Pippa: An Engrossing War Drama That Throws Light On A Significant Chapter In Indian History

An impactful war film meant for theatres!

Pippa (Hindi)

  • Cast: Ishaan Khattar, Priyanshu Painyuli, Mrunal Thakur, and Soni Razdan
  • Director: Raja Krishna Menon
  • Producers: Ronnie Screwvala and Siddarth Roy Kapur
  • Music: AR Rahman
  • Runtime: 2 hours 19 minutes
  • OTT Platform: Amazon Prime Video

The significance of the 1971 Bangladesh War goes beyond winning the battle against Pakistan. It is more about liberating the large number of refugees who have faced many atrocities.

In a scene in Pippa, Ishaan Khattar’s character talks about how this is the first military battle fought to free the helpless.

For those who are not aware, Pippa is based on the book titled “Burning Chaffees“. Ishaan Khattar plays Brigadier Balram Singh Mehta (the author) aka Balli.

Ram Mehta (Priyanshu Painyuli), an army officer, is the elder brother of Balli. Ram’s personality is different from that of Balli. Not surprisingly, both brothers often find themselves at odds.

Their sister Radha (Mrunal Thakur) is an expert at cryptography and quite rebellious, too. This comes out well in a scene where we see her participating in a college protest.

Mrs Mehta (Soni Razdan) is their mother.

Balli’s family is a refugee family from Rawalpindi, West Pakistan. There is a brilliant scene when Mrs Mehta talks about how people don’t become refugees by choice.

As the story progresses, all three siblings play a vital role in the Indian victory.


The first feeling that comes to viewers’ minds after watching Pippa is why it was not released in theatres. The war sequences have been brilliantly shot, and if seen on the big screen, the impact would have been tenfold.

Pippa has all the elements needed for a big theatrical experience. However, there is no point in dwelling on that now.

So, let’s go into the analysis. Raja Krishna Menon does not waste any time in setting up the plot.

There is a graphic representative story at the start that shows many people in East Pakistan being gunned down. This disturbs us, and you will instantly empathise with Bangladeshis.

After that, the director establishes the relationship dynamics of these siblings, which adds to the human drama when Ram becomes a war prisoner.

For those who don’t know, Pippa is a nickname given to the army tank PT 76 that Balli operates. The scenes of Ishaan Khattar leading this tank are a sight to behold.

The camaraderie between the members of Balli’s squadron has some amusing moments, like the scene where the mutton is cooked when the war preparations are going on.

Ishaan cements his place in Bollywood

Mrunal Thakur and Ishan Khattar in Pippa
Mrunal Thakur and Ishan Khattar in ‘Pippa’. (X)

On the performance front, Ishaan Khattar leads the show with his impeccable act. His character starts as a constantly flirting captain. From there, we see him as an unhappy officer who notes down maintenance reports to finally being a brave commander.

Ishaan strongly pulls all these shades. With this film, the actor cements his place as a young talent who is versatile with his choices.

Priyanshu Painyuli is also equally good as the elder brother. His confrontational scenes with Ishaan give some powerful moments.

Mrunal Thakur does well both as a caring young sister and a cryptographer who helps the nation.

Soni Razdan has a brief presence, but the actress is impactful in her scenes, particularly the one where she talks about refugees.

Rahman’s music & BGM do wonders

Ishan Khattar in Pippa
Ishan Khattar ‘in Pippa’. (X)

AR Rahman’s music and background score complement the film.

The soundtrack is diverse, starting with “Main Parwaana“. This song brings out the playful side of Balram. The choreography and the tune go perfectly well with the setting.

On the other hand, you have the more intense “Jazbaat” that gives an adrenaline rush.

The background score is also chilling and enhances many of the war scenes.

Director Raja Krishna Menon also deserves appreciation for how he gives equal importance to the character arcs of Ram Mehta and Radha. They are blended seamlessly into the narrative.

An area where the film could have been better is the visual effects. Also, 10 minutes could have been edited.


Not many stories about the Bangladesh war are made into films. Let’s hope Pippa will rekindle interest in that glorious chapter in Indian history for the new generation.

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