A two-hero espionage thriller, the Yash Raj banner, directed by Siddharth Anand and Thugs of Hindostan, ah… this film is going to be trash. Have these expectations before you go and watch the film, because against all odds, the film will make you feel good about being proven wrong.
It’s not every day that two of Bollywood’s most popular stars – Tiger Shroff and Hrithik Roshan – come together for a film. And when they do, it’s nothing less than a spectacle. Hrithik and Tiger starrer War packs in high octane action, sufficient plot made better with good performances, stunning visuals and a climax that no one saw coming. Siddharth Anand definitely gets his redemption. Not one of the best films, as it does have some obvious mistakes, but in the larger scheme of thought, the film delivers on every parameter.
It’s evergreen mentor-mentee relationship wherein Hrithik plays super soldier Kabir and Tiger, his protegee Khalid, who has been assigned to assassinate his idol, after he goes rogue. Both known for their chiselled body and stunning dance moves, they deliver in the action and dance department, but also seem really disciplined in the characters that they play.
The beginning feels like a drag since the entire first half is dedicated to Kabir and Khalid’s relationship from the past, and contribute very little in actually taking the story forward. However, the film does a good job in letting the audience know how the film is going to span out with elaborate action sequence, which here feel real, thanks to Hrithik and Tiger’s stunning physique which will make you believe that they can take on everyone on their own.
Post the interval, the film picks up pace. The vital characters all have arcs with enough motivation to do what they do, which makes this espionage thriller interesting, even though it’s packed with romantic slow motions during flips and kicks. The writing turns into good performances by the actors that contribute to this spectacle. The climax however, Anand pulls out a trick from his hat and no one saw it coming. Another thing that the film does great is tying up call backs thrown at the start of the film that serve as just mere dialogues, for the larger narrative.
Hrithik picks up traits from his past action films like gadgets from Dhoom, the super-agentness from Bang Bang, and pulls off anti-hero Kabir with sheer conviction, and a swagger that isn’t lost till the very end. Tiger Shroff proves his haters wrong by playing his character with discipline, and matches up to his senior in both smouldering on-screen intensity and the high-flying action. Both actors feed off each other’s ability to ace good-looking action. Vaani Kapoor barely gets any screen share, but even with limited screen-time, she manages to lift up the glamour and the contribution.
The film’s core is patriotism. Even for the two heroes, the motivation is serving the nation and doing right, however, it does a good job in keeping the patriotic jingoism subliminal. It sometimes gets utterly unpleasant to see Indian filmmakers go the extra mile to create a film similar to their Western counterpart, like Saaho, or even Bang Bang, taken from Tom Cruise starrer Knight & Day, however, War gets the balance just right. Like the quintessential entertainer, War serves up a little bit of everything in its narrative — Action, drama, music, romance, car chases and exotic locations like Malta, Italy, Marrakesh and even the Arctic Circle to tells its story.
All in all, War restores our faith back in solid Bollywood action drama, whilst taking its references from the Mission Impossible and Fast and the Furious franchises, and still, staying true to its Indian roots with Hrithik stealing the show, however…
Don’t choose sides till the very end, this “war” is far from over.