Siddharth Anand’s much-anticipated movie, “Fighter,” featuring Hrithik Roshan, Deepika Padukone, and Anil Kapoor, has hit the theaters, marking Bollywood’s grand entry into 2024. As the nation celebrates Republic Day, the film takes center stage with its aerial action extravaganza and patriotic fervor. The highs, lows, and everything in between, guiding you on whether to buckle up for this cinematic flight or steer clear.
Set against the backdrop of the Pulwama attacks of 2019, “Fighter” follows the story of Indian Air Force CO Rocky (Anil Kapoor) and his team, including Patty (Hrithik Roshan), Minnie (Deepika Padukone), and others. The narrative unfolds as they prepare to counter an imminent attack by the terror group Jaish. The film creatively depicts the IAF’s retaliation, drawing inspiration from real events and exploring themes of patriotism and heroism.
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What’s Soaring High:
Siddharth Anand, known for his directorial prowess in films like “War” and “Pathaan,” outdoes himself in “Fighter.” The movie offers an adrenaline-pumping experience, especially during the aerial combat scenes. The gripping narrative, though familiar, is presented with finesse, keeping the audience hooked. The production value is commendable, capturing the scenic snow-clad mountains and showcasing the India-Pakistan LOC. The casting, spearheaded by Mukesh Chhabra, is spot-on, with each character given due importance.
Hrithik Roshan’s portrayal of Patty is effortless, showcasing his versatility and ability to inhabit diverse roles seamlessly. Deepika Padukone delivers a flawless performance, leaving the audience in awe of her acting prowess. Anil Kapoor, in the role of the Commanding Officer, brings the required intensity without veering into melodrama. The supporting cast, including Karan Singh Grover, Akshay Oberoi, Sanjeeda Sheikh, Sharib Hashmi, and Ashutosh Rana, adds depth to the ensemble.
The New Villain on the Block:
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Rishabh Sawhney’s portrayal of the antagonist deserves special mention. His character exudes cruelty and invincibility, providing a fitting match to Hrithik Roshan’s protagonist. The hand-to-hand combat scenes between the two actors are highlighted as one of the film’s thrilling moments. Rishabh’s performance establishes him as a formidable antagonist, marking him as a rising star in Bollywood’s villainous landscape.
Musical and Visual Treat:
The songs, choreographed with finesse, complement the narrative, offering moments of both spectacle and emotion. Ankit and Sanchit Balhara’s background score enhances the overall cinematic experience, especially during aerial sequences. The film’s music, including the poignant track “Dil Banane Waaleya,” contributes to the emotional depth of key scenes.
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Seeti Maar Dialogues:
The trio of Abbas Dalal, Hussain Dalal, and Biswapati Sarkar craft impactful dialogues that strike the right balance between patriotism and sensitivity. The film manages to address themes of terrorism without resorting to jingoism or unnecessary targeting of communities or religions. Dialogues during aerial combat scenes resonate as “seeti maar” moments, adding to the film’s impact.
“Fighter” successfully navigates the challenges of delivering top-notch VFX for an aerial action film. The aerial combat scenes, executed with precision, maintain the audience’s engagement. The film’s visual effects contribute significantly to the overall cinematic experience, solidifying its position as a paisa vasool film.
Areas to Improve:
While the film excels in many aspects, some viewers may lament the limited screen time for the Hrithik Roshan-Deepika Padukone duo. Their chemistry, evident in romantic scenes, is tantalizingly brief, leaving audiences yearning for more.
“Fighter” emerges as a spectacle that redefines the Indian Air Force on the silver screen. Siddharth Anand’s direction, coupled with stellar performances and compelling storytelling, makes it a must-watch. The film instills a sense of pride, evokes emotions, and entertains with its grandiose air combat sequences. For fans of Anand’s previous works like “War” and “Pathaan,” “Fighter” is a fitting successor and can be hailed as India’s very own “Top Gun.” As it takes off during the long weekend, resisting the urge to watch it more than once in theaters might be a formidable challenge. “Fighter” stands tall, giving Bollywood the perfect takeoff for 2024.
As “Fighter” graces the big screen, the audience is treated to a cinematic experience that combines adrenaline-pumping action, stellar performances, and patriotic fervor. The film not only pays homage to the valor of the Indian Air Force but also solidifies Siddharth Anand’s position as a master of his craft. In the spirit of Republic Day, “Fighter” soars high, offering Bollywood a spectacular takeoff into the new year.