- Movie Name:Paltan
- Critics Rating: 2 / 5
- Release Date: September 7, 2018
- Director: JP Dutta
- Genre: War Drama
JP Dutta, a Bollywood director whose forte is war films is back with an untold story about 1967 Sino-Indian war. The stand-off at Nathu La and Cho La passes along the Sikkim border that began with shoving and pushing ended up with four days of continuous shelling, causing severe casualties and killing many of our soldiers. The film hails the unsung heroes and tells a story, which not everyone is acquainted with. However, the major setback of this war drama is its length and clichéd treatment.
Paltan recreates those real incidents which were repercussions of the 1962 war. Paltan portrays the tension that prevailed along the international border near Sikkim and how the Chinese Army waged a psychological war against the Indian soldiers. From digging a trench near the demarcated line to disrupting the fencing work, PLA did everything to provoke Indian Army. However, Indian soldiers made sure that all hell breaks loose at the right time.
The movie has real characters and this is what works in its favour. Imagining the bravery with which Indian soldiers fought in 1967 and made Chinese Army bite the dust instills a sense of gratitude and pride. However, other than that the movie has nothing interesting to offer. There are chest-thumping dialogues, to be precise idioms, which could have been muted a bit. Everything is in your face as subtlety is a far-fetched word in the entire film. It is quite a tiring watch. Many scenes could have been chopped at the editing table to reduce the long duration of the film. However, it is not overly patriotic and unexpectedly, you don't get to hear the National Anthem in the movie.
There is always a little scope of improvisation and creative liberty when one wants to tell the story as it is. Having said that, Paltan should have been executed in a better way. There are fragments which are loosely stitched and at several places, the screenplay appears to be bland.
The movie comprises an ensemble cast of Jackie Shroff, Arjun Rampal, Sonu Sood, Harshvardhan Rane, Luv Sinha, Siddhant Kapoor, Esha Gupta, Sonal Chauhan, Moinca Gill among others. The movie moves back and forth from soldiers at war field to their stories back in their homes. It is clear that Paltan is an all-men story and has no scope for women characters.
Acting skills of the cast will also upset you. Jackie Shroff as Major General Sagat Singh, who impatiently waits for the orders from the authority is good in his part. Arjun Rampal lacks energy whereas Harshvardhan Rane seems to have taken lessons from 'Sunny Deol of Border' for his hot-tempered character, who is ready to hit Chinese at any moment. Chaudhary is good but he switches his accent frequently. Siddhanth Kapoor plays the role of HAV Parashar and can be seen speaking Mandarin.
If those scenes in the trailer where Chinese troops can be seen speaking in Hindi have made you scratch your head, then don't worry, the film justifies that part. But you still can't believe that how PLA Political Commissar can speak Hindi as fluently as his Indian counterpart.
Paltan is no Border as history cannot be recreated. It could have been a better watch if JP Dutta would have left behind the '90s wala feel'. Watch it only if want to have the taste of India's heroic history.