Starring: Rishabh Sawhney, Sanjeeda Sheikh, Anil Kapoor, Akshay Oberoi, Rishik Roshan, and Deepika Padukone
Azhar Akhtar, the leader of “Jaish-e-Mohammad,” is a terrorist from Pakistan who resembles a long-haired Karan Singh Grover. He is plotting an extremely lethal strike on India. Because his scheme is so lethal, he forgets about it and concentrates on apprehending a few Indian fighter pilots who had been attacked. As Azhar himself puts it, “Ab Jung Hogi,” the entire country is in danger, and cutting the story so finely that it appears the budget prevented it from happening at the last minute.
Because of how foreseeable Ramon Chibb and Siddharth Anand’s plot is, you may also foretell what will happen in Fighter 2. I stated in my Fighter Trailer Impact essay that this will adhere to the standard Siddharth Anand formula: The movie should have a polished air to it, with the actors appearing as though they’re prepared to win any fashion show; a beach song that will turn up the sensual factor to the highest; and a fight between Pakistani nationalists and patriots. At least Siddharth hasn’t let me down with that, I must say.
This eloquently demonstrates why Shah Rukh Khan alone was the reason Pathaan succeeded. It’s like Uri meets Top Gun without any of the great parts of those movies. The team’s “interpersonal” bonding sessions are written so badly that TVF’s Biswapati Sarkar, who contributed more dialogue to the movie, should have handled those scenes. The narrative consistently presents scenes that force you to feel a connection with the individuals, but it never establishes a strong bond with any of them.
None of the team members—aside from Patty and Minni—get a compelling enough backstory to make the viewer care about them. You would think Siddharth inserted Minni’s backstory simply because he got Deepika Padukone to portray it, given how carelessly written it is. Similar to Hollywood, where superhero fatigue is a serious issue, India is about to experience the same with nationalistic films. I apologise; I should have said, “jingoistic films in India.”
Cinematographer Satchith Paulose, who worked on Pathaan, returned with his opulent presentation style, and he had to experiment with the aerial action scenes. He doesn’t really get as much opportunity to experiment with cinematography as he would have liked because there aren’t many elevation points and the most of the outside-the-flight action scenes are packed with intense visual effects. While some of these scenes are pretty beautifully done, others are just plain green screen.
Hrithik Roshan hasn’t been utilised to the most extent of his abilities, and his hazy persona makes it challenging for him to become a hero. Forget about the chemistry he has with his teammates; he doesn’t even have a deep enough bond with Deepika Padukone to feel anything at all. Oh wait, he may have sleptwalked through this role! He has performed this part like a sleepwalker.
Now that the film has been out for a few days, it is abundantly evident why Deepika Padukone chose to keep a safe distance from it. She has been criminally underutilised by Siddharth, and you can’t treat a talent this good that way. She doesn’t contribute anything significant to the narrative aside than a shoddy backstory, which is the only question that many would have after this. Why?