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Balakot air strike set to dazzle silver screen: Vivek Oberoi to back trilingual on IAF’s heroic feat

By Anuj Cariappa

New Delhi, Aug 23: India's watershed moment, the Balakot air strike is all set to come alive on the silver screen. One of the most heroic strike by the IAF and the subsequent events will now be made into a movie thanks to leading Indian actor, Vivek Oberoi.

Vivek Anand Oberoi is set to back a movie that salutes the Indian Air Force (IAF) for the heroics its pilots displayed while hitting a Jaish-e-Mohammad facility in Pakistan. The attack showed the bold resolve that India was ready to enter into Pakistan and avenge terror strikes on our soil.

Vivek Oberoi and Wing Commander Abhinandan

The next day, the entire nation watched, with horror as India's brave-heart, Wing Commander, Abhinandan was captured after an aerial dog-fight with an F-16 of the Pakistan airforce. The dog-fight and heroics displayed by Abhinandan not only lifted the nation's spirit, but also earned him the Vir Chakra, which was presented to him on Independence Day.

These heroics by Abhinandan and the rest of the IAF pilots will now light up the silver screen. Vivek Oberoi, who is backing the movie is set to make the same a trilingual- Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.

The movie will be based on the Balakot air strike, capture of Abhinandan and his subsequent release. There is no doubt that the entire nation would wait eagerly for this movie and it would be a fitting salute to the brave hearts.

The movie will be shot in Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and Agra. It is set to go on floors later this year. While the star cast is not yet known, Vivek says established actors from the respective industries would be cast in the movie.

The established actors would be donning the roles of Abhinandan and also Squadron Leader Minty Agarwal. It may be recalled that Minty had guided the interception mission of the IAF to stop the fighter jets from Pakistan. Minty went on to become the first woman to receive the Yudh Sena Medal.

Oberoi says that the movie would go on floors later this year and he has obtained all required permissions to make the film.

Speaking about the project, Vivek Oberoi told the Times of India that as a proud Indian, a patriot and member of the film fraternity, it was his duty to highlight what the Indian Armed Forces are truly capable of.

Vivek Oberoi and Wing Commander Abhinandan

He said that the film would be a powerful tool to underline the achievements of brave soldiers like Abhinandan, who went behind the enemy lines and did what makes every Indian proud of them.

The Balakot air strike was one of the well planned hits by the IAF. I followed everything in the news from the time of the Pulwama attack to the air strike, Vivek also says. He says that he hopes to do justice to the entire sequence of events, while also thanking the IAF for trusting him and his team with the story.

One of the key aspects is the trust that the IAF has laid on Oberoi to make this movie. The IAF or any of the other services are usually touchy, when someone wants to depict such a high-profile operation in the form of a movie. Issues such as authenticity or over-dramatisation are the concerns. However in this case, the IAF has put all its trust into Vivek Oberoi to make a movie of such a magnitude, especially considering the operation itself was such a high-profile one. This in itself is a big win for Oberoi as he has managed to earn the trust of the IAF

Vivek says that he wants to put to rest all the speculation that surrounded the Pulwama attack, in which 40 CRPF jawans were martyred. The Balakot strike was carried out by the IAF to avenge the hit at Pulwama by the Jaish-e-Mohammad. Vivek says that there was a lot that was speculated back then and through this film he would like to put all of that to rest once and for all.

There is no doubt that this would be a fitting salute to our brave-hearts and it would be one of the most awaited films. Are you waiting for it? We sure are.

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