6 areas where Waar missed the target

Published: November 2, 2013

Waar consists some of fundamental flaws which prevent it from hitting the par score when it comes to international film standards. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

It is official. Waar is making coin! The film has shot to Rs10.5 crore within the first ten days of its release, firmly placing in its crosshairs Pakistan’s highest grossing film of all time, Bol.

Waar has also bettered the Pakistani box office performance of Chennai Express, unexpectedly scoring a higher opening day than the Shahrukh Khan masala vehicle. This has been a talking point for many Pakistanis, who have taken the news as a national achievement. Unfortunately, for Waar, the film hasn’t been received as warmly by the nation’s film critics.

Predictably enough, the Pakistani public has been unhappy with the negative reviews. Fans of Waar argue that although the film is admittedly a misfire, it should be praised at the very least for getting the stagnating film industry’s bullet in the gun chamber.

On some level, this is true. The success of films such as Waar and Bol proves that our cinemagoers are willing to watch films that don’t regurgitate the nonsense that comes out of Lollywood.

That being said, Waar consists of fundamental flaws which prevent it from hitting the par score when it comes to international film standards. Granted, that for the inexperienced filmmakers, Waar was a complicated undertaking, but at the end of the day, the film is charging the same ticket price at local cinemas as a good Hollywood blockbuster, and thus must be judged by the same benchmark.

Here are six areas where Waar missed the target:

1. The struggle with English 

Waar is most authentic when its characters are engaging in Urdu. Unfortunately, for what I estimate to be 75% of the running time, the film’s dialogue is in English.

Because most of the actors are visibly concentrating on communicating in a language alien to them, they seem to have less energy for their primary function: acting. This results in some hilariously wooden performances, where the players often seem like they are dryly reading words off of cue cards. If the filmmakers were unable to find actors who were comfortable speaking in English, they should have rewritten some of the dialogue.

It isn’t a coincidence that the strongest performances in Waar come from Shaan Shahid (Major Mujtaba), Ayesha Khan (Javeria), and Ali Azmat (Ejaz Khan), as these three out of the entire cast seem most comfortable speaking in English.

Another side effect of Waar’s language fiasco is that while Javeria speaks fluently with a Canadian accent, her brother Ehtesham (Hamza Ali Abbasi), speaks in a manner which reveals a remarkably different background for a person who is supposed to be her sibling!

This phenomenon, where actors perform significantly better in their native language isn’t a new one. Both Chow Yun Fat (Crouching Tiger) and Jet Li (Hero) are far more convincing in Hong Kong cinema as opposed to Hollywood films.

To director Bilal Lashari’s credit, both Ayesha and Ali were given expanded roles in the film after their talent was recognised.

It must be said that the film’s largest letdown in the acting department is Meesha Shafi (Laxmi), who wasn’t always up to her highly challenging role. In fact, some of her scenes were screaming for a retake. Here, the finger must be pointed at Lashari, considering that Mira Nair extracted better mileage from Shafi in The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

2. The Script:

The dialogue in Waar is sometimes so poor that the film seems like a spy film parody straight out of the minds of Matt Stone and Trey Parker (Team America: World Police).

One of the most unintentionally hilarious moments in the film is when Major Mujtaba’s frustrated superior screams at him,

“WHEN WILL YOU LET GO OF YOUR PAST?”

One would think that asking a man to quickly get over the trauma of watching his wife and child being killed right in front of him would be just a touch insensitive.

3. The Indian bashing:

I’ll be honest. I wouldn’t truly enjoy the counterterrorist TV show 24, unless the terrorists were Muslim. You can blame the media all you want, but it just didn’t seem believable enough when it was Austrian nationalists attacking the White House. But when the baddies were Arab? Let’s go Jack Bauer!

So I have no issues with Waar’s evil characters portrayed as Indian spies. But stripping the Indian baddies of all humanity took me out of the narrative. The RAW agents in Waar were bloodthirsty, carried sinister smiles and were constantly hatching unbelievably super evil plans. All that was missing in their campy one-dimensional characterisation was a sinister laugh matched by thunder in the background, with Mini-Me from Austin Powers in the background.

4. The over-dramatic music: 

Although Waar features a stellar soundtrack, the filmmakers gave it more love than it deserved, overusing it to the point where it often drowned out the dialogue. Surely some of the film’s powerful scenes would have clicked better without the mismatched music overcooking the drama.

5. Cinematography: 

If you watch the BBC’s documentary, Planet Earth, especially in HD, you will realise that Pakistan’s northern areas are ripe with opportunity for any filmmaker interested in capturing breathtaking locales on the camera. Too bad that aside from a few scenes, Waar misses the chance to feature some gorgeous backdrops.

6. Action sequences:

Tense and well-paced, Waar’s opening action scene is nicely directed. Another scene in the film, where a police academy is attacked by terrorists, is also quite engaging.

Regrettably, the climactic scene of the film, where the Pakistani armed forces take on the militants, is terribly edited, playing out like a sad spoof of war films.

In a repeating pattern, this final sequence features shots of Pakistani soldiers firing randomly in the air at no one in particular, followed by snarling militants who are discharging weapons without cover or fear, and followed by gratuitous explosions that are powered by the film’s reported Rs200 million budget.

