War is fun until the climax

War is a lot of fun to watch. It could have been a lot more enjoyable if the script didn’t take itself so seriously. This is a film version of a cartoon strip

War movie poster
War movie poster
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Subhash K Jha

War is a lot of fun to watch. It could have been a lot more enjoyable if the script didn’t take itself so seriously. This is a film version of a cartoon strip. It plucks the language of espionage bravery from its natural habitat and plants it into a never-never land. The  transplantation survives.

Locations shift fast and furiously to all possible exotic spots in the world, and so does the mood. This is a beautiful film to look at. The picturesque landscape is used to shoot beautiful people in repose as well as a landing spot for decimated opponents. The prolonged action sequences are the centerpieces of the plot. They fire up the  narrative engines and keep our interests alive.

There is not-unwelcome break from action midway when Hrithik’s Kabir romances a sexy single mother who dances around the world to support her daughter’s upbringing.  It’s an interesting role, played with sincerity by Vaani Kapoor.  But then, hell,  like  all good things  must come to an end, so must this film’s mood of suave  seductive action and intrigue. The endgame is stupid and so crudely forced into the plot, it seems as if the storywriters just didn’t know how to wind up the shindig. It’s like a party suddenly gone bust.

While not giving away the climax (for no other reason, except that audiences may decide to stay away after reading how the film  ends) I would like to remind screenwriters Shridhar Raghavan and Siddharth Anand that plastic surgery as a plot ploy went of vogue with James Bond’s You Only Live Twice.

Barring the last twenty minutes War  is a rollercoaster ride, a catchy cat-and-mouse bromance where the  two protagonists  Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff play the mentor-turned-tormentor and pupil with a large level of conviction and warmth. It’s is heartening to see Tiger keeping pace with Roshan, even though the latter uses a lot of  tricks to get our full concentration (notice how he swallows in between sentences to suggest tension and anxiety).

You wish the two actors would have danced together some more. Watching them  glide together was to me all the entertainment that I could hope for.

War has more. Its slick spin on the spy genre is welcome. The stunts are well edited so as to merge into the plot and not to let the two heroes play a game of one-upmanship. If only the closing 20 minutes had not decided to go rogue!

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