What is Good:
Gaganam derives its strength from human desire to be righteous and do or say what’s right. It’s about ordinary people from different walks of life who are pushed into an extraordinary situation of turmoil and utter chaos. Be it an action hero who chickens out in real life or a kid who questions the terrorists’ intentions to hurt innocent people, they all strike a chord immensely. Nagarjuna is terrific as the NSG commando. He’s in complete control of the situation despite the indecisiveness of his bosses. At times, the situation spirals out of control, but Nagarjuna as Major Raveendra keeps his composure and chalks an elaborate rescue mission. On the other hand, Prakash Raj dazzles in his role. He’s the personification of a helpless civil servant who cannot stand the fact that they are running out of time. Both Nagarjuna and Prakash Raj are on the same side of the fence who are determined to make sure that the rescue mission is a success. Poonam Kaur, Harshavardhan and all the actors who act as the terrorists do a commendable job.
Over 90% of the film is shot in the hijacked plane and the commando base in the airport terminal. Despite the sense of claustrophobia, the film touches upon several themes like why the government delays taking important decisions, how the media sensationalizes issues and most importantly how complete strangers come together irrespective of their cultural backgrounds during such incidents. It’s here that the film transcends from just being a well written film to an engrossing drama which brings back memory of infamous incidents of the 1999 Kandahar hijack and perhaps even the 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai which continue to haunt us.
Another important aspect to observe is how cleverly Radha Mohan manages to add humour in such an intense drama. The scenes featuring Prithvi & his fan onboard the plane and Brahmanandam & the guy named Ranganth (in the film) are hilarious to say the least.