Cast: Sharman Joshi, Javed Jaffrey, Soha Ali Khan, Sanjay Mishra, Dalip Tahil
Director: Faraz Haider
If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if an Indian director tried to mate Hot Shots with Rang de Basanti, here’s your answer. War Chhod Na Yaar claims to be India’s first war comedy. It ends up making a mockery of itself, with every genre of cinema thrown in, except comedy – there’s romance, action, terrible graphics, and mistaken identity.
Apparently, Indian soldiers are sex-starved enough to find Soha Ali Khan hot, and Pakistani soldiers are just starved (while their overweight President, known only as ‘General’ burps away). We start off at the fence, where Captain Qureshi (Javed Jaffrey) of the Pakistani Army and Captain Rana (Sharman Joshi) of the Indian Army are playing cards. Suddenly, as a guy is peeing – of course, every Bollywood comedy must have a guy peeing – a bomb goes off, and we go into rewind mode. Seventeen hours earlier, reporter Ruth Dutta is called by her boss (a Johnny Lever type who comes up with PJ taglines for his news channel), to meet a minister (Dalip Tahil). The minister tells her that war will be declared in two days to fulfil a conspiracy, with US supporting India and China supporting Pakistan. Ruth, despite being a journalist with integrity, not only doesn’t expose him, but also agrees to do a fake news report from the border. Apparently, her big dream is to go to the border. I don’t know why every reporter in Bollywood must have a ‘Dutt’ in her name – and be a woman. Maybe it’s the Barkha Dutt effect from the Kargil War.
The dialogue writer must have lost his brain cells reading the script, because there are lines like, “Hamare soldiers information se gas zyadah pass kar rahe hain”. Zzzzz. The saving grace of the film is one or two funny gags, which are owed mostly to Javed Jaffrey’s comic timing.
There is absolutely no logic to this film. To quote an example, a cameraman accompanies Ruth all the way to the border, but the camera is handled by her – and then by Captain Rana. Ruth claims she’s a “National Games shooting champion” – what on earth does that even mean?! But the peak of stupidity in the film must be when she goes “live” on TV, by speaking into the camera without a satellite uplink.
Verdict: War must be less traumatic than this film.