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Subhash Ghai’s ’36 Farm House’: Mundane and mediocre writing weakens the foundation – Movie Review

Series: ‘Breaking Point Season 2’ (Streaming on ‘discovery+’); Duration: 45 minutes per episode

Directors: Prabhu Asgaonkar and Manika Berry Asgaonkar; Cast: Brig A. Ragesh, Ustaad Saurabh Kumar, Lt. Gen. Ajay Kumar Suri, Brig S. Vadhera, Brig Kashyap, Lt. Gen. K.S. Brar, Maj Gen. S. Jha, Brig. PK Singh Sm, GP Captain M. Abhiman

IANS Rating: ***1/2

The title ‘Breaking Point’ conjures a negative connotation in the minds, and thus for this non-fiction, four-part series streaming on ‘discovery+’, it is a misnomer. It does not show us the moment of greatest strain at which someone or something gives away, instead, it is an inspiring series that makes us aware that tough moments don’t last, tough people do.

It showcases the various training schools of the Indian Armed forces where young recruits are pushed to excel and become fearsome soldiers with determination, grit, and caliber.

The first episode titled, ‘The Artillery- Big Guns of India’, takes us to the Artillery Training Centre at Nasik. Here we are introduced to ultralight and medium cannons of lethal power like 130MM, Bofors, ULH (Ultralight Howitzer) and M46, and Ultra Heavy artilleries like the K9 Vajra and Grad BM21 Multi-barrel Rocket launcher.

At the centre, young cadets depending on their aptitude, are trained under an “Ustaad” to become a Gunner, Surveyor, Technical Assistant, Radio Operator, or a Driver.

This episode mainly focuses on the roles of the Gunner and the Driver driving HMVs (High Mobility Vehicles).

The second episode titled, ‘Army Aviation Soldiers in the Sky’, focusses on the Army Aviators who are a class apart. These Army aviators, also known as Helicopter Pilots, help the Indian Army to attack enemy troops or transport soldiers during surgical strikes.

We are initially taken to the Combat Army Aviation Training School in Nasik, where we are informed how the greenhorns are trained and groomed to fly and perform basic maneuvers in the sky with helicopters like the HAL Chetak.

Later we are transported to Jodhpur, where the rookies are taught complex and daring moves to fly, combat and hunt together. The training is imparted on the HAL Rudra, an attack Indian-made helicopter.

The third episode features officers of the Armoured Corps and is titled ‘The Armoured Corps- India’s Iron Steeds’. It is at the Armoured Corps Centre and School where its young officers of the cavalry are given technical and tactical training to be effective troop leaders. How they train on the T72 and T90 Bhishma (Tanks) forms the crux of this episode.

In the final episode we get to see the making of a Paratrooper. How they prepare themselves to jump out of aircrafts, shoot and acclimatise themselves for urban warfare is a part of their training which is imparted to them at the Para Training School.

With excellent camera work, each episode brings to life (the feelings of the first time and unforgettable experiences of the soldiers) what mere words of the talking heads cannot reproduce. The interesting part of the series is that it gives us in-depth information akin to a crash course on the various aspects of the subject and supplies nuggets of historical importance that may hold your interest.

The series is moderately paced and engaging. The sound design along with the background score- elevates the viewing experience. The only issue is the voice-over of the narrator – Ross Huguet. His diction simply does not suit the Indian audience.  (Agency)

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