War Chhod Na Yaar

Well-intentioned but over-simplistic, War Chhod Na Yaar casts a satirical eye on the hot-button issue of border relations between India and Pakistan, and turns the spotlight on the troops stationed either side of the barbed-wire fence.
 
Those troops are led by Captain Rana (Sharman Joshi) of the Indian army, and Captain Qureshi (Javed Jaffrey) on the Pakistani side. When TV reporter Ruth Dutta (Soha Ali Khan) travels to the border to shoot a story about an oncoming war, she discovers that a warm friendship exists between the soldiers on both sides, who’re happier to face off in a round of antaakshri than open fire on the other.
 
 
Writer-director Faraz Haider uses humor to make the point about China and America’s interests in exploiting Indo-Pak tension. He addresses the apathy of both governments towards their respective armies. There’s even a running joke about underfed Pakistani soldiers searching for the gosht in their daal.
 
But the gratuitous romantic stirrings between army man and reporter feel just that: gratuitous. And how many times can you make the same joke about cheap unreliable Chinese products? Dalip Tahil gets some laughs, playing as many as four characters in the film – he’s a corrupt Indian minister, a Pakistani statesman, an American senator, and virtually unrecognizable as a Chinese general. But the usually dependable Sanjay Mishra hams it up as a senior Pakistani commander.
 
War Chhod Na Yaar succeeds in treating a grim subject with a light hand. Sharman Joshi and Javed Jaffrey are in good form, but the script loses steam well before the finish line. I’m going with two-and-a-half out of five. It’s not extraordinary, but it’s got some clever ideas.
 
 

 

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