced by RSVP Movies and Roy Kapur Films, with Ronnie Screwvala and Siddharth Roy Kapur as producers.[2] It stars Ishaan Khatter, Mrunal Thakur and Priyanshu Painyuli in lead roles.[3] The film is an adaptation of Brigadier Balram Singh Mehta's war memoir, 'The Burning Chaffees'.[4]

Official release poster
Directed byRaja Krishna Menon
Written byRavinder Randhawa
Tanmay Mohan
Raja Krishna Menon
Produced byRonnie Screwvala
Siddharth Roy Kapur
StarringIshaan Khatter
Mrunal Thakur
Priyanshu Painyuli
CinematographyPriya Seth
Edited byHemanti Sarkar
Music byA. R. Rahman
RSVP Movies
Roy Kapur Films
Distributed byAmazon Prime Video
Release date
  • 10 November 2023 (2023-11-10)[1]
Running time
139 minutes

The film premiered on 10 November 2023 on Amazon Prime Video.[1]

Plot edit

Background: On 25 March 1971, Pakistan Army soldiers entered Dhaka University and indiscriminately fired on students and staff, becoming known as the 1971 Dhaka University massacre. Pakistan's President Yahya Khan launches Operation Searchlight to crush the Bengali nationalist movement. Thousands were killed, and thousands of Bengali women were captured as sex slaves by the Pakistani Army. Millions flee across the border into India to take refuge.

Captain Balram Singh Mehta is a young officer in the 45th Cavalry regiment, which is equipped with the PT-76 tank, nicknamed 'Pippa'. He has some discipline issues and tends to often get into trouble with his senior officers. His elder brother is Major Ram Mehta, who is trying to instill some discipline in his younger brother. Radha Mehta is their sister, and the three of them live with their mother Maati in Delhi.

One day, Major Ram is called to a forward area in preparation for the upcoming war. Captain Balram is denied from going to the front and assigned a desk job because of his indiscipline, while the rest of his regiment proceeds to the front. Meanwhile, Radha proves herself to be good at cryptography and is recruited into the 'Communication and Analysis Wing', a signals intelligence organisation that decodes enemy messages.

Major Ram is ordered to covertly enter East Pakistan (Bangladesh) under a false name, to train the Mukti Bahini, and advise them in conducting operations. Captain Balram is ordered to work on the PT-76 tank to come up with some improvements, which he does successfully. While on an inspection tour, the Army Chief General Sam Manekshaw is impressed by his innovations and orders him to join his regiment on the front.

Major Ram leads the Mukti Bahini in a number of successful operations against the Pakistan Army. However, during one of the operations he gets captured. He is taken to a camp where he is tortured for information. However, he is able to endure the torture and does not reveal his identity or any other information.

Captain Balram's regiment along with the 14th Punjab battalion crosses the border and engages Pakistani units in the Battle of Garibpur. In the battle, Captain Balram's senior officer and squadron commander, Major Daljit "Chiefy" Singh Narang, is killed in action, requiring Captain Balram to assume command. Captain Balram successfully leads his unit to victory.

Soon after, he receives a call from Radha that as per intelligence sources, Major Ram is missing in action. By coincidence, a captured Pakistani Bengali officer who has rebelled against the Pakistan Army tells him that there is one Indian Army officer being held captive at a particular post.

Radha also decodes a Pakistani communication that indicates that the United States Seventh Fleet is moving towards East Pakistan in order to intervene in support of Pakistan. That brings an extra urgency to India's operations to secure victory and Pakistan's surrender before the US ships can get within striking distance.

Captain Balram's troop makes contact with the Mukti Bahini, who offers to lead him to the camp where Major Ram is being held. Major Ram is about to be shot for not revealing any information, but the Mukti Bahini rebels reach at the right time and shoot his would-be executioner. Captain Balram's tank unit also arrives, and after a fierce battle, the Pakistani camp is captured and many Bengali women being held as sex slaves are freed. Major Ram and Captain Balram are also reunited.

Shortly after, the Pakistan Army surrendered, and Bangladesh became independent. Major Ram, Captain Balram and Radha return home to their mother.

Cast edit

Production edit

Principal photography commenced in September 2021.[5][6] Production wrapped in October 2021.[7][8]

Soundtrack edit

Soundtrack album by
Released7 November 2023[9]
StudioPanchathan Record Inn and AM Studios
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelZee Music Company
A. R. Rahman chronology
Official audio
Pippa - Full Album on YouTube
Singles from Pippa
  1. "Rampage"
    Released: 6 November 2023

The music of the film is composed by A. R. Rahman.[9] The first single titled "Rampage" was released on 6 November 2023.

Track listing
1."Rampage"MC HeamMC Heam, Krystal Garib2:46
2."Main Parwaana"ShelleeArijit Singh5:23
3."Jazbaat"ShelleeJubin Nautiyal, Shilpa Rao4:17
4."Karar Oi Louho Kapat"Kazi Nazrul IslamRahul Dutta,Tirtha Bhattacharjee, Pijush Das, Shrayee Paul, Shalini Mukherjee, Dilasa Chowdhury3:28
5."Mohabbatein Shukriya"ShelleeVishal Mishra, Suzanne D'Mello3:35
6."Balram's Anagnorisis"InstrumentalA. R. Rahman2:13
7."The Mines"InstrumentalSarthak Kalyani2:49
Total length:24:29

Reception edit

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 50% of 10 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 5.3/10.[10]

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Ishaan Khatter, Mrunal Thakur starrer Pippa to release directly on Prime Video on November 10, watch trailer". Bollywood Hungama. 1 November 2023. Retrieved 2 November 2023.
  2. ^ "Ishaan Khatter to play an army officer in Ronnie Screwvala & Siddharth Roy Kapur's new film Pippa". Bollywood Hungama. 14 August 2020. Retrieved 2 November 2023.
  3. ^ "Ishaan Khatter, Mrunal Thakur and Priyanshu Painyuli together in new film Pippa". India Today. 29 October 2020. Retrieved 2 November 2023.
  4. ^ Mitra, Shilajit (9 November 2023). "Ishaan Khatter and team on 'Pippa': Patriotism is not about hating somebody else". The Hindu. Retrieved 18 November 2023.
  5. ^ "Ishaan Khatter, Mrunal Thakur, Priyanshu Painyuli's war-drama Pippa to begin shoot in September". Bollywood Hungama. 26 July 2021. Retrieved 2 November 2023.
  6. ^ "Pippa First Look: Ishaan Khatter all set for liberation, the war film goes on floors". Bollywood Hungama. 15 September 2021. Retrieved 2 November 2023.
  7. ^ "Mrunal Thakur wraps up Pippa shoot, says I have grown as an actor". India Today. 7 October 2021. Retrieved 2 November 2023.
  8. ^ "Pippa: Ishaan Khatter, Mrunal Thakur Twin in Black at Film's Wrap Up Party". News18. 16 April 2022. Retrieved 2 November 2023.
  9. ^ a b "Pippa – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". Jiosaavn. 7 November 2023.
  10. ^ "Pippa - Rotten Tomatoes". www.rottentomatoes.com. 10 November 2023.

External links edit