Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Tiger Shroff, Ashutosh Rana, Anupriya Goenka, Mashoor Amrohi, Vaani Kapoor, Soni Razdan, Arif Zakaria
Director: Siddharth Anand
Rating: * * *
Don’t know why every RAW/Special Ops agent (as depicted in Bollywood films), has to keep mouthing dialogues which affirm his allegiance to the country. There’s a surfeit of such jingoistic Nationalism in ‘War’ a film that pits a teacher against his student in an internecine game of catch me if you can, that crisscrosses right across Asia and Europe before it settles down in Kerala and then takes off again to Australia. The camerawork here is obviously scrumptious.
Siddharth Anand’s narrative hopes to go one better on the ‘Tiger’ series by fashioning exploits of a Jason Bourne like rogue agent, Kabir (Hrithik) who was once a most prized team leader of a special ops team which also had understudy Khalid (Tiger Shroff) in it. The non-linear narrative takes us back and forth in time in order to build up some suspense over Kabir’s much too obvious reasons for turning rogue. And then it tries to pull off a conceit that is so preposterous that it becomes laugh worthy.
This film also turns plastic surgery into a photo-shop version of instant science – to the extent that a person who undergoes plastic surgery even exhibits abilities and mannerism to go with the appropriated face. Siddharth Anand’s narrative literally jumps time and gravity to make believe that unsubstantiated accusations become the springboard for peeling off layers of deceit. It’s a contrived spectacle that sets-up an adrenaline gush with high octane action and sleekly delivered thrills.
Car and bike chases, a never ending series of shoot-outs, traditional adrenaline pumping fisticuffs, original dancing and parkour stunt runs (by Tiger) will keep you glued to the screen even when things don’t make much sense. Hrithik, looking rejuvenated and at his best, is highly effective as the discredited agent while Tiger as the understudy who wants to wipe out the stain of a traitorous past is supremely efficient and agile. He is still a long way off from putting in a credit worthy performance but seems to be getting there slowly and steadily. This movie works because of its faultless casting and thrill-spewing action choreography. The story with deception and deceit as its central focus is pretty much hackneyed and seen before. Despite the rather long run-time, this film manages to keep you entertained and interested.