Film: War Chhod Na Yaar

Director: Faraz Haider

Cast: Sharman Joshi, Jaaved Jaaferi, Soha Ali Khan, Sanjay Mishra, Mukul Dev and Dalip Tahil

Releasing today (Friday), the movie features Sharman Joshi, Jaaved Jaaferi and Soha Ali Khan in the lead roles. The film marks the debut of a new genre of war comedies in Bollywood. It will present a comical take on the otherwise volatile India-Pakistan relationship.

Produced by AOPL Entertainment, it has reportedly been made at a budget of Rs12-Rs13 crore and the makers are not looking at a wide release.

Scheduled right after Abhinav Kashyap's "Besharam" and before Anthony D'Souza's Akshay Kumar starrer "Boss", the film is expected to survive on its own merit at the box office.

"With so many big films coming, small films have to really struggle for a release date. They either come in between two big releases or with a big release. But if 'War Chhod Na Yaar' has merit, then it will definitely work with the audience," trade analyst Komal Nahta said.

Story line: The subject of the story is as interesting as its name. The idea is to present a comical take on the otherwise volatile India-Pakistan relationship. When it comes to war, the first things coming to mind are negativity, violence, blood and destruction. But this movie presents ‘war’ in a different outlook. Not only is the movie a satirical take on the conditions of the armed forces of the two neighbouring nations engaged in a war, but it also tries to shed some light on some reasons behind one such unwanted war. While Soha plays a war reporter, Sharman and Jaaved will be seen as a Captain in the Indian and Pakistani Army respectively. The film shows how Raj (Sharman) and Qureshi (Jaaved) struggles hard firing bullets at each other for the sake of their nations, keeping aside their emotional bonding that they share with each other.

Celebs’ speak

Sharman who is playing the role of an Indian Army officer in the film had no problem essaying it.

"I always wanted to do a role where I could wear a uniform and I got that chance in the film, that too of an army man. The moment I wore the uniform, I felt this sense of honour and pride for my country. You start to feel an army man's correctness and discipline. So, as I wore the uniform, it became very easy for me to do the role," Sharman said.

Javed will be seen in a comic role in the war comedy. "Here my character is comical, but my role is not an over the top. It is a serious film, but the situation is comical," he said.

The film is one of the first in its genre in the country. The actor assures that the movie will not offend anyone, even though it talks about the Indo-Pak situation. "I think it is very balanced. There is nothing that could be offensive. There are certain realities that everyone will agree to," he said.

Actress Soha Ali Khan says comedy is fun, but it's not easy. "I thought it will be easy, but it isn't so. Comedy is fun, but it's not too easy. Comedy all depends on the comic timing and this you can't learn from anybody. It should come naturally," Soha said.

Soha Ali Khan believes that "War Chhod Na Yaar" has the potential to have an impact on the public just like her 2006 film "Rang De Basanti" did.

Director’s cut

Director Faraz Haider wants to broach heavy topics through comedy in cinema as he feels it is an ideal way to convey something important to the audience.

"Comedy is my weapon. I feel that no matter how serious something is, if you tell it with humour, people understand it more," Haider said.

"We have seen aggressive and emotional films made on India and Pakistan. I wanted to make something unique. I thought, I need to change the perspective shown in these films. The treatment of my film is very different. A very serious thing has been shown through comedy. It is a satire on war and politics," he said.

But trying a new genre comes along with risks and it was no different for Haider. "There is a risk in that as well. I am trying a genre which the audience has not yet been introduced to. But I feel everyone will connect to my point of view," he said.

The director said that the challenging part was not to incorporate comedy in a tragedy like war, but to evaluate whether people would appreciate the endeavour. "I have to convince them (audience) that such a thing can also happen. They have not seen comedy in war. I have put such humour and other elements in the film, which doesn't allow the public to say that this is not possible. It was tough as I could not take reference," he said.

"I have been to Pakistan once. I saw the mindset of people and how they think. I saw how they live and what they think of India. When I got to know that, I gave the Pakistani soldiers the same lookout," he said.


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