Hailed as India’s first war comedy, War Chhod Na Yaar stars Sharman Joshi, Jaaved Jaffrey and Soha Ali Khan in lead roles. War films in Bollywood have meant overtly emotional, serious tales of soldiers dying, tanks firing, and mothers and wives crying. But, this one is a breeze of fresh air with puffs of nose tickling comedy.
|A poster of the film. Photo Courtesy: Internet|
Under the watch of Captain Raj (Joshi ) of the Indian army and Captain Qureshi (Jaffrey) of the Pakistan army, the brave-hearted men do what the army is supposed to — follow orders to protect their country and in between sneak in ample time to play cards in the middle of the night across the barbed wires. The most claps and whistles came across in the first half where the two sibling country’s soldiers are pitted against each other in a competition of Antakshari. And Pakistan ends up singing the hit 1997 song from Pardes, I Love My India, only to send the audiences rolling with laughter.
The film does not wastes a single second to dole out satires on China’s ever non-durable goods, India-Pakistan’s everlasting war, Army General of Pakistan who has no time to look up into the camera as he is too consumed in playing mobile games, and China’s Defence Minister who switches into Navjot Singh Siddhu’s trademark style of talking when using a translator. The humour is mostly neat and doesn't take a derogatory dig on either country. It is hard to make a film of this flavour without taking sides, but Faraz Haider, the debutant writer-director has successfully avoided any controversies.
Mukul Dev as the Afghan ghuspethia along with two other low-IQ Afghan mercenaries is quite a hoot to begin with. Sanjay Mishra is flawless in the role of senior Pakistani soldier. He does his bit with effortless ease adding that extra spice to his role, than it originally had. Speaking of Dalip Tahil, the actor plays four different roles - the Defence Minister of Pakistan, China, the USA and India, as conspirators of the war and manages to amuse the viewers. Soha’s character, the only girl among the khaki men, is plain and dull.
We also witness the running gag about the poor Pakistani soldiers not getting enough gosht in their dal. Complaining about the quality of food served to his men, Jaffrey remarks, "Humaare afsar aajkal intelligence se zyada gas pass kar rahe hain (Our officers are passing more gas than intelligence these days).’ But soon the whole thing loses steam. Later Pakistan’s Army general is shown sitting on a pot playing mobile games, and simultaneously complaining about how nobody allows him to defecate in peace. After, Besharam, I can’t take any more of toilet humor. Talking of Besharam, Jaffrey who was the only good thing in that movie is again a delight to watch in a comic role with Joshi and Mishra giving him tough competition. Together they put on a cheerful swagger. Easily the most underrated actors in the industry today.
|A still from the film. Photo Courtesy: Internet|
Towards the end, the film begins to fizz out and gets preachy almost like they didn't know what to do with the film anymore. It undergoes a disappointing lull due to the makers’ patronizing ideas of a positive change brought on by an over-night revolution. Indeed pity, because the theme, had the potential to launch the movie as a sparkling ‘newclear’ missile.