By Neha Bora
War is the story of one very dashing and muscular ‘patriot no. 1’ called Kabir (played by Hrithik Roshan.) He works for the secret service, and is on a mission to catch India’s ‘enemy no. 1’ Illyasi.
Somewhere along the way Kabir turns ‘villain’ and has to face his once student and current ‘patriot no. 1’ Khalid. The story is a face off between the two ‘hunks’, the student and the teacher and the quest to save the country.
There are instances of ‘doubling-crossing’ and mentions of ‘plastic-surgery’ followed by grand schemes to simultaneously destroy and save the nation. All of these however are secondary because the movie heavily relies on the factor of ‘eye candy’ in the movie.
Hrithik Roshan’s bronze tan and beefy arms cover the screen like black clouds covering the sky on a rainy day. Tiger Shroff tries to emulate the same effect to a minor yet significant degree.
Vaani Kapoor is a ten-minute character who barely makes an impression on the story except for the hero’s love-interest check-box. The entire story is ridden with loop-holes, and hard-to-believe twists and turns but none of them register against the ballet-like fight sequences choreographed by Paul Jennings and Jack Reacher (previously associated with The Dark Knight and GOT) that make the entire body of the film.
The action is beautiful to watch, beautiful enough to make one wonder and try to figure out how and when violence came to be entirely accepted and normalized in today’s world.
The graceful bodied of the two actors on top of everything else make the fight sequences even more entertaining to watch. The flying round about kick delivered by Khalid in every fight sequence is especially worth noting and will be, I believe, copied time and again by Tiger Shroff’s fans.
The special effect works without standing out. It sets the story squarely into the rough yet sturdy mood of an action movie. The film is effectively directed and we get engulfed into the fire and explosion of its spectacle. It doesn’t commit the mistake ofpretending to preach love or morality to an audience that has come to enjoy blood and bullets.
The actors perform as well as actors in Bollywood action films always have. Hrithik Roshan is handsomely effortless in the role of the charming goon/cop/agent that must have become second nature to him by now. Tiger Shroff is as stoic and awkward in his acting as he is graceful in his ‘gymnastics’. Ashutosh Rana and the character played by him barely exist. Vaani Kapoor as Naina graces the screen for less than 15 minutes, 5 out which she spends dancing and looking good.
Anupriya Goenka is part of the field team and yet barely manages to contribute to the action of the film. Siddharth Anand therefore continues the long legacy of the futile female character in an action movie, both through his writing and through his direction.
Since, this movie has what many believe to be the ‘two’ most talented dancers of Bollywood, it is imperative that we talk about the dance too.
Hrithik Roshan is poetry in motion and as always absolutely beautiful and Tiger Shroff keeps up with him quiet well but it clear that ‘student’ ko ‘teacher’ se abhi bohot seekhna hai. The film gives the audience a dance-off between the two in the song ‘Shiv-Shankar’ and this audience enjoys thoroughly.
I walked into a packed movie-hall early in the morning, even while ‘Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy’ and ‘Joker’ were playing in adjacent screens. The estimated budget of the film is 200Cr and with scenes of the first-ever Bollywood filming in the Arctic Circle and a holiday to open on, it is set to do well. Based on the opening reports from various sources it is set to do business of anywhere near 20 Cr on the first day.
It is a holiday, and if you do not like films in the English language, then take your family and go watch ‘War’, you will find yourself appreciating the kind of violence that you would have condemned had it not been choreographed so well. Amidst the explosions and grace, you might even forget that the story is a copy paste of all the action films ever made in Bollywood. Filmi Files is the best place to look for movie reviews.
FF Ratings: ***
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Categories: World Cinema