War Chhod Na Yaar

The film War Chhod Na Yaar has a satirical take on war has received mixed reviews from critics for its refreshing comedy.It has a unique concept and is a war comedy. The film features Sharman Joshi, Sanjay Mishra, Javed Jaffrey, Mukul Dev, Dalip Tahil and Soha Ali Khan in important roles.

It not only projects the thorny issue in light vein, but also makes a comical comment on the politicians of both sides as well as the Chinese and American interference. War comedies or spoofs/satirical takes on the feud between two warring nations are a commonality in the West. In fact, it won’t be erroneous to state that the concept is well-liked and accepted there. In India, however, the anti-Pakistan sentiment on varied occasions has prompted film-makers to make films that make a scathing attack on the neighbor , besides reflecting patriotism and jingoism, to fuel the sentiment. Clearly, the director intends to say a big ‘No’ to warfare or hostility, but while the intentions are right and most honorable, what comes across on screen looks like a half-hearted , amateurish attempt.

The film highlights the relationship between Indian and Pakistani soldiers. “The film’s script and execution is both so interestingly done that watching it will be amply satiating. Luckily it is a simply told story that focuses on making you laugh and yet drives home the reason why the camaraderie works!
While the first half portrays the friendship between soldiers of India and Pakistan, with some wonderful moments that engage you, the post-interval portions depict a precarious situation: A humorously weaved satire on how the mechanics of war works, we are presented with a story where soldiers from either end of the border discuss what’s for lunch. They sit across the line of control and play cards. What happens when war breaks out and the soldiers are pitted against each other? It’s in this half that the film falters. The story takes a turn when war breaks out. So what do the soldiers on both the sides do? Can they stop the war? Or do they indulge in warfare?

The director broaches pertinent topics that we, the commoners, often discuss and communicate during the crisis. At the same time, the film talks of peace and harmony and how the two nations, which have so many facets in common and have fought several wars in the past, need to iron out the issues more responsibly, instead of indulging in unnecessary bloodshed and carnage. It’s a constructive approach, no doubt, hitting the nerve that has been a cause for concern over the decades. But the manner in which the screenplay unfolds is not convincing. Is it so easy to call off a war? Can soldiers take a call? Even the culmination, which sends out a clear message of no warfare, is tackily penned and narrated. Besides, why this need to pull the neighbour down so badly? Having said that, I wish to add that a couple of sequences do bring a smile on your face, but they are few and far between.

“India’s “first war comedy” starts off with spark. Two of Bollywood’s better actors, Sharman Joshi and Jaaved Jaffrey, face off across a long stretch of barbed wire. “Sharman Joshi and Javed Jeffry are a delight to watch on screen. Sharman proves that he’s one of the most sincere performers around, while Javed proves that he’s truly a versatile actor. Soha Ali Khan enacts the part of a journo for the second time [after MUMBAI MERI JAAN], portraying her part credibly. Dalip Tahil gets to portray multiple roles and does an impressive job. Sanjay Mishra is funny at times. Mukul Dev is wasted. Manoj Pahwa is entertaining. Night has fallen upon the border between India and Pakistan, and there are war clouds in the air. Who will fire first?

The soundtrack is situational and frankly, the songs could’ve been been best avoided in a film like this. Cinematography — the landscape of Rajasthan — is eye-catching, although the night shots get too pitch-dark on screen.
“Director Faraz Haider has carried out his job quite well and you know that for sure when at the end of the film audiences burst into a loud applause. On the whole, WAR CHHOD NA YAAR is an interesting idea, coupled with noble intentions, but is treated amateurishly.”