Movies

‘War’ review: Astonishing action, slick screenplay and a killer Hrithik-Tiger bromance

A still from ‘War’.

A still from ‘War’.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Somewhere in the middle of War, intelligence agent Neha (Anupriya Goenka) coquettishly tells her boss Kabir (Hrithik Roshan) that she is willing to elope and get married to him, were he to ask her. To which agent Khalid (Tiger Shroff) with eyes bashfully down, a shy smile playing on his lips, tells her to fall in line. All with an unmistakable and cute proprietorial air; not reserved for Neha mind you, but for Kabir.

So, to put it straight and simple, War gains much from the chemistry between Khalid and Kabir, nay Tiger and Hrithik, that sets the screen smoking and sizzling, be it the dance off, facing the enemy’s bullets together, engaging in bare-handed (and bare-chested) duels or racing on bikes and cars in chases through scenic cobbled streets or cold expanse of ice. Their perfect consonance and well matched tuning and rhythm makes them one of the best on screen couples in recent times. To top it, the loving glances and longing looks that they constantly throw at one another seems to spell much more than innocent bromance.

War (Hindi)
  • Director: Siddharth Anand
  • Starring: Hrithik Roshan, Tiger Shroff, Ashutosh Rana, Vaani Kapoor, Anupriya Goenka
  • Storyline: An intelligence agent wages a war against his mentor who has turned rogue. That too at a time when India needs to be saved from the terror of the dreaded Rizwan Ilyasi.

Not that anyone is complaining. Certainly not when the buff, tanned Hrithik scorches the screen by merely walking across it or towards the audience. Glares on, the swagger supported ably by rippling muscles and just the right sprinkling of salt in the peppery hair. All this complete with the tricolour fluttering away in the corner of a very fetching desi Top Gun frame.

The fit and fluid Tiger is just as effective with his lightning fast moves and sharp chops. So much so that I didn’t even realise the total absence of the heroine, Vaani Kapoor, till the interval. “I don’t think anyone will look at me,” she had said in an interview about working with Hrithik and Tiger. Quite right. She is almost inconsequential in this tale of an agent trying to nab and wage a war against his mentor who has turned rogue, even as India itself needs to be saved from the terror of the dreaded villain Rizwan Ilyasi.

 

So will Vaani break the cosy Hrithik-Tiger partnership? Far from it. She makes the obligatory bikini-clad entry and does little else to the film other than bring in a tiny twist in the plot.

The thing that works for War is that it’s able to mix some giddy elements of the Hindi spy thrillers of yore like Ankhen, Agent Vinod etc. — hidden lairs, blown covers, tapped phones, deadly poison, hidden transmitters, mistaken identities — and gives it a modern spit and polish. There is the across the globe chase through many fetching locations — from panoramic Connaught Place in Delhi to Malta, Marrakesh, Portugal to some that are spectacular even in their destruction like Tikrit.

 

There are some electrifying and astonishingly executed action sequences — in the air, earth, ice and water, and not just on airplanes but flying jeeps too. All of it makes War nifty enough to be in the league of the Bond or Hollywood films and many notches higher than the high profile actioners from Yashraj’s own stable like Ek Tha Tiger and Tiger Zinda Hai.

Despite there being nothing new and everything predictable about it, War is slick and smart and keeps the audience engaged and absorbed. What irks is the nth iteration of a Muslim trying to prove his loyalty for Bharat. The good Muslim shoved in to balance out the global Islamic terror. Why do it so needlessly and thoughtlessly when the film is anyhow successful enough in its larger aim of providing “entertainment, entertainment, entertainment”?

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2020 11:24:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/war-review-though-predictable-this-is-a-slick-and-smart-thriller/article29574158.ece

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