- Movie Name:War
- Critics Rating: 3.5 / 5
- Release Date: Oct 2, 2019
- Director: Siddharth Anand
- Genre: Action
At the start of the narrative, 'War' has the head of the task force saying his best spy has gone rogue. But has he? That is one question you keep asking yourself (and that makes you sit on the edge of your seat) until the mystery is solved.
'War', by that measure, is a mixed bag -- of Abbas Mustan-kinda twists, turns, characters, situations, logic, gravity, physics, chemistry, and some Ekta Kapoor-esque tricks -- all tossed together to make a visually spectacular concoction.
The more likeable elements in the run-time of the movie are the beautiful locations, the droolworthy actors (and their physique), the screenplay and dialogues.
'War' is by far the finest work of Siddharth Anand's -- who has previously directed 'Salaam Namaste' and 'Bang Bang'. He takes full advantage of the six-pack abs of both his actors', and perhaps, their knack of carrying an out-an-out action movie completely on their responsible shoulders. Anand goes into the details in most of the scenes, but also (and quite glaringly) misses out on certain aspects.
There is a gravity-defying scene where Hrithik Roshan's Kabir uses magnets to crawl into an Indian Army aircraft, which is already in flight. And as difficult, if not fully impossible, it may sound, there are plastic surgeries too. Oops! Too much inspiration from TV shows???
But this was kind-of expected in a movie that declares India's best agent going rogue -- without any pertinent proof. Yes, he is killing people. But hello, logic? There has to be one.
Hrithik Roshan wears his greys with elan in a movie that expects his Kabir to fight -- and fight like a tiger, dance -- and dance like a pro, and work his charm on a "civilian asset". And the star -- more than the actor -- doesn't miss any chance to pull the audience into his world of make-believe. Every time Hrithik is on the screen, you cannot help but look at him in admiration.
Tiger Shroff's Khalid is a second fiddle to Kabir. And so is Shroff to Roshan. But this young superstar matches his senior, and by his own admission, his idol, at every step. In every shade. And in the dance sequence too.
One often wonders though why the agents would dance. But, Bollywood.
Hrithik and Tiger have been given ample amount of substance, much more than the script has (giving an impression that the film is, perhaps, obsessed with its leads), and chances to perform. And the duo does shine. Two of the fittest stars in the Hindi film industry fight it out throughout the movie to prove who the bigger patriot is. Both of them win -- in the movie and outside it.
Vaani Kapoor has a part to play, and you need the reminder because the role is only marginally bigger than an archetypal cameo. She becomes a moral compass for Kabir, and gives the much-needed glamour and emotion to the otherwise devoid-of-everything-else-except-action movie.
What complement the beautiful stars are the more beautiful locations the movie is shot at. 'War' takes you to Syria, Morocco, Malta, Portugal and the Artic -- and everything in between. And there are chases (across the length and breadth of the city so that you get a panoramic view of the locales. Sweet!) -- car chases and bike chases. And Tiger is chasing Hrithik anyway.
The action scenes are so brilliantly shot that one is always left gasping in awe. Their length is a different matter altogether.
'War' appears to be so much in love with Hrithik and Tiger that there, sometimes, seems to be no end to the action scenes -- especially towards the climax. Then there are predictable turns -- you can foretell the twist in the plot from a mile, that is if you are really invested in the premise. And shall we get back to plastic surgeries? I don't think we should.
The other members of the cast fit the bill to the T. Ashutosh Rana as a senior officer in the task force and Soni Razdan as Khalid's mother are a striking presence in the film.
A special mention for Anupriya Goenka -- who has played important roles in 'Padmaavat', and 'Tiger Zinda Hai'. Anupriya has a bigger role (length-wise) that Vaani's. And perhaps, a bigger contribution too. She extracts much more from the non-glam role than she was offered, and makes her presence felt despite the towering existence of Hrithik and Tiger's.
'War' has relentless action, car chases, some dialoguebaazi (aptly done by Abbas Tyrewaala), beautiful leads, more beautiful locations, and two very foot-tapping numbers -- every commercial element for action movie buffs. The movie has its flaws -- 'War', in its entiretly, is a synonym to a "war" between Siddharth Anand's need to gratify his viewers and well, substance, more like a flawed spectacle.
The glitches -- in the plot and otherwise -- are, however, not likely to come in the way of it cruising to Box Office victory. Watch 'War' for Hrithik's charm, Tiger's hard work, beautiful (apologies for using the word again and again, but you have to see them to believe) locations, and perhaps, two of the best -choreographed and -picturised numbers in recent times.
Our verdict: Three-and-a-half stars