Picket 43 is a 2015 Malayalam film directed by Major Ravi starring Prithviraj Sukumaran and Javed Jaffery in the lead. I shied away from watching the film released in January of this year for this long, but when I finally sat down and watched it, I watched it again a second time over to immerse in its goings on. That was the effect it had on me.
The story of two soldiers, an Indian and Pakistani, who meet and become friends while guarding an outpost, Picket 43. Prithviraj and Javed Jaffrey together tell us the story of a friendship that blossomed under such a scenario. It is not the context perse, but the human attachments involved that creates the drama. Narrated in episodes of flashback, the film presents not just the outward brave soldier front but also little fears and life-death situations a soldier may face and his mindscape during such ordeals. The emphasis is more on their human side than their soldierly uniformed self. Now, there is no need to explain the context of the film to an Indian audience. It is a result of these last 60 or so years of the border security at the India-Pak border, wars, partition, independence… After Mission 90 days, this would be the next best film from Major Ravi which I absolutely loved.
Our hero Havildar Hari is assigned to Picket 43. He is assigned a dog named Baccardi for company and protection. The film is about Hari and Bacaradi, initially and Hari’s transformation into a soldier.. Even though he is a well trained dog soldier, Baccardi stops short when in front of a running stream. He has a fear of water, Aquaphobia as it is called. Hari who is equally a scary cat understands Bac ardi’s this little fear and makes a note always to carry him across to the other side while crossing streams. Then Hari and Bacardi meet Mushraff. Musharaff is the new Pakistani soldier assigned to the outpost across the fence. After a few initial hiccups they come out of their tents, meet, nod, smile, greet, talk, and then a friendship evolves. Life goes on even at the outpost but then one day, they are hit. Hari is hit, so is Musharaff, and for the rest of the story, you can watch the film.
One heart wrenching scene: When Baccardi is left behind in the snow when the rescue team rushes Hari away to the camp for treatment! He stands there on the other side of the river whimpering for somebody to turn back and look and see that he needs help to cross to stay alongside his friend, Hari..
the featured pic is taken from google images: http://yentha-s3.s3.amazonaws.com/contentuploads/0754cf62_picket-43-prithviraj-poster.jpg