War Review | Hrithik vs Tiger

War is perhaps one of the biggest films coming out of India this year and is advertised as a globe-trotting spy thriller in line with the Mission Impossible and James Bond films. Boasting an impressive 200 crore budget (~30 million USD), War stars Hrithik Roshan, Tiger Shroff, and Vaani Kapoor. The film hit theaters worldwide on October 2nd, alongside Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy. And while it is expected to sweep the box office, the question remains, how does this high octane action movie compare against the films it is trying so openly to imitate?

The storyline in War is pretty straightforward from the get-go. One of the Indian Army's top soldiers, Kabir (Hrithik Roshan), has gone rogue and it is up to Kabir's former student, Khalid (Tiger Shroff), to lead the hunt to bring him in, dead or alive. While War does have a few surprises up its sleeves, for the most part, its story is nothing new and should feel familiar to any fan of the action genre.

Hrithik and Tiger have a lot of weight to carry in this movie. From the tagline of the film ("Hrithik vs Tiger") to the marketing tactic of not showing the two stars together in interviews, there is a lot that relies on their stardom. They carry the weight rather gracefully upon their bulging traps. Tiger Shroff is given more to work with in this movie than his typical roles and he handles it well. Where he really shines is his graceful fighting and dancing that comes naturally to him thanks to his background as a gymnast. On the other side, Hrithik is fantastic in this movie and his performance is natural and nuanced for the rather simple character he has. While Vaani Kapoor isn't in the film much, her character brings the emotional core to the film. Perhaps one of the best sequences in the film follows Hrithik and Vaani's characters in Italy. While it may be predictable to most how the mission will end, it still remains visually interesting and thematically engaging throughout.

The most inconsistent thing about War is its visual language, which feels sporadic and unmotivated. The film utilizes a lot of shaky cam that doesn't really do much for the film in any way. A simple dialogue scene is made chaotic with the camera shaking wildly throughout. In addition to this, there are cheesy snap zooms and jarring spinning dolly shots that are thrown in randomly and do more to bring you out of the film rather than further immerse you.

War's inspirations are clear right from the start. The title sequence feels ripped straight out of Mission Impossible with the theme song blasting at full volume as snippets of what's to come flash briefly on the screen, to the lack of music during two of the most important fight sequences that are reminiscent of the famous bathroom fight scene in Fallout. Not to mention that the climactic car chase that takes place on the Arctic Circle feels very similar to the end of The Fate of the Furious. While this may seem like I am criticizing the movie for its influences, I am actually completely alright with it, because, on paper, all this makes for a very entertaining package that is meant to be watched on the big screen. The part where War really stumbles is when you take a second look at the story. What is initially a cool twist, begins to unravel fast when you start to think about it more. While this is a topic we will delve into more in another article due to spoilers, I will say that the more you think about War's biggest curveball, the more it feels like an easy trick and less like a carefully hidden surprise.

One place where War absolutely excels, however, is in its musical score, with its two songs and 'Khalid's Theme' stealing the show. Unlike a typical Bollywood movie, the film only has two songs in order to make room for more action, which makes the songs that appear in each half, that much more impactful. Both of them are well choreographed and take advantage of each of the stars dancing capabilities. These songs also showcase some of the best cinematography in the film, with shots that follow the dancing clearly and effectively, to craft two great video songs that stand solidly by themselves as well as with the movie as a whole. The background score often takes center stage during the large action sequences, allowing for the energy to really amp up.

In the end, War can be a fun time at the movies. It has two big action stars going head to head on the big screen accompanied by a bombastic score, crazy action set pieces, exotic cars, and even more exotic locations. After a long week of work, War is a great release valve. However, it requires you to not look too closely at the tale it's weaving, or else the story starts to fall apart.

Post a Comment