“WAR”NING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD!
I recently celebrated my recovery from a bout of ill health by going for the movie War with one of my friends. Because what’s better than gruesome action and backstabbing to lift one’s spirits, right?
What it’s all about
The movie is about Kabir (Hrithik Roshan) and Khalid (Tiger Shroff), two officers in the Indian Army. Kabir is a mentor to Khalid and they share a close bond, which is why Khalid is shocked when he receives orders to hunt Kabir down and kill him.
The movie unfolds in a series of flashbacks that show how Kabir and Khalid established their bond, and dart between past and present to explain complicated events involving terrorists, backstabbing, and lost love.
Places where facts went awry
Like many recent movies, War also seeks to bring forth the courage and sacrifice of the Indian Army. However, they should have done better research into military life.
Here are some glaring errors that I, a kid from a military family, could spot in the depiction of the Indian Army in War:
1. When Khalid is introduced, he is finishing off a drug ring in Malta. He goes in civilian clothes, and beats them up, hero-style, and emerges victorious single-handedly.
It seemed like this scene was included just to show the swag of Tiger’s character, because usually junior officers at the rank of Lieutenant or Captain (or even senior officers, to my knowledge) are not sent on lone missions to kill members of a drug ring in a foreign country. They have enough work to do in India.
2. As soon as Khalid proves his worth to Kabir and is accepted on a mission, people stop referring to him as Lieutenant, and start calling him Captain. In reality these early promotions are time-bound, and a Lieutenant can become a Captain only after 2 years of active service, and not suddenly on proving his worth!
3. Khalid’s mother (played by Soni Razdan) comes to the entrance of the unit to meet him. Usually, civilians are not allowed to casually walk up to a unit to meet their sons and give them blessings after praying.
4. The unit itself, which seems to be located in a remote area in the North, looks more like an aesthetic Tibetan monastery than an army unit.
Such liberties are never taken in units- the layout is the same everywhere, irrespective of where the unit is located. They are simple and practical buildings that are constructed to serve their purpose, not to look beautiful.
5. Khalid is partially blind in one eye, and manages to successfully conceal this for some time. I understand this was essential to the plot, but in reality the SSB and medical tests prior to gaining admission in the academy would have ferreted out these flaws immediately, and Khalid would never even have joined the Army.
6. During the song Jai Jai Shiv Shankar, which is supposed to be a Holi celebration within the unit, we see dancing girls wearing skimpy outfits as background dancers, which would be absolutely blasphemous in real life.
While making the video, some thought should have been given to the fact that it is being set in an army unit (I’m not even getting into the minute details of the scene because I’ll have too much to discuss then).
However, it was clearly made just for the purpose of the visual treat of Hrithik and Tiger dancing together (which was really awesome).
7. At the end of the movie, the Colonel salutes Kabir with a Navy salute instead of an Army salute! How could such a major error have been overlooked?
Basically the Army salute has the palm turned fully outwards and flat against the forehead, to show that the soldier isn’t armed. The Navy salute has the palm horizontal, facing downwards, as it is believed that sailors have greasy palms. The Air Force salute is diagonal, with the fingers at an upward angle like a plane taking off.
A Colonel would never have made such an error, and I feel some proper research should have gone into these details rather than just the glamour factor.
Basically, the entire movie was an extremely glamourous portrayal of the lives of the Indian Army officials, and had several glaring errors.
If you have watched the movie and found more errors, share them in the comments below.
Image Credits: Google Images
Find the author online at: @samyukthanair_