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Friday, December 8, 2023

War Movie Review: Hrithik & Tiger Emerge Triumphant in this Battle

War has left us divided between Team Hrithik and Team Tiger… Whilst many of us have been grooving to the hit numbers ‘Ghungroo’ and ‘Jai Jai Shiv Shankar’.

Directed by Siddharth Anand this Yash Raj Films (YRF) production is touted to be one of the biggest action films in Bollywood.

Uniting handsome hunks Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff for the first time ever, it promises to be a high-octane action entertainer.

Plus, it also marks the return of Vaani Kapoor on celluloid after a 3-year hiatus since Befikre.

The film revolves around an Indian soldier Khalid (Tiger Shroff) who is assigned to eliminate his former mentor, Kabir (Hrithik Roshan), who goes rogue.

It has everything a commercial audience seeks: exquisite foreign locations, chiselled looks, foot-tapping songs and full-throttle action.

The film exudes action in almost every frame, even though at times it makes one nostalgic of other previous ventures like Dhoom, Fanaa, Race and Bang Bang.

Having said that, the hand-to-hand combat is almost poetic to watch, despite the aggression and force.

There is a scene where Tiger engages in a fight with a few antagonists and all we hear is the sound of punches/kicks and screams.

Such segments encapsulate the real spirit of action and it continues to spellbind the audience.

These magnificent stunts are topped by the crisp editing and picturesque cinematography, accompanied by Sanchit Balhara’s enchanting background music.

Plus, it is one of the first YRF action thrillers to be certificate 15 thus the movie exhibits violence and gore, but in a sensible manner.

Despite it being led by two formidable men, thankfully the central female characters are not reduced to love interests.

On one hand, there is Vaani Kapoor (in an incredibly short role), a dancer and single mother who works hard to make ends meet.

On the other hand, Anupriya Goenka plays Aditi, an intelligence officer working in Khalid’s team. 

She displays her prowess and expertise during the most crucial parts of the film.

Though both Vaani and Anupriya’s roles are of supporting characters, they contribute to the narrative and are not wasted. 

Vaani is gorgeous and holds a solid screen presence. Likewise for Anupriya, both of them are very talented actors and we deserve to see more from them.

This incorporation of woman characters proves that male-dominated masala films are not solely about the bravado masculinity and overt machismo. 

It is great that the movie does not indulge in an unnecessary love song. It stays objective in the sense that it remains an action thriller, from beginning to end.

When it comes to the performances of Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff – they are INCREDIBLE to watch on screen.

Hrithik played the Super 30 teacher earlier this year and now, Tiger’s mentor in War.

He is an undisputed legend and approaches every scene with chutzpah.

At times, his mysterious yet anti-heroic demeanour reminds one of Mr A from Dhoom 2 and his dialogue delivery is so charmingly lethal. 

We missed him in this avatar and it is so great to see him back!

The real show-stealer, however, is Tiger Shroff. His maturity as a performer is evident in War and this is undoubtedly his best performance yet.

If you think that Shroff is simply good only for his gymnastics and action stunts, then here he proves his worth as an actor.

Also, the synergy between both Roshan and Shroff is electric. It sends shockwaves through celluloid. Their camaraderie is surely worthwhile!

Ashutosh Rana plays Colonel Luthra. It is refreshing to see him in an authoritative role which is not sinister or evil. He compliments the cast well.

Dipannita Sharma, Soni Razdan and Arif Zakaria appear in brief roles and are okay. 

Whilst the Hrithik-Tiger camaraderie and action sequences are highlights, the movie’s narrative is quite far-fetched.

At one point, it feels as though the story will progress in a predictable manner, but something rather unexpected happens which makes us wonder “how can this actually happen?”

Furthermore, there are a few unexplainable action stunts which occur in extraordinary ways, which again seem larger-than-life for those expecting realism. 

As such, the ‘Jai Jai Shiv Shankar’ is oddly placed in the film’s narrative and interrupts the flow of events.

Whilst it is a joy to see the two male leads shake a leg together, the song appearing at the end credits would’ve allowed us to enjoy the visual more. 

Since War is remote from being a perfect film, do these glitches prevent the entertainment factor? My answer is ‘no’.

This is because Siddharth Anand yet again presents pure escapist cinema which is enjoyable to watch and the two hours (or so) elapse quickly.

At the same time, the film does not undermine the audience’s intellect with the ‘extraordinary’ circumstances.

The makers try to justify these situations with rationality and that should be sufficient for the mass viewers.

Moreover, the Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff union are worth the common man’s money.

This is a fresh pair, which was a long time coming and will entice the audience (and fans) to see more of them!

⭐⭐⭐.5 (3.5./5 stars)

Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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