Movie Review: AK-47 Kalashnikov

I found pure honesty and innocence in this movie, even though it’s about a weapon that has caused much pain in the entire world in one way or another.

Rohit Farmer


April 4, 2024

A screen shot from the movie AK-47 Kalashnikov”.

I am not a pro-gun person, and I also advocate for stricter gun laws in the USA. Therefore, my review of the movie AK-47 Kalashnikov is not from a gun enthusiast’s point of view but from someone who admires engineering marvel.

Last week, I found this movie in my Prime Video recommendation feed, and it instantly caught my eye (I suppose the recommendation engines work) as AK-47 is the weapon that I have heard most of (controversially) throughout my 40 years of life. In India, one of the famous Bollywood actors was accused of facilitating a serial bombing in then-Bombay as he was found in possession of an AK-47, which was non-existent among civilians in India. That incident and the court cases, news, and movies around it existed throughout my childhood and adulthood.

What I liked about the movie is that it’s as “simple as a hammer,” one of the dialogues from the movie, which defines how a good design or instrument should be—something as simple as a hammer that works every time per its use. And AK-47 is one of those instruments. It works every time and in every condition per its intended use, and people have literally bet their lives on it.

I found the movie engaging. The English version is not too bad, and the picturization of places and portrayal of people are convincing enough. I do not think it was a big-budget move, but it is still decent in quality.

While serving at the front line for the Red Army, the main character, Sargent Kalashnikov, gets injured and is asked to return home. While he was being transported, an incident with his superior made him inspect an in-service machine gun that jams at the time of need. Since childhood, Kalashnikov has been a tinkerer who realizes a need for a reliable submachine gun that can perform in harsh conditions. So, instead of returning home, he alights at the town where he worked in a locomotive workshop before enlisting to serve in the army.

After much persuasion and pulling some strings, Kalashnikov got to work on his submachine gun project. He had no formal education and no knowledge of engineering drawing. However, seeing his passion and the cause, some of his locomotive workshop colleagues volunteered their free time and talent to help him achieve his goal. They built a one-of-a-kind functional prototype, albeit with some flaws that needed precise engineering.

During that time, a weapon could only be mass-produced and be used on active duty if it won the nationwide competition of weaponry design. Kalashnikov somehow got enlisted in that competition and failed the first time. However, he continued his work with the support of his superiors and people who believed in his abilities. What I really liked in the movie was that all his competitors, mostly very senior and revered weapons designers of the time, saw and admired his craft, and none of them tried to sabotage his project, mislead him, or wrongly take credit. Not even his supervisors. At every step, even though people doubted his abilities and sometimes mocked him for calling him an inventor, they never tried to steal his due credit. They all critiqued and highlighted flaws in his design and put him to the test on the same standards as others. However, every knowledgeable person, be it another inventor or an army general who saw his work, realized his genius, and instantly changed their minds about him and his abilities. All, without exception, supported his ambitions. This honest camaraderie is an excellent example of how leadership and work culture should behave and how an organization and nation excel in technological breakthroughs that change history. We all need to recognize geniuses among ourselves and give them the credit they deserve. I found pure honesty and innocence in this movie, even though it’s about a weapon that has caused much pain in the entire world in one way or another.


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