Waar has been one of the most anticipated movies from Pakistan in recent times. We’ve been hearing about an ISPR funded movie for three years now! Then there was money, the right cast, a fresh director, and above all very high class technical staff to support it. Expectations were raised and the movie benefited from the long Eid weekend, but the question remains… did it meet the expectations? Waar tells the story of Mujtaba (Shaan Shahid) who has left ISI due to his personal reasons. Meanwhile Ehtasham (Hamza Ali Abbassi), a brave Pakistani police officer, who happens to be battling terrorists and is involved in many successful operations along with his sister Ayesha (Aisha Khan). The plot thickens when both of them get to know that Pakistan will be hit by a major terrorist attack and there is only one man who can prevent it. Guess who…? Yup, our desi super hero Mujtaba! A man who’s won many awards and been involved in many covert operations, yet, he lives a mysterious life. Of course, Mujtaba agrees to help after a lot of nakhray. The terrorist group deploys Rimal (Shamoon Abbasi), an Afghan, to achieve its target helped by an RAW agent (India) named Lakshmi (Meesha Shafi). Thus, here starts our cat and mouse game . I had two choices when I started reviewing it. Either I could be a ek din ka Pakistani and say wah wah kya movie bannai hai… yeh movie to India ko nahi balkay Hollywood ko dikhani chaheye or I could be an honest Pakistani and give my honest feedback about it. So, as is evident, I chose the latter. Please feel free to doubt my patriotism. My first problem with Waar is what purpose does it serve? Yeh movie bannai kis kay liye hai? Is it for the masses in Pakistan? Doesn’t seem like it, since, eighty percent of the move is in English. Is it for the Americans? Doesn’t seem like it either, since, they get to watch movies like this every day. Bilal Lashari said they have made this movie in English for people outside of Pakistan so that they can understand our perspective. Fair enough! It’s much needed but couldn’t they use just one small effort by dubbing it in Urdu so that it could cater to everyone? Waar is no doubt an excellent effort in telling the world our side of the story. However, it fails due to the wafer thin story line. I have said it before and I will say it again “script is king” and will remain so. There isn’t any story/screen play what so ever. There are times when you feel confused since the scenes aren’t in order, as though you take all the ingredients put them in a pot and just mix them without proper care. What comes out is a half-cooked kacha meal. The thrill is missing, the nail-biting scenes are missing, and there aren’t any one liners that you can take home with you. All you get to see are some really captivating camera shots, as though the director wanted to show off the skills of his DoP. The saving grace happens to be the wonderful acting by Shaan and the equally impressive and well-executed action sequences, the first of their kind in Pakistani movie. It’s difficult to imagine anyone else in the role of hot headed ISI officer Mujtaba, Shaan seems perfect for this role and he enacts it with such precision, such flourish, such confidence that it leaves you wanting more. A mind-boggling performance without doubt! Aisha Khan does a wonderful job of recreating an American accent but that’s about it. There isn’t any meat in her role. All she does is some nice attitude here and there some “ankho ka ishara” and that’s about it! Meesha Shafi carries her character well, however, fails at impressing, and showcasing dance skills could have been avoided. Hamza Ali Abbasi is getting better with each film, first, Mein Hoon Shahid Afridi and now Waar. I think he’s going to get bigger and better. Shamoon Abbasi does
a commendable job of the main villian (Rimal). The ruthlessness with which he kills Ali Azmat and his wife and the calm and composed manner of that execution is something only an good actor can deliver. In fact, he is so honest to the character that after a point I started hating him. A performance that will definitely get noticed by many and will win him accolades in the future! The biggest asset of this film are the action sequences! In fact, they are the soul of the movie and Bilal Lashari (director) has handled them very, very well. Bravo! The action sequences, the execution, and the cinematography are of international standard. Bilal Lashari is right on the money and has also made sure that the sound of beretta (gun) is the real sound of beretta itself. Here is my verdict on his direction. Bilal is a DoP and a post-production guy and you can see that in the film, its a collection of some nicely taken shots but the art of storytelling is clearly missing. Bilal seems to be heavily inspired from games like Medal of Honor and Call of Duty and it shows in the movie as well. In matter musical, Waar has no songs to offer, but it does have an excellent background score. The background music featuring Halaak by Qayaas gels well with the mood. Not to forget Mauje Naina and Sathi Salam by Clinton Cerejo also fits well with the overall aesthetic of this film, as it gets that adrenaline pumping! To sum up Waar should be seen if only to support Pakistani cinema. It has done a tremendous job in reviving Pakistani cinema. Our audience has started to take pride in local films and whether good or bad they are supporting then. That’s the real spirit of cinema! The movie has been doing exceptionally well at the box office due to Eid holidays and has recovered a major chunk on its investment but the real test has to come from this week on! So My final verdict on the movie? Bakra Eid kay dino mein, we friends love pulling each others leg no matter how good the is Gaye is we would say yaar thoray aur paisey mila ker koi bakra hi lay laytey, and that analogy will sum up my review for Waar. Jab itnay paisey kharch kiye hain to thoray paisey mila ker koi acha writer hi lay laitey. Written by Faraz
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