The disconnect between these sewed together scenes is so obvious, that the entire final action sequence seems like it went through The Human Centipede process of film editing.

What I really found interesting was the colour of the smoke which followed the explosions. I found it strange that it was as white as Gandalf’s beard. As experts can tell you, white smoke only follows explosions that employ homemade chemicals, while military grade high-end explosives always feature grey or even black smoke.

So either the producers of Waar didn’t do their research, or they are trying to tell us something about the Pakistan army’s budget.

Speaking of the Pakistan military, rumours making the rounds suggest that Waar was funded by the Pakistan military’s media relations arm, the ISPR. There seems to be no proof of this, other than the fact that the film projects the Pakistani armed forces as heroes. If this is clear evidence, then I suppose films like Saving Private Ryan (1998), Black Hawk Down (2001) and Inglorious Bastards (2009) were also military funded films, which seems silly.

If we are truly serious about reviving our film industry, we should consider adapting the books of our critically acclaimed fiction writers, such as Mohammad Hanif. I am sure that with the right talent, the cinematic adaptation of A Case of Exploding Mangoes would find international acclaim. Such a film would need private backing however, since the ISPR would probably not be willing to fund a dark satire based on the death of General Ziaul Haq.

Did you like Waar?

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Noman Ansari

Noman Ansari

The author is the editor-in-chief of IGN Pakistan, and has been reviewing films and writing opinion pieces for The Express Tribune as well as Dawn for five years. He tweets as @Pugnate (twitter.com/Pugnate)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Hamza

    Nicely written.Recommend

  • Shahrukh Kazmi

    Its Cool to Criticize waar these days, I understand : )Recommend

  • faisal

    Waar was indeed a misfire. That ofcourse remains the sole reason for its popularity amongst the public. Bravo Mr critic for insulting all those who liked the movie. You of course are the wisest.Recommend

  • Ateeb Ahmed Khan

    It is quite prominent that all of the points, mentioned above, have been extracted forcefully out of the movie! Positive points could easily be mentioned! Good effort Noman Ansari you somehow found what millions could’nt. :DRecommend

  • Hamza

    Please don’t put the burden of righting the wrongs of our founding fathers, our government or the military on the young shoulders of Bilal Lashari. All he was supposed to do was make a good film. And he ended up making what without a shadow of a doubt is a landmark for Pakistani cinema. Anyone disagreeing with that is either incredibly prejudiced or suspiciously fond of watching heroines obliterate farmlands with their heavyweight dancing.Recommend

  • Loser

    tsk tskRecommend

  • ss

    Criticizing IK, Afridi and Waar is in these days.Recommend

  • Amber

    waar is an awesome movie and we love it, becoz it will revive the cinema of Pakistan. ET why you cant have the courage to praise a Pakistani effort. Noman Ansari instead focusing on flaws u could feel proud of Waar but than its all about being patriotic.Recommend

  • 123xyz

    golmaal franchise was also super-hit that doesnt mean it is a benchmark in comedy films.Recommend

  • Guest

    ET has break all the record of spreading negativity in the nation. Let be happy for once, let be celebarte us the WAAR.Recommend

  • Guest

    waar is an awesome movie and we love it, becoz it will revive the cinema of Pakistan. ET why you cant have the courage to praise a Pakistani effort. Noman Ansari instead focusing on flaws u could feel proud of Waar but than its all about being patriotic.Recommend

  • 123xyz

    its not duty of every pakistani to praise the movie.
    liking or disliking of a movie is a subjective matter. the movie was bad, thats it.Recommend

  • 123xyz

    many people like you have already praised the movie for its ‘ millions of good points’. criticizing it does not make him less patriotic. its not a litmus test for patriotism remember??Recommend

  • zakhanum

    Instead wasting your time to the,Points you have made better use your time to Highlight the emotion behind this movie and elaborate on the massage , and put yourself in getting the positive points to let the people watch this hard work done By a man called Bilal,and if you can make a better picture than this we all be coming in thousand to watch your effort.Recommend

  • Waqas Ovais

    noman ansari, why dont you direct a film for yourself without all these flaws you mentioned? I know criticism is good but why dont you encourage the director in comparison to the movies being made by lollywood in the past?Recommend

  • Ovais

    so u are trying to get some attention from waar .. good try … The best movie from pakistan in years .. Proud of our India Bashing , our fighting sequence .. since it was all pakistan. All Pakistan. Do us a favour for once start blogging for the common man. or atleast accept the blogs by common pakistanis cause the line up you have right now is comprised of one small fraction of society who are not even representing Pakistanis since these elite liberals just love to mock pakistan and run as fast to their destination abroad. ET for once start including PakistanisRecommend

  • Human

    It’s okay you wannabe writer, I know it’s amazing to criticize waar in today’s world. anyhow, I like your english, keep it up!Recommend

