Picture this – India and Pakistan are headed for war. TV reporter Rut Dutta ( Soha Ali Khan) promptly reaches the LOC to cover the notified attack LIVE! Raj ( Sharman Joshi), captain of the Indian army, happily shows her around, unlike a brooding Shah Rukh Khan of Jab Tak Hai Jaan. When the two are not busy ogling each other, they play antakshari with Qureshi (Javed Jafferi), captain of the Pakistan army and his soldiers! Rut soon discovers that rival soldiers are caught in banter with each other instead of crossfire. Does this camaraderie help in sustaining peace between the two countries? Will it expose the hidden agendas of the US and China?
Promoted as India’s first war comedy, one must acknowledge filmmaker Faraz Haider for deviating from ‘formula films’ and offering something new. His concept is unique. After all, how many films have revolved around the cross-border equation between Indian and Pakistani soldiers till date?
Black comedy is a rare genre in Bollywood and hats off to Haider for bringing it to the forefront. His subject is relevant, given the many unpleasant cross-border incidents that have occurred of late.
Unfortunately, a poor script and juvenile execution let the promising premise down. After a while, the characters start looking caricaturish, especially the ‘forever meat-hungry’ Pakistani army. A few genuine one-liners do evoke laughter. (e.g., US selling guns to India on EMI). However, repeating the same jokes over and over again spoils the fun.
Also, the events seem way too convenient, implausible and far-fetched for one’s liking, given the sensitivity of the situation. We understand it’s a comedy and so the wishful thinking, but a little authenticity would have helped. Also, why the cliches? Making media and politicians the butt of all jokes has been done to death.
There’s an underlying tragedy that lies at the heart of this film but it gets overshadowed by too many childish gags. While Sharman, Soha and Javed are perfectly understated, Dalip Tahil goes overboard with his various impersonations.
The film is a light-hearted satire aimed at those who do not believe or hope that peace can prevail between India and Pakistan.
The Times of India