Waar! The reviews are in | Pakistan Today

Waar! The reviews are in

No matter how clichéd the subject of your story is, a good script can always save the day and that’s what happens for Waar. Waar is a film about Major Mujhtaba (Shaan), an ex-army officer who takes an early retirement from the forces due to personal reasons. A special police task force is trying to fight terrorism in the tribal areas with Ehtesham (Hamza Ali Abbasi) leading the field operations. His sister (Ayesha Khan) makes strategies for the team, which come to a standstill when they realise that Pakistan is about to be hit by a major terrorist attack and none but the retired Major Ehtesham can lead such a complex counter-terrorism operation. On the political front, Ejaz Khan (Ali Azmat) talks about a positive change in Pakistani politics as he sits with some unnamed politicians who are actually Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari look-alikes from the political parody Hum Sab Umeed Se Hain. The rest of the story oscillates around Pakistan’s sovereignty and the Indian agents who are trying to dismantle it. The English script fails to do justice to Pakistan’s cultural manifestation, which cannot be aptly conveyed in any other language but Urdu. The film doesn’t have a single one-liner worthy of being remembered. When penning down a script, one tends to ‘think’ and process dialogues in the mother tongue – which, for most Pakistani writers, including Dr Hassan Rana, is Urdu. This is why Dr Rana’s English scriptwriting comes across as hollow, lackluster and deficient in narrative finesse. Post-bin Laden’s death, Hollywood has moved beyond the depiction of the “Big bad Arab”, and is now exploring and experimenting with villainous characters in films. We, on the other hand, find our mainstream narrative fixated on anatagonising India. The two RAW agents Ramal (Shamoon Abbasi) and Laxmi (Meesha Shafi) are the main antagonists, not unfoundedly carrying out political murders but also suicide bomb attacks The only scenes where Urdu is spoken are those in Waziristan and the characters’ Pashto accent is so funny that even Umer Sharif can mimic a better accent than the one depicted in the film! As for the actors, Shaan does a commendable job. Continuously evolving as an actor, he no longer sports, the gujjar image that we have known him for, and has become the most slick and sophisticated face of Pakistani cinema. He is undoubtedly at par with any mainstream artist from Hollywood or Bollywood. Hamza Ali Abbasi is improving by the day and could prove to be an asset for Pakistani cinema. The remaining actors, including Shamoon, fall prey to a horrid script and both Meesha Shafi and Ali Azmat fail in their attempts at proving their acting skills. Having said that, Waar is easily the most well-executed action thriller that has come out of this region. With cinematography and editing dealt with great care and attention, it has set the bar high for local and Bollywood action thrillers. A grand-yet-controlled sound design is what keeps you glued to your seats in a film, and kudos to director Bilal Lashari for getting the balance between gunshots and dialogues right. The neck-breaking sound effect seems real and the shots fired from a Berretta are distinct from the ones fired from a Taurus pistol. The underrated Qayyas provides an exceptional heavy metal soundtrack for the film and Umair Jaswal’s vocals take your breath away in a scene when the special operations team is practising the walk-in-fire technique.



26 Comments

  1. Tahir Baluch said:

    This movie critic and analyst is a failure!

    First, the language spoken is a prime indicator of who the movie targets as an audience. I have a feeling that the writers of this film, and the actors in it, understood that they aren't targeting the masses — this one is targeted to the elite and international audience. English, thus, as a medium of communication, fits the purpose.

    Second, the analysis whilst commenting on India — the writer states that Hollywood has moved past the "big bad Arab" in their films. Well, no sht, my friend. They hardly ever were the enemy! Us, on the other hand, still face considerable threats to our existence from our lovely neighbours to our East and West.

    This is an excellent film, albeit with pseudo-intellectuals in its audience such as the writer of this article!

    Pakistan Zindabad!

    • Muhammad said:

      You are severely mistaken.

      The essence of a good movie is how real it feels, and I am sure the english script was not able to do justice to the movie. An Urdu script would've been much better.

  2. anal insider said:

    The writer of this coloumn had not been attended properly at the premiere of karachi as he must have been expecting a solo red carpet for him self and its said this he is a supporter of indian cinema’s his review on the film doesnt make sense at all ..when it comes terrorism and the th bad arab statement pakistan is still facing it and it has never been sorted out ..hence the subject cannot be criticized like that ..and I see a sense of personal grudge while writing this editorial its a shame how journalism is used for personal grudges and motives ..the saddest part of your review is that you have almost uncovered the plot and the characters of the movie which no critique do in their reviews any where in the world

    Verdict: I saw the movie at the premiere in karachi and it took my breath away in every means the script and roles are well defined and the production is awesome every pakistani should watch this movie on Eid and feel proud on the hard work put together by the team of WAAR
    PAKISTAN ZINDABAD

  3. Ali Hbk Xaidi said:

    Desperately waiting for the movie. I am going to watch it on Friday and I wish I don't get the tickets because of a jam-packed house. Wish TeamLashari a Blockbuster! 🙂

  4. Shery Ali said:

    Excuse me???
    Hollywood has moved ahead of the "Big Bad Arab" concept?
    Really? I think you should start watching more of Hollywood movies then.