  • Umar

    All the issues mentioned in the article certainly exist in Waar. Anyone who can’t see that has bad taste or a very low standard of dialog delivery, sound design, sound mixing and screenwriting! I support Waar, and encourage everyone to watch it, because it is helping the revival of Pakistani cinema… not because it is an incredibly well-made film (which it obviously isn’t). If we are to judge it objectively (i.e. without being lenient because it was Lashari’s first feature or because Pakistan doesn’t have a solid film industry, etc.), then all of the author’s criticisms actually do make sense. That doesn’t mean he hates the movie, nor does it mean that the public shouldn’t go see it. All it means is that there is massive room for improvement in Pakistan’s next action blockbuster.Recommend

  • Abk

    seems like you love to look smart and cool by going against majority :DRecommend

  • Ghostrider

    @author you are a critic…your comments on tribune are always full of rightful criticism on various issues (just like mine), but here i disagree with you. You see the mercedes you see today on the roads is the product of numerous years of experience in making cars, improvement comes from experience, and as a first effort Waar is incredible and fabulousRecommend

  • Ahmed

    Seriously cinematography? Have you seen choorian and Channa Sachi Muchi and Wahshi Haseena?Recommend

  • Hassam Tahir

    1 ) “but at the end of the day, the film is charging the same ticket price at local cinemas as a good Hollywood blockbuster, and thus must be judged by the same benchmark.”

    In Paistan ticket prices are standard. Bol, Khuda kay liye, or even many Indian movies are not of Hollywood standard but still the price is the same. Even in the US the price the cinema charges depends on the budget and cost of the movie not on the quality. A pathetic movie with a high budget will have a higher ticket cost than a Low budget great movie. So your basis is wrong. The budget is more better standard to compare two movies

    2) ” Here, the finger must be pointed at Lashari, considering that Mira Nair extracted better mileage from Shafi in The Reluctant Fundamentalist”

    She had hardly three dialogues in the entire movie and roughly 5-7 min on screen time. How could even possibly judge her acting from that?

    3) On the Indian bashing part, Indian cinema makes movies that show Pakistanis as terrorists. Hollywood constantly bashes Islam, Arab nations and Pakistanis as terrorism is a favorite topic for Hollywood. Hollywood makes movies that show all the conspiracy theories like american war’s are funded by Private companies for their gain and people enjoy them and watch them all around the world without criticism on the topic of the film because it’s entertainment.

    4) Yes the script, dialogues and many scenes were cliched but it does not change the fact the movie was very well directed and the people loved it.

    5) “As experts can tell you, white smoke only follows explosions that employ homemade chemicals, while military grade high-end explosives always feature grey or even black smoke.”

    All movies make factual errors which can be ignored to review the film as this was not essential to the plot.Recommend

  • Haider Islamabadia

    I endorse nomi for bad scripting and excesive use of English but then again come on it was Bilals first movies and we see same Indian crap over and over again lambasting pakistan for every sin thats been happening in India why cant our media say it in the face of International media that India is behind Balochistan and Karachi unrest.Recommend

  • Chimi changa

    The writer is has tried really hard to focus on the irrelevant stuff…does he know what he is talking about, except utter nonsense! I have seen a lot of siblings with different English accents. The rest was just perfect invisible to the naked eye. All actors did a good Job and the film managed to change the perception of ppl about talibans who enjoy support among general masses. You should first see Indian jingoistic movies before you start criticising waar. Without the evil smiles, dramatic music and the evil characterisation of Indian spies the film would have lost its mark. Everything was in perfect proportion necessary to keep the audience engaged! Mission accomplished. Recommend

  • TheAverageMoe

    It’s still better than most Indian moviesRecommend

  • faisal

    Kindly enumerate Noman Ansari’s qualification to assess movies. His points are lame. He has missed out on the excellent performance by Shamoon Abbassi. Praise for the movie is almost a grudging addmission. Who is talking about being a benchmark. It is a gud flick and that’s that. The author has also relied on rumors to malign ISPR. Does hollywood buy tanks and aircraft carriers etc to produce war movies?. If ISPR helped WAAR, whats the big deal.Recommend

  • Haseeb Ahmed

    what a biased and one sided view mr noman and ET keep up this effort of trying to belittle everything good about this country including the movie Waar.i didn’t find anyone’s accent or acting bad.meesha shafi was quite good in her role and since when do terrorists have a ‘human side’ and coming to that which Indian Movie showcasing Pakistani baddies showed a ‘human side to Pakistani baddies’.the film was a brilliant film in evoking the patriotic spirit in you and if not that it’s a brilliant cinematic experience.the so-called critics are free to see Indian Movies or make movies of their ownRecommend

  • Anooop

    That India bashing seems ingrate when you use Indian movies to revive dead theaters and for mass entertainment. Chennai Express is fine, but also people from Chennai are potential Terror sponsors?

    Also, it adds to the propaganda that Terrorists are supported by India.

    The cold hard fact is that like Islamist movements all around the world – be it Somalia, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Egypt, etc. – it is all homegrown, home-financed and promoted locally. The motivation and legitimacy of all the groups – be it LeT, TTP, Al Qaeda, Al Shahbab, Indian Mujahideen – are rooted in one place and one place alone.

