Director: Faraz Haider
Actors: Sharman Joshi, Javed Jaffery, Soha Ali Khan, Dalip Tahil, Sanjay Mishra and
Music: Aslam Keyi
Lyrics: Bebak Amrohi, Azeem Shirazi and Faraz Haider
It is not everyday that Indian cinema and its addicts get a treat of watching a war comedy and so the idea tickled the funny bones for watching India’s first war comedy ‘War Chhod Na Yaar‘. The timing of the release could not be perfect, with some rather disappointing commercial biggies failing miserably at the Box-Office. ‘War Chhod Na Yaar‘ comes out as an interesting satire which has quite a good amount of funny scenes to make you sit on your chairs and laugh out loud. Yes, certain things do trouble the film and despite these issues, there are good chances that the film will work for you, in the good sense.
War movies were always clichéd in India. It was always the Good Indian army (with a few deshdrohis) against mostly Pakistan and some other entities. Here, it is the age-old Indo-Pak war which is the premise. Somewhere at the Rajasthan border, you see the Indian and Pakistani army share a great relation and banter. Some antakshari, good old card games and an understanding is how you enjoy the bonding. On the other hand, the defence ministers of each country are trying to scam their way through a defence deal with US and China while making plans to declare war in two days. The Indian defence Minister takes a reporter Rut (Soha Ali Khan) to the border to make a short clip to be aired two days later for creating a good image of himself before his voters. The same goes for the Pakistani defence minister. Now it is upto the two armies on either side of the border to stop the war.
Sometimes ideas can be clichéd, very naive and extremely silly. The idea of ‘War Chhod Na Yaar‘ is similar. The idea of trying to avoid Indo-Pak war and the whole brotherhood idealism does reek of Bollywoodism. But we give it to director-writer Faraz Haider for at least thinking out-of-the-box despite the hackneyed plot. Just two hours long, the director does a decent job of keeping you engaged with plots (sometimes unnesaccary). What make the film bearable are the fabulous dialogues which keep you hooked. Quite a few episodes have the steam to up the humour quotient like the Punjabi translating machine which makes the Chinese delegate sound like Siddhu or the Afghan terrorist sneaking through the border but getting fooled by an Indian spy. The support also comes from the technical side with some good old cinematography by Sejal Shah especially the night shots and war shoot. Though not bad, the songs acted as a distraction for a film already burdened by a weak script.
It has been a done thing that, however, the film, the choice of actors makes it so much watchable. ‘War Chhod Na Yaar‘ is more than watchable due to the actors. Sharman Joshi as the Indian captain Rana does a decent job, though he seems more like a eager scout than captain, while Javed Jaffrey as the Pakistan captain Qureshi is a good choice with his balancing act as being both sensitive to what his tired battalion is going through and being hilarious when needed. Dalip Tahil blows us away with four different roles and he is entertaining in every role. But the guy who wins this round is Sanjay Mishra as the Pakistani battalion head who is totally zonked by the lack of facilities and bungling things. Soha Ali Khan as the reported comes across as more lost and naive than a hardcore journalist.
It is said that sometimes the noblest of ideas come out as cropper or not up to the mark. War Chhod Na Yaar can be called a war comedy – the war is not the crowd-puller but the comedy is. It becomes a film to watch only thanks to the humour and fabulous acting. Thank god for small mercies.