  5. Kolachi said:

    i think critic here is completely inspired by idiotic non-sense bollywood movies. I recently watched d-day and can't stop laughing at the script. For us Pakistanis, the biggest enemy is india from day one and will remain one till the dooms day. I am glad Pakistani writers come out with something patriotic as we all know who is involved in most of terrorist attack inside and on border of the country.

    • islooboy said:

      he must be stupid liberal activist like najam sethi who was all talk and no action advocating aman ka tamasha

    • Muhammad A Malik said:

      doomsday omg i love doomsday..he killed superman..he is one creepy guy cant be killed if killed comes back to life again & wont be killed by or in the same way whatever killed him ,,

  6. PakGirlsarebest said:

    Pakistani army fighting terrorists.
    …A fictional story indeed!!

    • islooboy said:

      only mqm supporters can believe this crap go ask any tribal how many cobras they see bombarding enclave every second day

  7. islooboy said:

    the sacrifices in this war are many from the red mosque fiasco to the swat standoff we salute the brave men and women of the soil for fighting terrorist h=who are funded by india and are residing in afghanistan

  8. movielvr said:

    Islooboy…are you kidding????? If the movie is good share your thoughts on it and why do you want to discuss unrelated terror sh*** stuff.
    Talk about the direction, script,actors and given your opinion If you saw the film and save your personal grudges for yourself.

  9. Tuaha said:

    The above post shows the one-side minded approach that has engulfed our entire media. The critic needs to have a much more open minded approach to the film rather cursing the script writer. Overall a superb movie and hats off to the entire team of WAAR!!!

  10. Dr. Zain ul Abdin said:

    first half is a bit drag and I think the actual story starts somewhere right before the interval. talking about cinematography, screenplay, direction and soundtracks, its by far the best movie we've produced. HATS OFF to the team of WAAR

    Oh and the analyst was probably expecting an alien attack on Pakistan from deep space so nevermind!!!

  11. aloneinlonelyplanet said:

    gr8 movie but lets stop bashing India!! Though India will be the last place on earth where I wish to go thanks to all the rampant corruption, mis governance and insecurity, lets stop spreading this confusion that it is India, Israel and US which are responsible for our problems!! We have created monsters from our own hands and must get rid of them!! Acknowledging the problem is first step!! 10000 jawans and 40000 civilians have died at the hands of these mercenaries who have no respect for any religion, cast and creed yet our media is confused and lives in fear of not blaming the right culprit!! In that respect, at least, Main Hoon Shahid Afaridi was better as in the last shot, an orthodox Pathan's blood donation saved the life of a Christian Pakistani!! We need to show more of that stuff!! In the end, WAAR is a gr8 effort!! Keep it up Bilal & team…

    • fasmik said:

      May be you should wake up from Hibernation. Just open your eyes and look around, unless your are in a solo love with Rapistan India. May be when Indians rampage your house and kill your loved ones, only then you'll believe.

    • genesis said:

      The good news is at least it is wining wars against India in the movies.

  12. Ashhar Bhutta said:

    In my point of view .WAAR is not a movie, WAAR is Reality.!!! critisism apart but we should appreciate addition of such a good film in Pakistani Cenima

  13. Jeena Codipally said:

    Considering the fact that the last few years Pakistan has produced NO movie worth even mentioning the "SO called FILM critics" are comparing it Holly/Bolly/wood? Are you kidding me? This is a great start it raises the standard for editing, sound and special affects so lets all take a chill pill and accept the film for what it is a great attempt for a classy film the likes that have never been seen on out tired old Lollywood screen.

  14. fasmik said:

    Im frustrated by the thought that we overseas Pakistanis wont be able to enjoy it on the Big Screen. Any plans for its International release ?

  15. dada said:

    Shatranj Ke Khilari of Lucknow (LaxmanPur) is happening. Talibunnies are at door step and Poonjabi MohMadden Army is in studio fighting theatrical Waar.

    • Glasgow Taxis said:

      You are right- i am also willing- i went two time but i could not got tickets- Now i will go with advance bookings.

  16. blackjack2050 said:

    Great movie, I have seen the promos in UK and really i am very impressed how the expertise used in film making, and it could not looked like Pakistan movie.

  17. Huma Haq said:

    Watched this movie today… its not just a good effort but something to be praised … but what I felt.. its not only India involved to provoke terrorism in Pakistan, also other countries involved like israel, USA e.t.c. Not just 2 agents from India can create such an uncertainty, obviously there z a big network from all thez agencies, i didnt find this element in the movie, But I appreciate and loved all scenes as this is the movie from my country with a good effort 🙂

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