    India has NOTHING to do with it. Portraying Indians as villains is like treating for disease A, when one actually has disease B and expecting the disease to go away.Recommend

  • tabish4448

    what about:
    story/622921/waar-struck-ram-gopal-varma-gushes-over-lasharis-blockbuster

    ? Do you think you are more specialist in media field than this famous film maker from outside?Recommend

  • Anooop

    Point #3 is basically saying India and US do it so do we.

    Dude, in the case of US and India, Pakistani Terrorists and Arab Terrorists have actually attacked the respective countries.

    The TTP were “patriotic Pakistanis”, in 2008, as per previous ISI Chief, when Baitullah Mehsud said he will fight India along side the Pak Army.

    The biggest problem in Pakistan is that people think the Terrorist are supported by outsiders and curb their influence and it will go away. The Terrorist is a Pakistani, NOT an Indian. Now, if you say Indians are bad guys, you are actually contributing to the false narrative.

    Who is at loss here? India? Or, Pakistan?Recommend

  • Anooop

    How many Indian language movies have you seen to claim that? How about Tamil? How about Bengali?Recommend

  • Supriya Arcot

    I think it childish that both sides of the subcontinent keep bashing the other side mindlessly. Lack of mutual respect is the root cause of our problems today.Recommend

  • Fahad Raza

    Let me present a different opinion all your 6 points.

    1.The struggle with English. : Its good that its was made in english and some struggled with it as everyone in pakistan does not truly speaks english all the time. Those who do they are are a minority. The audience is in queue still as they perceive its a “made in Pakistan” english movie. The director says its was planned as message is to delivered abroad as well…(How that goes… its another debate entirely) .

    2 Script : This sort of script works well with the masses when it comes to regional action flick (terror Attack + espionage + cop with the bad history + politician sleeping with enemy + action sequences) …

    3: The Indian bashing :

    When american makes war and action movies likes of Rambo/Zero Dark Thirty/ saving Private Ryan they portrait the villain as they enemy of the time like Jihadi, Soviet, Nazi. Last time I checked friendly and Indian was in my dream not in reality and In some case the weapons seized from taliban like of vikras rifles and grenade made in Ordnance Factory Tiruchirappalli (India). So it good to see some of that as well. And don’t Indians do that…

    4: The Over-dramatic Music :

    As you already said ” overusing it to the point where it often drowned out the dialogue” well yeah but is that the area of sound editing. Umair Jaswal did really well so did Aamir in composition. Loud yes over dramatic is an over statement.

    5. Cinematography:

    Man it was not a BBC Or Animal Planet you went to watch. The cinematography took most of the time and its a handful of heads in Pakistan some of the material was sent abroad to get it polished. For what we used to make in the like of hard core Punjabi movies to Pushto. This local made movie was hitting bull’s eye.

    6: Action sequence:

    Well all the blood , gutt and glare in the movie was one reason it got n A rating so i had to take my Original ID card in cinema I chose. Now if some one waned to see a Zack snyder in the movie Waar he must be disappointed no doubt. As Hero didn’t scream “THIS ………… IS………………..SPARTAAAAAAAAAAAA” in three years. Yes but when an Indian Ram Gopal Varma can praise The director in a Tweet (The home crowd bashing him) who know how to make movie like Sarkaar, and the Recent Anti Pakistan “The Attacks of 26/11”; I’d give some leverage to the Movie indians are talking about.Recommend

  • Jawed

    Only one area which I believe the writer correctly pointed out is the first one. Actors were clearly struggling with the language. Rest of the five are just based on writer’s personal liking or disliking.Recommend

  • rehman1

    why am i being moderated on this websiteRecommend

  • Mastishhk

    Please do not confuse criticism with patriotism. I agree that Waar has the potential to revive fledgling Pak music industry, but it doesn’t mean that its beyond criticism. By your logic its our national duty that we should be queuing up in front of cinema halls to watch all movies irrespective of their quality to revive the film industry.Recommend

  • fawad

    so out of nowhere now you expect bilal lashari to be steven spielberg and give you what jurrasic park ?that might take some time Mr. Noman.Recommend

  • Arsalan Ahmad

    Wow atlast some article with some truth!! Now come on guys i knw it was a nice effort if u compare with past but if u compare it with hollywood movies it lands in B or C class movie, v nice articleRecommend

  • x

    Agree with you. Also, regarding price of ticket, another point is that how about comparing the budget of these hge hollywood movies with Pakistani movies? or the fact that they will have hugeee global audience showing in thousnadss of cinemas while our movies will show in a few here and a few abroad. So please author. Legit comparisons please!Recommend

  • Nowsherwan

    Bhai tu khud bna le film……Recommend

  • Nowsherwan

    Indians are villains….. just like India accuse Kashmiri Mujhaideen as coming from Pakistan….. same is the case with TTP and Baloch insurgents who are trained and funded by Indians.Recommend

  • Zee

    @ author, Go watch Krish3. You seem to be obsessed with the Pakistan in every manner and belongs to little group maligning Pakistan army and ISI for all. Please stop bashing Pakistan and pleasing indian audience. Further, pl enlighten us from your qualification to assess movies!!!!

