Kabir has gone rogue” is the classic dialogue that greets us minutes into the opening of the Bollywood espionage thriller War. Now, where have we heard that before? In umpteen Hollywood movies – from the Bourne Identity series to the Mission Impossible movies and a few James Bond outings as well.
And just like these Hollywood spy thrillers, there is no doubt the action is top notch in the Siddharth Anand directed War. There are enough high-octane car chases, exploding vehicles, bullets flying left, right and centre and a fantastic action scene set inside a plane and one in the Arctic Circle that will make you believe you are watching a Hollywood production.
Yes, some of the scenes might seem a bit too contrived and convoluted – but if we are ready to laud Hollywood despite all these issues, why not Bollywood?
The plot centres around Kabir (Hrithik Roshan), a high ranking Indian secret agent who is entrusted with the mission to eliminate Ilyas Qureshi, a terror mastermind, who is out to wreck havoc in India.
Tiger plays Khalid, a new recruit, who joins Kabir’s team to showcase his loyalty towards his country and also regain his family honour, following his father’s treacherous act.
However much you try to second-guess this action thriller, director Anand is seasoned enough to ensure that the twist, when it finally comes, totally blows your mind. It might be far-fetched, or let’s admit it, improbable, but if Nicholas Cage and John Travolta can pull it off, why not Hrithik and Tiger?
Hrithik is a dream to watch and has enough charisma to pull off even the most mundane dialogues and make the improbable look probable. The actor, we have to admit, looks like a desi Rambo with his bronzed and muscular body on display, which the camera lovingly lingers on, specially in his grand entrance scene. Along with us, even Tiger is left in awe! As for the younger actor, we have to laud his screen presence because he is able to stand shoulder to shoulder with a seasoned star like Roshan in every scene, including the Holi dance number Jai Jai Shiv Shankar.
War is a testosterone-filled visual spectacle, which has been mounted on a lavish scale. Agreed, the heroes don’t break into a sweat despite pummeling a dozen bad guys and kicking their way into the enemy’s den. But when you have these two dishy guys to feast on, who’s complaining!
The jet-setting agents ensure that in two-and-a-half hours we are transported across the world to Italy, Greece, Portugal, Syria and even Kerala in India!
Vaani Kapoor as professional dancer, Naina, fits her role perfectly. You can’t fault her performance though it is as brief as the costumes she dons in the movie.
Ashutosh Rana as the colonel heading the spy agency gets enough screen space, though it is mostly a dialogue-driven performance. Arif Zakaria (a scientist) and Soni Razdan (who plays Khalid’s mother) don’t enjoy the same favour, though they play their respective roles with due diligence in this action thriller.
It’s not often that you see a movie whose best scenes are not all used up in the trailer. War has enough and more spectacular action sequences and plot twists to keep you peeled to the screen. If you are a fan of action-packed spy movies, and willing to suspend your disbelief often, then you’d love this.
Director: Siddharth Anand
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Tiger Shroff, Vaani Kapoor, Soni Razdan, Ashuthosh Rana, Arif Zakaria
Rating: 3.5 out of 5