‘War’ Movie Review: A mixture of classy, modish and brutal elements

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War is loud and brutal but is also stylish and stuffed with surprise packages that keep you afloat.

Kabir (Hrithik Roshan) and Khalid (Tiger Shroff) are the heroes as well as the anti-heroes. They fight together. But they also fight against each other. They are chasing a terrorist. But they are also chasing each other’s tail. Amidst all of this, War, which is centred around two Indian soldiers and their pursuit of finding the masterminds of terror groups, comes packed with an abundance of surprises to astonish you at various moments (sometimes even totally unexpected). Director Siddharth Anand knows he has a set of highly flamboyant actors and he uses them to great perfection. In this, Hrithik and Tiger are muscular, stylish, agile, fast, and dazzling. Most important of all, Hrithik is a proven performer. In spite of the film’s lack of substance, these two steer the film to its safety.

Unlike the masterfully shot action sequences, the film’s plot doesn’t seem well thought-out. The plot twists work wonders but the film is devoid of the depth, relevance and focus in the storyline. The film also suffers from its sheer incapability in evoking emotions. (Neither the romance portions bloomed between Kabir and Naina (Vaani Kapoor) nor do you feel the loss or separation when their brief relationship comes to an end.) But the movie doesn’t seem wearisome due to the realistic, classy and mind-bending stunt sequences. Whether it is a sharp object that’s been almost inserted into someone’s eyes or a magnet-powered device that’s being used to jump on a flying plane and enter inside it or a deluge of gunshots from which someone’s escaping unscathed, you get all of it in this heart-stopping film.

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Siddharth Anand also considers the possibility of one actor easily overpowering the other. He gives the right amount of space to each of them to express themselves. When Hrithik has to show his heroic side (or even villainous side) as Kabir, Tiger steps aside. And when it’s Tiger’s turn to portray his heroic and villainous side as Khalid, Hrithik moves aside. They both are extraordinary dancers as well. And the songs featured in the film makes great use of their remarkable skills. (There will be comparisons of who’s dancing better and you can’t help it.)

The film keeps you guessing about several things and makes you raise questions like – Is Colonel Luthra (Ashutosh Rana) involved in terror activities too? When the film presents ‘big shocker’ from time to time, those are the moments that impress you the most. War is loud and brutal but is also stylish and stuffed with surprise packages that keep you afloat.

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‘Super 30’ Movie Review: A great start and a dumb finish to an extraordinary story

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‘Super 30’ starts off promisingly, turns trite after a while and ends up with an unnecessary action-thriller sequence leaving a huge dissatisfaction.

The very first thing that captivates you in Director Vikas Bahl’s Super 30 is the background score from the duo of Ajay-Atul. The alluring and tuneful composition can make you fall in love with it instantly and you will find yourself swaying involuntarily as if the sound waves have got you under their control. Super 30 begins with the romantic side of the story. As Anand Kumar (Hrithik Roshan’s exemplary performance keeps you engrossed) comes to see Ritu (Mrunal Thakur leaves her mark in a short spell), who is taking her Indian classical dance lessons, Ajay-Atul’s score in the background mesmerises you. The love angle seems to be attracting your attention as the nerdy Anand gives a love letter containing binary numbers to the ravishing Ritu.

There’s an abrupt change in the narrative as the romance, that was building up between Anand and Ritu for a brief period, gives way to the more important matter at hand – which is the struggle of Anand Kumar and his perseverance towards assisting poor children to crack the most sought after engineering entrance exam in India. But this sudden change in the plot and its failure in registering the strong bond between Anand and Ritu keeps you wanting for more and you don’t feel for their separation. 

Anand Kumar, a real-life hero, on whom the movie is based, is lauded for his magnificent efforts towards bringing change, educating and preparing 30 poor kids every year for free of cost to help them get into Indian Institute of Technology. It’s the tough times that the movie focuses more upon. Written by Sanjeev Dutta, the film does engage you for the most part but loses its sheen in the second half.

There’s a constant attempt to reiterate the norm that is being followed the most in our society – “raja ka beta hi banega raja” (Only the king’s son is eligible to sit on the throne next). Instances like Anand being thrown out of the library (foreign journals are for high standard ones, says the library manager) or being asked to teach only the “premium” students who can pay huge amount of fees in return does make you understand the plight of poor people who really want to pursue education of their choice. But such instances become so repetitive in the film and that’s when you can get a bit restless.

Pankaj Tripathi and Aditya Shrivastava bring a villainous look to the characters of education minister and coaching centre head respectively. But their relevance drops significantly as the movie progresses.

There are moments where it can get hard to control your emotions and hold back your tears. The father-son relationship is the best thing about the movie. The excitement in Anand’s father (played by Virendra Saxena), while riding his bicycle and carrying the letter containing mathematical theory solved by his son, is palpable. There’s discernible care for his son seen as he first combs his hair and then combs Anand’s while on their way to ask for help with money. It’s heart-wrenching to see a father’s utter disappointment and dejectedness in his failure of arranging money in time for his son’s education. And then there is this display of hopeful faces of a young boy working in a manhole or a young girl being helped by her mother to escape from the grabs of a drunk father. It makes it difficult for you to see the poor conditions they live in but having dreams of becoming a nuclear scientist or a biotech engineer. Also, Anand’s incessant struggle in bringing food on the table for his students worries you.

It’s wonderful to see how Anand incorporates real-life scenarios to teach his students. He also mentions how the rich people are getting to enjoy all the privileges. He further says that it’s about time that the “hakdaar” (entitled person) gets to reap the benefits and they will have to take a huge “chhalaang” (leap) to get ahead in life. Who knew this will pan out so bad? The movie winds up trying a big cinematic experience with some dumb goons being intelligently tackled by these poor kids. Only that it doesn’t work at all. Super 30 starts off promisingly, turns trite after a while and ends up with an unnecessary action-thriller sequence leaving a huge dissatisfaction.