    On the lighter note, you too struggle with English while writing blogs so missing the targetRecommend

  • Hassan

    He says most not all.Recommend

  • Abdul Mujeeb

    Come on man, please don’t try to pick out unmeaning faults in this GREAT movie just to make an attractive post.Recommend

  • qaiser

    Mr Ansari, u need BURNOL, if that’s not helping try SUALEEN, if that doesn’t work try ENO and believe me if that’s doesn’t help then SAFI is sure to work….Recommend

  • Zee

    Dude on which planet do you live? May be india on mars so y u don’t know that India is actually attacking Pakistan by supporting BLA in balucihstan and TTP. Enough of evidence has been shared with your govt but in vain.

    So stop pretending ” Doodh ka dhula”.

    @ ET, don’t you have bloggers who can actually motivate the Pakistanis by hi lighting good things such as WAAR or only likes of author who only lives to bash Pak and it’s army.Recommend

  • Abdul Mujeeb

    Dear Anooop, tell me one thing, why when a terrorist come out to be a Muslim or Pakistani then the matter is given so much importance on media to criticize Muslims and Pakistanis but when terrorists are of any other country and of another religion then the matter is suppressed?Recommend

  • Shoaib Mir

    I cannot bring myself to disagree with this – quite literally the bottom line: “I am sure that with the right talent, the cinematic adaptation of A Case of Exploding Mangoes would find international acclaim. Such a film would need private backing however, since the ISPR would probably not be willing to fund a dark satire based on the death of General Ziaul Haq.”Recommend

  • Zee

    ET, why my comments are not allowed? Are they some how look patriotic and against indian’s version? Then it’s understood.

    At least allow this. Recommend

  • Talha Rizvi

    An Indian like you shouldn’t be concerning him self with it especially an Indian troll whose hate for Pakistan is extreme. Please go away. This movie is far better then senseless propaganda movies you make.Recommend

  • GREATER PAKISTAN

    Mr.Author there is no homegrown terrorism without foreign support, nobody fights or writes against.. without dollars in belly.Recommend

  • TheAverageMoe

    I’ve watched many Indian movies just like most Pakistanis, and when I say “Indian movies” I mean mainstream Indian movies, not regional ones, and if I did I wouldn’t understand the languages.

    Bollywood represents India all over the world, just like when we think of American movies we think of Hollywood, not some eclectic or ethnic movie industry in America.

    In Pakistan we have regional film industries too, like Pollywood(Pashto movies) and Punjabi movies, but when we say Pakistani movies we mean “Lollywood” movies such as Waar.Recommend

  • GREATER PAKISTAN

    For once it felt like a indian newspaper………. why don’t you people go to india and write about their problems, surely your fate would be same as that of Araunandhaty Roy.Recommend

  • najeeb

    no its not and you are a moron . usa created taliban

    also india has several movies which portray pakistan as terroristRecommend

  • Omair Shahid

    i couldn’t agree more although i’m not a fan of movies but waar was the movie i liked alot with few songs and a good story yes there were mistakes but it is very good movieRecommend

  • Pradhan

    Thanks, for saving me from writing a comment.Recommend

  • MJ

    Liking or not liking something is subjective. But the numbers pouring in from the box office are fact – no argument about it. Which is why a film is considered a hit or a flop based on them. And where Waar is concerned, the jury is out.

    By the way, ET, the statement “The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.” would look more credible if not every other piece in the paper was bashing a certain thing. Please be more balanced in selecting pieces to publish.Recommend

  • Unknown

    Author need a big bottle of burnol :)Recommend

  • Unknown

    Excellent comment.Recommend

  • Ovais

    The cold hard fact is that its the first time a pakistani media has revolted against the propoganda of the indian media. And whats wrong with that.

    Arent there movies in india like border etc glorifying india and shading reality. Its a movie and we love it. Nothing wrong with that.

    And yes sadly but true Indian involvement in AFGHANISTAN IRAN AND Baluchistan are one of the realities in pakistan. Please read a bit on BLA etc. And yes India stop blaming pakistan when 5 guys go and destroy a city with a population of 20 million plus and one was wearing an orange safron band. where were your armed forces police etc. Pakistan security forces have failed alot of times but we blame ourselves rather than india who always keep pn blaming the poor pakistan because you are afraid to accept the reality .Recommend

  • Ovais

    To be honest it is.Recommend

  • Nero

    I don’t see anything wrong with a Pakistani masala film showing Indian baddies. Such unidimensional stereotypes are bread and butter stuff in most movies in most countries (including Bollywood). Some things I found really problematic about the movie with respect to Pakistan: 1. Vilifying social workers. 2. Presenting those who oppose dam construction as anti-national. 3. Presenting Taliban equivalents from North-West as some kind of “ignorant + gullible” people who can be fooled by anyone. No wonder some people see intelligence propaganda machine behind the movie – It fits all the myths they are trying to sell to the Pakistani public.Recommend

  • Nobody

    I don’t like India bashing any more than I like when Indians are Pakistan bashing. It’s juvenile and it’s time both countries get past behaving like petulant children.
    More to the point, I have yet to see this movie but am looking forward to it.Recommend

  • Anooop

    I don’t have a problem with your analysis. It causes me no harm.

