Rekha, Sridevi, Kajol, Preity Zinta, Rani Mukerji – these are YRF heroines. And on most days, when I walk into a YRF film, which is not led by Rani Mukerji, I wonder if the concept of what a heroine needs to be is somewhat lost at the YRF office, because Vaani Kapoor’s Naina in WAR is a far cry from being a heroine. Any lesser known actress could’ve played her and it wouldn’t have made any difference.
Apart from this, nothing in WAR is a let down. I’ll be honest, I walked into this film expecting nothing. But to my surprise, I had a great time. Of course the plot, the narrative and the writing could’ve been better, songs could’ve been better stitched into the narrative but I still had a good time, and perhaps while I will give a lot of credit to writer-director Siddharth Anand, Shridhar Raghavan and Aditya Chopra, it’s Hrithik Roshan’s charm that works wonders for this film, and also Tiger Shroff’s sincerity.
WAR is a full on action film, from the first frame to the last, and what works brilliantly for it is the casting. Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff are Hindi Cinema’s best action heroes. Watching them fighting other villains and even each other is a visual treat. Roshan plays Kabir and Shroff is his junior, Khalid. Both of them work for the Indian intelligence, but eventually, one of them ditches the other and the team, and then the film tries to reason as to why it happened.
WAR is not a film you can watch with the same eyes you’d watch Nandita Das’ Manto; you cannot. You rather need to sit in your seat, your tub of popcorn in hand, and invest yourself into the sequences in the film, all of them wonderfully shot, especially the bike chase in Portugal and the car chase in the Arctic. At times, you’d want to think “what on earth is happening, where is the logic,” but you don’t, because Roshan and Shroff make everything look very convincing. Props to Siddharth Anand for making the narrative gripping. Otherwise, it would’ve been a mess.
Before WAR, Tiger Shroff hasn’t really challenged his acting capabilities, but in WAR he does. I saw, for the first time, and actor in the man, and lots of beaming sincerity in his eyes. What perhaps helped him work on Khalid and his love for Kabir, could’ve been Shroff’s own love and admiration for Roshan. Coming to Hrithik Roshan – this man is a charmer. He brings to the screen his aesthetic presence, as he had in Dhoom 2, of course just better. Roshan is performing stunts, looking you in the eye, throwing dialogues at you and dancing like a dream. To say the least, he looks beautiful – like a gorgeous piece of human flesh! It’s tough to describe his screen presence.
The women, of course, take the back seat. Soni Razdan and Anupriya Goenka stand wasted in small roles. Vaani Kapoor has a great charisma, but her Naina just doesn’t do it. She doesn’t even stand where Katrina Kaif stood in Dhoom 3. Now, I’m not complaining that women aren’t getting their due in the film. It’s not a film about them. And to be honest, I was prepared for the leading lady not being an actual ‘leading lady’, but not in this way.
It’s a film about bromance. But to cast a leading lady, just because you wrote the entire script and then remembered, “oh I haven’t put in a heroine,” is not the ideal way to go about things.
All in all, WAR is an all-out entertainer, that you must not miss. And if you’re a Hrithik Roshan fan, boy you’re in for a ride. My only concern now remains – after this film, Vaani Kapoor’s three film deal comes to an end, what’s in store for her next? (I know she has Karan Malhotra’s Shamshera, again a YRF production).
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