New Delhi: If you’ve been waiting for a solidly entertaining action flick — War is it. If you’re looking for a well thought-out, tight plot — War isn’t it.
Packed with fight sequences, car chases and a satisfying number of explosions, and starring two of Bollywood’s top action heroes, War is a great weekend watch that you’ll forget by Monday.
Directed by Siddharth Anand, War is the story of Kabir Luthra (Hrithik Roshan) and Khalid Rahmani (Tiger Shroff), two agents from an ambiguous Indian intelligence agency. Rahmani is a promising up-and-comer with a sordid past while Luthra, a seasoned top agent, is his mentor. However, Luthra suddenly turns rogue, killing specific people in random order and Rahmani is tasked with finding out why and stopping him.
An action film through and through
After watching the trailer, many may have really low expectations from this film, but Anand and Yash Raj Films deliver on multiple fronts. It is an action film, and the many high-powered sequences do the film justice.
The high production values shine through, so the frames are not boring, tacky or overdone, unlike in other Bollywood action movies. It has everything — motorcycle chases in Portugal’s back alleys, explosions in the south of France, an armed showdown in ISIS-occupied Syria, and even a fight in an abandoned church.
It also has many gaping plot holes. There are many parts where the story lags and multiple questions pop up which remain unanswered. Rahmani and Luthra’s relationship, which is the focal point of the film, is also not explored properly. While the start of their relationship is shown at length (which makes it look like a romance more than anything), the story never really shows how the two grow close or get to know each other well.
The disconnect also spills into the structure of the film, where the first half and second half seem like two completely different but vaguely related stories. However, even this plot, with more holes in it than Shroff’s bullet-riddled T-shirt, manages to take you by surprise in the end.
Given the genre, Roshan and Shroff are in their element. The two actors deliver what they are meant to. War could well be seen as Roshan’s comeback as an action star, after the abysmal Bang Bang! (2014). The new silver fox look and cocky character suit him and he will, hopefully, stick with it. As for Shroff, he is finally entering the big league with this film, but he still lacks finesse when it comes to actual acting. But then, War is not about acting.
Unsurprisingly, in this testosterone-fuelled film, female characters only serve as convenient plot points. Vaani Kapoor has a short but pivotal role in the film, but is forgettable.
Anand’s direction has improved remarkably from his earlier films, but is barely satisfactory. The camerawork is confusing – the hand-held technique, lots of fast pans and 360-degree shots actually make one dizzy.
There are only two songs in the film and it would make no difference if they were cut out.
Bottom line, watch it if you want a Mission Impossible-esque feel without having to use your brain.