    Yesterday, Afghan Taliban, whom Pakistan supports, condemned the strikes on TTP Chief. The same bunch of guys you say are supported by India.

    India accuses Pakistan of sending Terrorists to Kashmir and your genius gentlemen in the military decide they have to combat this and come up with this theory.

    Even if its true, so what? Pakistan supports Kashmiri Freedom Struggle, we support Balochi cause.

    But, the problem here again is yesterday’s Kashmiri Freedom Fighters are today’s Terrorists for Pakistan. While we support Secular Balochis that too from foreign soil. We face no blowback.

    Pakistan has 2 options:
    a) Admit it has a serious Terror problem, cease support to the guys trying to inflitrate into Kashmir. Or, be eaten up by them when they get too strong. Get an assurance from India that it will keep off Balochistan. A Quid Pro Quo.

    b) Blame India and outsiders for all the woes, say TTP are Indian agents one time, the next time call them your brothers, protest Drone strikes against them. Instaed of portraying Radical Islam as the villain, portray outsiders as villians.

    Basically brainwash your countrymen into believing problem lies elsewhere.

    I think you guys are following the second approach. So, good luck.

    My condolences for the death of Mr.Mehsud.Recommend

  • Abubakar Chaudhary

    Well there you go Noman Ansari…!!
    You told six area where Waar missed the target. I’ill make it up to you by the Reference of IMDB top rated movies.

    1- Struggle with language: You just tell me would you go to see this movie if it were in Punjaabi? Obviously not because you are so English speaking or liberal with Urdu. A movie named Majajan in past was a big hit too but I bet you hadn’t got a chance to See it because it was in Punjabi. Thanks God you went to see Waar, assuming it to be in Urdu. As far as Ascent of actors matter, we didn’t notice it. May be you did because you were there just for searching the flaws.

    2-Script: There are a lot of movies in IMBD’s top 250 which aren’t make sense like Lord of Ring ( sort of a fairy tale ), Inception ( a person watch it thrice before rating it ) and many more. If you were expecting some sort of Gujjar type movie, no wonder why you didn’t liked the script.
    And by meaning of “WHEN WILL YOU LET GO OF YOUR PAST?” the writer meant to go on with Mujtaba’s professional life, Just not to cry over the split milk. In case if you were willing to understand.

    3- Indian bashing: Well, before I watched the movie I was thinking the same that there would be some RAW and FIA involved in it. When you see the movie, have you ever heard the name INDIA in the whole movie. Even they didn’t even mansion the name of person who calls Misha Shafi and give instructions. And if there was some Indian bashing involved, what do you want to say about “Ek Tha Tiger” and “New York” from bollywood??

    4- Over dramatic music: I’ill say nothing, just refer to the Batman series ( 2005- ) which has the same sort of OVER DRAMATIC MUSIC and awarded 8.3 rating along with most of the other movies too. It was the music which didn’t let me stop hooting and clapping at every third scene and it was the music which increased my passion and patriotism too.

    5- Cinematography: Just tell us if you want the Intelligence camp to be placed at Mall Road, Muree or the Talibaans to hold their meetings at Lake Saif ul Malook, Naraan or fight in the middle of Abbotabad valley. I think the scenes were appropriate and the location was best. Even when they wanted to show the terrorist to dine in hotel, the showed the best of the best, Monaal from Islamabad.

    6- Action sequences: As I said earlier, you were not there to enjoy the film. You were just there to see the goofs and you found as many as you wanted. I bet none of us even noticed the white smoke as you did, sir. And it was the first film of its kind in Pakistan, cut them some slack. I found the fight pretty good and army actions as well, the way they were holding their weapons and taking positions, no one can say they are actors not real army. Have you ever heard the term “Suppressive Firing”? That’s what the army was doing in Randomly Firing scenes. If you don’t know about it, here is the link for increasing your G.K sir!!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suppressive_fire

    Well, at the end, I don’t have to say how good the movie was. Everybody knows that and who doesn’t please go and watch this movie. Support our directors so they can have their come back. And for you Mr. Noman Ansari, I would just use a dialog of Mujtaba (Shaan) from the movie:

    “As long as history will be written by hunters, lions shall never be glorified.”Recommend

  • Anooop

    Please let me know when it was shared.

    Even if this IS true, India is completely justified in supporting an insurgency as a tit-for-tat for Pakistan support Kashmir insurgency.

    The issue is you are mixing up support to some lowly BLA to dangerous TTP.

    You are contributing to the narrative that outsiders are responsible for our problems.Recommend

  • Anooop

    When the Terrorists were Russian in the 80s Hollywood movies, did you protest?

    Did you enjoy Die Hard? Or Rocky 4? Or, a variety of Bond films when Russians and people of other countries were villains?

    Tell me few Terror attacks from non-Muslims in the past one months(not riots, not political clashes, not ethnic clashes), but hardcore blowup places of worship kind of acts.

    In your own country, the recent Peshawar Church was blown up by Pakistanis, not Indians or Americans.

    Even Art is inspired by real life.

