Hrithik Roshan is hanging from a snow-covered mountain peak, when he tries to rappel horizontally in an effort to find a sturdy crevice. But wait, this isn’t a movie. Roshan is doing this to showcase the daredevil nature of a soft drink. Similarly, Tiger Shroff jumps right out of an airplane and finds his way into a car, which has a parachute inside it. This stunt is also a part of a automobile commercial. Looking at the trailer for Siddharth Anand’s War – one could be fooled into thinking that the Yash Raj film is a feature-length commercial being powered by its leading men’s tireless love for high-voltage acrobatics & sexy slow-motion.
Yeah yeah, we all get something described as an ‘OTT action film’, where the plot is simply incidental to the set-pieces by the stunt team. There’s no doubt War has two of the most competent action stars in the Hindi film industry. Both Roshan and Shroff are relentless and vain (not necessarily a bad thing) perfectionists. But how much of the film can solely rely on the spectacle around this ‘clash of generations’. What happened to lip-servicing a plotline for a film, however formulaic and generic. Last we checked, film-making’s most primal job was to tell a story?
Director Siddharth Anand, who tasted his biggest success (Bang Bang!) in the form of a botched-up remake of an infuriatingly mediocre Tom Cruise-starrer (Knight & Day), seems keen only to capture his two leading men’s neat biceps and the wind blowing through their perfect hair. The ‘heroic’ background score as they walk around in slow-motion wearing sleek sunglasses, making the film’s leading lady (Vaani Kapoor) look like an after-thought. It might be too early to tell only by watching the film’s trailer, but Siddharth Anand’s War might just sit nicely into the bracket of ‘peak vanity, zero substance’.
There are two kinds of action franchises ruling the world right now. Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible series continues to roll out preposterous save-the-world missions for its 57-year-old lead (Tom Cruise has announced two more films after 2017’s Fallout) and the Fast n Furious franchise that has been making promises (read: lying) to its fans about the ‘one last job’ to be undertaken by Vin Diesel’s crew of daredevil drivers. Just like the Fast n Furious films, Siddharth Anand’s War appears to stem from an insincere intention to make a ‘successful film’ over a ‘good film’.
There are a lot of ‘breathless’ stunts choreographed to accommodate the stunning physical prowess of both Roshan and Shroff, but given its absolute disdain towards even the most elementary form of storytelling, it’s hard to muster up any interest to watch War. We already know who’s gonna win, superficial storytelling.
Watch the War montage… err… trailer here: