LOADED WITH HIGH OCTANE ACTION, ‘WAR’ HAS LITTLE CONTENT SUBSTANCE

Rating: 3/5
Director Siddharth Anand offers a visually grand spectacle but in doing so, misses out on delivering strong content

Think of it. If anyone today can match Hrithik Roshan in such a genre, it’s undoubtedly Tiger Shroff. The film here itself scores distinction marks for bringing these two hunks together where both of them weigh equally. Given the scale, War rests largely on these two men- be it in their physicality, their action abilities, or even their dancing reflexes. While you enjoy every bit of what they do on screen in their individual capacities contributing to the larger scheme of things, you are left a little disappointed at what’s on offer in terms of potential of the content.

war, review, film, hindi, 2019
Hrithik Roshan, Tiger Shroff, and Director Siddharth Anand on sets (image source: hindustantimes.com)
PLOT

A patriot turned rogue, Major Kabir (Hrithik Roshan) is now on a killing spree. Who he is killing are not terrorists, but Indian agents, for which he is being sought on charges of treason. The responsibility now rests on Captain Khalid (Tiger Shroff), who has been trained by Kabir himself, to find out what his motives are and to finally nab him.

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STORY/SCREENPLAY/GENERAL

Aditya Chopra, Siddharth Anand, and Shridhar Raghavan’s writing is decent, but not satisfactory. One thing that the film suffers at is the contempt for the audience, especially those who have been watching and analyzing a lot of films. If you keenly look at the pattern of such films, and also if you’ve read between the lines of the trailer, you predict the second half. And when that comes, you actually wish you were proved wrong. In fact, right at the point of interval, you know what’s in store for you next, and that’s a letdown.

The film definitely works on many fronts- establishing the leads and their motives, death defying action sequences, and rich bright palette to soak you in-being the dominant ones. You like the film visually, a lot. And that’s where probably the makers aim to rake in the moolahs. Entertainment quotient is poured full throttle. So yes, that is one respite for those twitching for not seeing substantial content. But also be ready for an unreal and glamourised portrayal of defense forces and also the situations concerning ISIS.

war, film, hindi, review, 2019
Scenes from the film (image source: koimoi.com)

While the film portrays the two actors as demi-gods capable of doing just about anything and everything, you also frown at overly given emphasis on these two. A film of this sort would have been well crafted had it included conscious say of supporting cast, adding to the depth. But the film overall seems to be worshipping only the lead men, something that keeps you wanting for more, when a film in its holistic approach is considered. What is good though is the layer attributed to the title of the film. It’s not what you think it is, and that’s an appreciable quality.

Anand attempts to give you goosebumps during the exquisite James Bond style action, but rather than keeping them crisp, the makers go on and on with it making them look humbug. The story clearly loses its momentum in the second half, and by the time you reach the climax, it has already packed in so much that you eagerly wait for the film to end. Yes, there’s an interesting twist towards the end, but that too you kind of guess because some of your answers are left unanswered by then.

PERFORMANCE

Hrithik Roshan makes the frames grand. Even at this age, he dominates the young Tiger in almost all scenes they are in together. He not only looks deliciously fantastic, but also performs ably. In just two months after Super 30 where he played a physically feeble man, to this where he can take on even a hulk, he leaves no stone unturned to charm you, just in the right manner. You actually wait for him to appear again and again, as he is so passionate in his character.

Tiger Shroff too is extremely likable. In a role that matches his persona to the fullest, he does a smart and confident execution. His act is a treat for those who like him. Even those who don’t will find him perfect for the role he’s been given. His introductory scene is an ode to his charisma, at the same time bringing in some novelty in terms of technicality.

war, hindi, film, review, 2019
Tiger Shroff and Hrithik Roshan during promotions (image source: indiatv.com)

Vaani Kapoor adds the glam appeal of the film. But does she say anything concrete in the film? Hardly. You would have guessed this by the trailers, but indeed, there was scope to use a feminine angle in the story, which the writers probably didn’t seem to care about. She does reasonably fine, but suffers due to shabby writing for her character.

Ashutosh Rana has been given a role that had so much potential given the arc of the film. But the writing remains centered on the leading men and leaves his role craving for some screen time. A good job by Rana in scenes where he appears. But the makers could have made him do so much more.

Anupriya Goenka has a good role and she does well.

OTHER TECHNICALITIES

Songs by Vishal-Shekhar are already making the youth groove. But in the film, they do nothing more than increasing the run time and adding to the visual appeal. They are waste as far as the premise is concerned. Background score by Sanchit and Ankit Balhara is effectively impressive, in not only setting up the pace and mood of the film, but also defining the characters and locations.

Benjamin Jasper’s cinematography works wonders for the visual positioning of the film. The locations have been captured beautifully, and the notion intensifies during the action sequences. It’s a difficult film to shoot, given it has brutal action in exotic surroundings. The colors in the film add a brilliant wave of mental rush, which you can see only in theaters. Production design by Rajat Poddar has been done thoughtfully too. Giving complete support to vibrant camera, this department excels in making this film look fresh and captivating to the eyes.

Editing by Aarif Sheikh is very good for the narrative structure it builds. Ignoring the minuses of the writing, editing justifies the premise and the thrill is never compromised.

With the flavor of Bang Bang, Siddharth Anand does make the film rise steps higher from that, both in terms of content and entertainment value. Still, the film does leave you unsatiated. The film is a clear case of hits and misses, where while you are all up for the hits, you wish there weren’t misses of this trivial kind.

 

Rochak Saxena

Rochak Saxena a Mass Media Teacher, former journalist at DNA and an ardent lover of Hindi films - literally. The blog derives its name from the popular term ‘Willing Suspension of Disbelief’, most commonly used in the world of literature and cinema. Meaning to immerse yourself in an unreal world (where you know what you see on screen is fake) with a self-proclaimed/declared belief/wish to consider it real, the willing world becomes magical. It’s the same magic every Friday that drives Rochak to share things in the perspective that it needs to be observed with. Every film is different. And the difference needs to be cherished.

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