Review: War Chhod Na Yaar has some really good moments 2.5/5

The first half of
War Chhod Na Yaar
has the pitch-
perfect tone of a
war comedy with
some real gems
that bind the
narrative, writes
Nishi Tiwari.
When our mind is free of ideas of
what human relationships ought to
be or when we are simply pressed for
options, we forge the unlikeliest of
associations.
Faraz Haider makes that primal need
for human contact the focus of his
story in his directorial debut War
Chhod Na Yaar.
Hailed as India’s first war comedy,
implying as if the film needs to be
watched on that merit alone, War
Chhod Na Yaar stars Sharman Joshi,
Jaaved Jaffrey and Soha Ali Khan in
lead roles.
Joshi’s Raj and Jaffrey’s Qureshi
serve as Captains of the Indian and
Pakistani armies respectively,
stationed at the border.
Despite serving on opposing sides,
Raj and Qureshi are friends who often
spend slow days verbally sparring --
there are a lot of genuinely funny and
witty exchanges between the two --
and playing antakshari.
Joshi and Jafferey in the comic
scenes make a formidable pair. We
are all familiar with Sharman Joshi’s
killer comic timing and Javed
Jaffrey’s acting prowess, who’s
shined only sporadically in his long
career, thanks to lack of original
writing or roles.
And then there’s Soha Ali Khan as
Rut Dutta (presumably fashioned after
Barkha Dutt?), an aggressive
television journalist who comes
across as meek and only slightly
aloof.
She’s commissioned by the Union
Defense Minister of the country
(Dalip Tahil) to cover a story about
an impending Indo-Pak war at the
border.
Speaking of Dalip Tahil, the actor
plays four roles in the film -- he is
also seen as the Defence Minster of
Pakistan, China and the USA, as
conspirators of the war.
His caricature-ish portrayal of all four
is fun to watch, so are Sanjay Mishra
as Commander Khan and Manoj
Pahwa, the video game addict
Pakistani army general.
The first half of the film has the
pitch-perfect tone of a war comedy
with some real gems that bind the
narrative.
Complaining about the quality of
food served to his men, the Pakistani
army general says to his defense
minister, "Humaare afsar aajkal
intelligence se zyada gas pass kar
rahe hain (Our officers are passing
more gas than intelligence these
days).’
So what happens when all jokes have
been cracked and comic scenarios
explored? The film begins its
descend downhill.
Suddenly, delightful irreverence gives
way to unwarranted melodrama
coupled with the makers’ lofty ideas
of positive change brought on by a
revolution.
It’s like watching Anil Kapoor’s
Nayak, only here, a journalist -- who
poses the most painfully generic and
inane questions to an army captain,
like ‘don’t you want to stop this
(war)’ -- is responsible for the moral
cleansing of not one but two
countries and their respective people.
Then follows the most common
affliction most Hindi filmmakers
making a conscious effort to break
new grounds suffer from.
The camaraderie between the
captains and their subordinates
assumes a more jingoistic tone.
Inaccurate depiction of a war zone --
a civilian crosses the border to
briefly go to the other side (in a war
zone, no less), there’s constant firing
from both sides but the body count is
zero till the end -- and flippant
dialogues like ‘Aaj humara media
adult hua hai (Our media has grown
up today),’ undo the first half’s good
work.
All said and done though, this is a
start. Hope India’s second war
comedy will stick to the brief.

Review: War Chhod Na Yaar has some really good moments 2.5/5 Review: War Chhod Na Yaar has
some really good moments 2.5/5 Reviewed by Sanket Shirodkar on 23:28 Rating: 5
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