    When most of the major attacks in Pakistan are done by locals, who were supported by the state previously, in stead of recognizing that, you are out to blame others..Recommend

  • Anooop

    USA created the Taliban, but on whose soil did they create?

    Did USA ask Pakistan to support them in the 1990s, after the Soviets are gone? That means Pakistan alone is responsible for them.

    Not just India, Pakistanis are a villains in US too. Should I show you some examples where Pakistanis are villains?

    After Osama was caught leading a life of luxury in the heart of Pakistan, next to a Military academy, not many people don’t see Pakistan as the villains.Recommend

  • Anooop

    If India is funding then, why are the Good Afghan Taliban calling Hakimullah Mehsud as a martyr?

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/626226/afghan-taliban-condemn-killing-of-strong-and-brave-hakimullah-mehsud/

    if they are also funded by India, then why is Pakistan supporting them? Which works out to India’s advantage. So, keep thinking that and tell others too!Recommend

  • Anooop

    There are 23 official languages and about a dozen Film Industries, in India(Isn’t it amazing that India has so many industries while many countries can’t even maintain one?).

    I bet you and TheAverageMoe would have watched movies only from one language. Even if you watch ALL the Hindi movies every produced this year, that would not make it “most”.

    So, yeah I am right.Recommend

  • Anooop

    Thanks for admitting Indian movies are watched all over the world, including and especially in Pakistan, more than even Hollywood movies. “Biting the hands that feed you”, comes to mind.

    Second point. For me Indian movies are Indian. its for us. Its made by us, directed by us, edited by us, by our technicians, for our consumption. They happen to be an export item, but their core business lies in India. Nobody outside India has to watch them, especially on pirated DVDs or CDs or in theaters, you are doing that on your own accord.

    When you admit to watching them and same time put them down, isn’t that in-gratuitous of you?

    I’d never call Hollywood filth, because I happen to watch them, get entertainment from them. But, you seem to have no problem using something on a regular basis and curse their manufacturers.

    Very ungrateful. Very ungrateful.Recommend

  • TheAverageMoe

    I never said Indian movies are watched all over the world, they are watched in South Asia and the South Asian diaspora around the world, but what I meant was that when a non-Indian thinks of Indian movies they will think of bollywood, not some regional movie industry because that’s what represents India around the world, like Hollywood represents America.

    I was just stating my opinion, if you like Bollywood movies then stick with them, none of my business.

    Like I said before I have watched ‘many’ Indian movies, but over the past few years I’ve stopped watching them, they aren’t that interesting anymore, the last Indian movie I watched was My Name Is Khan.

    How am I ungrateful, when I watch movies, i’m free to criticize them if I want, but you have to turn everything into an “India vs Pakistan” match.

    If told an American I didn’t like G.I Joe, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t take it personally, like you are.Recommend

  • Zee

    It’s shared so many times and you may google onit .further, If India is justified then why you guys always weeping and being scared from ISI. Bide away, Kashmir is a disputed territory and an indigenous freedom movement is there by all standards while Baluchistan a different ball game entirely and we will get over with it.

    Well we do responsible for our problems but as regards to terrorism, India’s hand is clearly evident but fools like you can’t see it.

    Recommend

  • Zee

    It’s shared so many times and you may google onit .further, If India is justified then why you guys always weeping and being scared from ISI. Bide away, Kashmir is a disputed territory and an indigenous freedom movement is there by all standards while Baluchistan a different ball game entirely and we will get over with it.

    Well we do responsible for our problems but as regards to terrorism, India’s hand is clearly evident but fools like you can’t see it.

    Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    It probably isn’t a coincidence that the very people who couldn’t see the obvious flaws in Waar are presenting flawed defenses in favor of the film, both in terms of writing and thought process. My blog isn’t an opinion; these ARE serious issues in a film.

    That’s like someone pointing out a lame horse, and then hearing that that’s just his opinion: a broken leg is a broken leg.

    God willing, some day, we will make great films, but we aren’t there yet. So far, of the dozens of emails, tweets, and messages I have received in defense of the film, I have not read one that was well written. I am quite saddened actually.

    It is like a hungry man eating a biscuit. To him, it will be the best food he ever had. Similarly, our filmgoers are starving for a better film industry. Hopefully, we have more Zinda Bhaags in our future, and less Waars.

    Pick up any newspaper. Almost all critics have panned the film. But it would be like trying to explain to a child why mixing sugar in yoghurt at home doesn’t make a world class desert.

    The flavors in the film are probably overwhelming your senses. Good for you. Now leave it to those with elevated tastes help raise the levels of our film industry. One day, we too will have our Citizen Kane.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    It probably isn’t a coincidence that the very people who couldn’t see the obvious flaws in Waar are presenting flawed defenses in favor of the film, both in terms of writing and thought process. My blog isn’t an opinion; these ARE serious issues in a film.

    That’s like someone pointing out a lame horse, and then hearing that that’s just his opinion: a broken leg is a broken leg.

    God willing, some day, we will make great films, but we aren’t there yet. So far, of the dozens of emails, tweets, and messages I have received in defense of the film, I have not read one that was well written. I am quite saddened actually.

