Two-hero films were in vogue at one point but in today’s times, it’s a rarity. Yash Raj Films brings respite in this regard in the form of WAR, one of the most anticipated flicks of the year. The film features two of the most popular actors today and the way they have been portrayed has upped the excitement to insane levels. So does WAR manage to meet all the expectations and emerge as a true blue action entertainer? Or does it fail to entice? Let’s analyse.
WAR is the story of two patriotic soldiers fighting against each other. Khalid (Tiger Shroff) is the son of an army officer, who had joined hands with the enemies. As soon as Khalid's mother (Soni Razdan) found out, she informed the army and the father got killed by fellow officer, Kabir (Hrithik Roshan). For an important mission, Khalid is assigned a part in Kabir's team. Kabir obviously is apprehensive but Khalid wins him over with his loyalty and bravery. The story then moves two years ahead. Kabir is assigned the duty of eliminating a dreaded terrorist. Instead of killing him, Kabir bumps off his commanding officer, V K Naidu (Mohit Chauhan). Khalid and others are shocked that someone like Kabir has gone rogue. Khalid is instructed to kill Kabir immediately before he causes any more harm. While Khalid is trying to find out Kabir’s whereabouts, the latter steals army equipment in a daredevil mid-air stunt. In another act of bravado, Kabir comes in front of Khalid and informs him that his next target is a certain Dr. Utpal Biswas (Arif Zakaria). What happens next forms the rest of the film.
Aditya Chopra and Siddharth Anand's story is decent and loaded with twists and turns. Shridhar Raghavan and Siddharth Anand's screenplay is effective and engaging for most parts. However in the second half, a lot of dumbing down happens which could have been avoidable. A few developments are quite unconvincing and are hence, difficult to digest. Abbas Tyrewala's dialogues aren’t memorable as such but work.
Siddharth Anand's direction is simple and he shows that he has the ability to handle a film of this scale. He also joins the dots in the narrative neatly. On the flipside, he could have shortened some of the action scenes for a better impact. A few moments also give one déjà vu of past YRF films like DHOOM, TIGER ZINDA HAI etc. Lastly, the way Tiger Shroff and Hrithik Roshan are pitted against each other might not seem entirely acceptable to the fans.
WAR begins on a rocking note. The entry sequence of Kabir has a twist and startles viewers. If Kabir’s entry impresses, Khalid’s entry blows one away as it’s a smashing action scene shot in one take. One expects the cat and mouse chase sequence to begin immediately from hereon. But instead, the film goes on a flashback mode to explain the dynamics of Kabir and Khalid’s bond. The mid-air action scene is quite fun while the intermission comes at a decisive point. Post interval, the Hrithik vs Tiger saga begins in full force and makes for a fun watch. The film also gets a bit stretched but the twist in the tale saves the day to an extent. Ideally a film like this should have ended on a high but the finale fight is tedious and too long.
War: Public Review | First Day First Show | Hrithik Roshan | Tiger Shroff | Vaani Kapoor
Talking of performances, both Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff deliver exceptional performances. Hrithik Roshan looks very dashing and his performance is outstanding. He is brilliant in every frame. In some of the emotional moments, he’s quite endearing. Tiger Shroff’s action as expected is out of this world and it’s commendable the way he fights baddies in the long action sequence in the beginning. In the emotional sequences, he shines and his act gets better in the pre-climax and finale. Vaani Kapoor (Naina) has a very late entry but manages to impress with her performance and oomph. Also, she dances like a dream. Ravi Awana (Basheer) is very convincing as the terrorist. Sanjeev Vatsa (Rizwan Ilyasi) and the actor playing Feroze Contractor are quite good as the baddies. Ashutosh Rana is dependable as always. Anupriya Goenka (Aditi) has a decent screen presence and suits the part. Dipannita Sharma (Dr Mallika Singhal) is okay in the cameo. Soni Razdan, Arif Zakaria, Mohit Chauhan and Swaroopa Ghosh (Sherna Patel) are fine.
Vishal-Shekhar's music doesn’t have a long shelf life. 'Jai Jai Shivshankar' is the better of the two songs thanks to Hrithik and Tiger’s chemistry. 'Ghungroo' comes next. Sanchit Balhara and Ankit Balhara's background score is energetic and adds to the thrill. Benjamin Jasper’s cinematography matches global standards. The film is shot in some of the beautiful locales of the world and the lensman does justice to each place. Rajat Poddar's production design is rich and appealing. Paul Jennings, Oh SeaYoung, Parvez Shaikh and Franz Sphilhaus's action is a highpoint. Each and every action scene is well thought of and choreographed. The finale fight however could have been shorter and more imaginative. Anaita Shroff Adajania and Niharika Jolly's costumes make the actors look sexier. YFX’s VFX is superior. Aarif Sheikh's editing is slick. The various action shots are well stitched together. But in the second half, there was a need to trim down a few scenes.
On the whole, WAR is a paisa-vasool action entertainer which has style as well as enough twists and turns to keep the viewers engrossed. At the box office, the extended weekend, dazzling action, stunning international locales and stylish execution will ensure mammoth footfalls for the film.