Seeing two of the biggest action stars of our times in a film together is an exciting idea in itself. Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff coming together in an action thriller is great news. However, there are some concerns one has as one steps inside the theatre to watch ‘War’, this week’s new Hindi release that features the two actors in principal roles. Hrithik had earlier collaborated with director Siddharth Anand on ‘Bang Bang!’ (2014) which was an official remake of the Hollywood film ‘Knight And Day’. The Tom Cruise – Cameron Diaz starrer had a wafer-thin plot and one had expected the makers of the Hindi remake to have worked on putting together a more sharp and cohesive screenplay. Unfortunately, the script written by Sujoy Ghosh and Suresh Nair (with dialogues by Abbas Tyrewala) was not much of an improvement on the original resulting in a remake which was as uninspiring as the film it was based on. ‘War’ is an original film but the trailer of the film indicated at it having a plot that one had come across in several Hindi films in the past. As the opening credits roll, one hopes those pre-conceived notions turn out to be false.
Kabir (Hrithik Roshan) is one of the most revered members of a crime-fighting unit in India. Kabir carefully handpicks people to be a part of his unit, so when his senior Colonel Luthra (Ashutosh Rana) asks him to make the newly recruited Khalid (Tiger Shroff) a part of his unit he is reluctant. Khalid’s father was an officer who went rogue and betrayed his unit and his country. Kabir thinks being his father’s son, Khalid cannot be trusted. Colonel Luthra assures him that he is a very well-trained and dedicated cadet and will prove to be an asset to his team. Despite his reservations, he decides to make Khalid a part of his team on Luthra’s insistence. Soon, Khalid proves that, unlike his father, he is a true soldier and patriot. Meanwhile, Kabir goes rogue and sides with the enemies of the country. Khalid is given the responsibility to get hold of Kabir. Now, Khalid is up against a war against the man who mentored him and the one he looked up to.
The film’s plot is not as straight-forward and simple as one had expected it to be after watching the trailer. It is filled with several complexities and twists which are incorporated with an aim to take the audience by surprise and keep them at the edge of their seat as they see the drama unfold on the screen. Sadly, that does not happen as most of the plot twists come across as implausible and silly. The screenplay is filled with glaring loopholes which makes it difficult for one to invest in the story and the characters. Is it okay for a man to kill a bunch of innocent people while trying to stop a mishap? Can somebody, who is suffering from a vision problem, be inducted into the army or some crime-fighting unit? Is it possible for somebody to get entry into the internal setup of a crime-fighting organisation just by getting a new face – how does he get through the biometric test and other entry-points where his identity is verified? The first half of the film, though predictable, has its moments. The equation which Kabir and Khalid are shown to be sharing here, Khalid’s drive to prove himself in front of his mentor, all this makes for good watch.
The film has plenty of action sequences and all of them are choreographed and executed very well. The film also has some of the best VFX works one has seen in a Hindi film in a long time. It is the second half which turns out to be a complete mess. The narrative goes haywire, some of the twists are predictable, some are silly. The action, of course, continues to be slick. The climax is over-long and despite a few standalone action pieces, is boring.
Hrithik Roshan carries the film on his shoulders and delivers a terrific performance. He has been presented in the film very well and leaves a lasting impact both with his persona and performance. Tiger Shroff shows some improvements over his earlier performances but he has a long way to go before he can be taken seriously as an actor. There is a certain earnestness in him which works well for his character. Vaani Kapoor makes an entry in the second half but despite limited screen-time, she leaves a mark. She dances very well in the ‘Ghungroo’ song and registers a huge impact in one important scene she gets with Hrithik. Ashutosh Rana gets limited scope to perform. Mashoor Amrohi is good as Firoz Contractor. Anupriya Goenka lends good support. Soni Razdan leaves an impact in a cameo.
Hrithik Roshan’s performance and action are two things that hold this film, which suffers from a very weak screenplay, together.