    It is like a hungry man eating a biscuit. To him, it will be the best food he ever had. Similarly, our filmgoers are starving for a better film industry. Hopefully, we have more Zinda Bhaags in our future, and less Waars.

    Pick up any newspaper. Almost all critics have panned the film. But it would be like trying to explain to a child why mixing sugar in yoghurt at home doesn’t make a world class desert.

    The flavors in the film are probably overwhelming your senses. Good for you. Now leave it to those with elevated tastes help raise the levels of our film industry. One day, we too will have our Citizen Kane.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    …or has better taste in film?Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    …or has better taste in film?Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    To be fair millions enjoy wrestling in the mid, which billions don’t.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    To be fair millions enjoy wrestling in the mid, which billions don’t.Recommend

  • Farah

    thank you, just came after watching waar and was so thoroughly disappointed. bland dialogues, lack of plot, lack of characterization! now i am just sad that people are encouraging such poor direction so much! so yes it was good to read an intricate review. couldnt agree more, esp with the language bit!Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    I don’t know what is worse. Your comment, or 60 people who think it is ‘cool’ to criticize Waar. I call it like I see it.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    hahaha your comment makes no sense.

    Have you ever traveled by PIA and had a bad flight? Instead of criticizing PIA, why didn’t you engineer your own aircraft, hire your own airlines, and then fly yourself? :DRecommend

  • Noman Ansari

    Actually Zinda Bhaag was the best Pakistani movie in years. Certainly better than Waar.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    I am sorry our education system failed you. What did you say… I don’t even..Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    Fool’s paradise?Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    Actually, Shafi had more than three lines of dialog and was had a far longer screen time than five minutes. Did you even watch Waar? :)Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    Genius, I was mocking the rumors. Read it again. I said the rumors are silly.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    Pretty much. :) I didn’t hate the film.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    “If told an American I didn’t like G.I Joe, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t take it personally, like you are.”

    Absolutely.Recommend

  • go_green

    Let me get some of the facts straight.
    First of all pakistan may be supporting afghan taliban, it does not mean we are supporting each and every cause of theirs! Whoever they call a martyr is clearly their own point of view.
    Secondly the reason pakistan is against drones is that in the last decade more than 1500 innocent civilians lost their lives and many more crippled for life due to these drones in contrast to only 50 terrorists killed. So should we be supporting drones.
    Thirdly, the reason some of the pakistanis condemned hakim’s death was cause we were in the middle of peace talks with ttp which were completely destroyed by his death (it does not mean we supported hakim ullah mahsud)
    Fourthly about Kasmir, Kashmir was never supposed to be india’s part, it was all due to one man’s signature. Every day a Kasmiri loses his/her life in the hands of indian army and then you say that we are sending and manufacturing these mujahideen. Its your army which produces mujahideen. If Indian army had been good with Kashmiris why there would ever be shutdowns and mujahideen. You are yourself to be blamed.
    Another point be that RAW not only supports BLA but also sends out their agents to carry out atrocities against balochi people and pak army. This fact has already been accepted by one of your generals. Every now and then your RAW agents are caught from balochistan and karachi. Lately your Army forces at LOC also killed 5 of our citizens cause it isn’t possible for your army to face our Army.
    And lastly the reason we supported afghan taliban in 1990’s is cause they were fighting against intruders of which their army wasn’t capable of. No one knew what would come later!!!Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    Read the comments. He has a history of sarcasm. Also, I think he was being a dick. He said he saw a pirated print, which is not cool.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    I agree with Mastishhk.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    Spank you.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    You think Waar was a great movie? I would like to introduce you to some great movies then. I think you are missing out.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    hahahaha!Recommend

  • Hassam Tahir

    Firstly, the film never says it’s based on facts, it’s fiction for entertainment and has a story that appeals to the people and is the director’s and writers ‘Freedom of expression’.

    All through the 70’s and 80’s and even now, America makes movies and console games that show Russians as bad guys and plotting terror plots. How many of them were true? These movies are also generated a lot of false narrative.

    We have enjoyed many movies that show Muslim’s as terrorists or Pakistan’s or Russians. So what if we made a movie too?

    And it’s not that they make it so will we. I’m saying no one criticizes those so we shouldn’t too.Recommend

  • Hassam Tahir

    Google ‘US school shootings’ and you’ll find out how many terrorist attacks have been carried out by non-muslims. And that is just the school shootings.

    How about the one the in the cinema a few months back? Or the church attack in texas? read any news?Recommend

  • Zulaikha Bukhari

    I totally disagree with you. i dont know why you thought that they concentrated more on speaking english when nowadays everybody can easily speak this language. action sequences were good. it was inspired from true events. if they portrayed indian spies as evil, they also showed evil balochi or pakhtuns who were planting bombs and disturbing peace in the country etc etc. im really disappointed that you criticized waar in such way when this film has the ability to stand amongst most good hollywood movies. Shaan, Ayesha khan specially Shamoon abbasi did a mindblowing job. no offense, but i think you shouldnt be a movie critic.Recommend

  • go_green

    no one has as yet accepted the fact that they were responsible for the church attack. May be it was america or india backing that blast to sabotage the peace talks as TTP has already denied of their involvement.Recommend