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FIGHTER - As usual it entirely relies upon the star ensemble, forced patriotism, and an appreciable women-oriented social message as content. (Movie Notes by Bobby Sing)

27 Jan, 2024 | Just In / Movie Reviews / 2024 Releases

In the era of Hindi films being made on almost every major event publicized in the news, I was wondering why the heinous Pulwama attack has still not been a part of a patriotic film since the year 2019. Ending the wait FIGHTER comes up with its cinematic depiction on the screen, simply focusing on the damage caused, yet again ignoring “How it happened, passing all the security arrangements” just like the news media and people following them religiously. 
So, capitalizing on the typical pattern, the film makes you emotionally feel about the casualties caused by the attack, loudly asking for a REVENGE, intentionally skipping the HOW, and all questions about the evident security lapses.
FIGHTER revolves around Air Force operations but since we have a Hrithik Roshan in lead, so he must show his well-toned body and participate in dance/party song too, displaying his dancing skills, as that is an essential requirement of a Hindi film demanded by the exhibitors, even if it is all about Air Force. Besides, here we also need to have a rebel officer, who is overconfident enough to disobey his seniors, making repeated mistakes in the air causing serious consequences for the forces including his demotion. But still, remains the only brave Hero, the entire force can rely upon, taking its clear inspiration from Tom Cruise’s TOP GUN: Maverick (2022).  
Here, I also duly agree with the Censor Board if they objected to how Air Force Officers can be shown romancing in bare bodies at the beach diluting both the impact of the film as well as their image of responsible soldiers safeguarding the Indian borders.
Anyway, as always argued, these elements are necessary for a commercial Hindi film, otherwise, it will become dry, like a so-called ART movie showcasing the tough life of our brave officers, strictly focusing upon their restricted routine, training, and combat sequences. This honestly reminds me of the era when our writer-directors were confident and responsible enough to come up with brilliant films like VIJETA (1982), specifically depicting the dilemma and struggle of young Air Force Officers. So, if you have not seen it yet then do watch it this Republic Day weekend as a must doing a favour to yourself.
Coming back to FIGHTER, the film has nothing new to offer in terms of storyline, concept, or theme. It has everything the present patriotic films are expected to be ranging from Pakistan bashing, provocative jingoist dialogues, and thrilling aerial combat sequences to a heroic filmy climax along with loads of creative liberties (taken in a war film). For instance, all the Pak planes must be painted green and the rival pilots following each other in their fighter jets, can easily have a dialogue putting up a challenge to the other, catching a mutual frequency.
To be straight, FIGHTER heavily relies upon the stars appearing on the screen and if the same film had been presented before the audience minus these ‘Big Names’ then the outcome would have been similar to the recent TEJAS.
The film is all about Hrithik Roshan playing the rebellion officer bringing in his famous charm, proudly explaining and defending “Jai Hind”. Hrithik excels and the aerial visuals certainly add to the impact along with Deepika Padukone’s subplot making you feel the emotion thinking about the role of women in our border forces. However, I still find it strange how the “CHROMA sequences shot” get easily caught in our Indian films as compared to foreign movies, even when we have many world-class VFX studios in our country. 
Both Deepika and Ashutosh Rana shine in their limited appearances, whereas others in the supporting cast do not come up with anything outstanding, including Anil Kapoor who constantly appears tense throughout the film lacking variation and the calmness of a senior air force officer. Plus, FIGHTER yet again comes up with a feeble villain, which has been a shortcoming of almost all our films in the recent decades, keeping their focus intact on the hero. Can’t say whether it’s the inability of the writers or insecurities of the stars that we have not seen any great villain in our films since long with rare exception like ANIMAL.
Mentioning the merits, while the ‘importance of women in society as well as armed forces” gets perfectly delivered in the film, it also duly pays an impressive tribute to the brave soldiers guiding the borders and the martyrs becoming the victims of the inhuman terrorist attacks.
That said, FIGHTER can only be seen if you wish to watch Hrithik as the rebellion pilot wilfully crossing the border, disobeying his seniors, and Deepika Padukone playing the courageous Air Force officer in conflict with her family. But expecting something novel either in terms of theme or treatment will eventually bring in disappointment.
In the end, considering the Friday high-stars rating posters displayed on social networks, I would like to add that it certainly needs some new-age guts to praise an entirely cliche and forced narrative just because of a huge star cast, technicality, and respected flavour of patriotism.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, I have not yet acquired that feat. Hence, this remains just an average attempt for me (exacly like director's last films) with the best scene being the one between Hrithik and Ashutosh Rana instantly establishing an emotional connection with the audience. 
In Hindi cinema, following a set pattern of a Hit film has always been a tradition as here several films get started in the same genre, post a big success at the box office wins over the audience. The current pattern is of making patriotic films and FIGHTER continues that tradition in 2024.
Rating : 2.5 / 5

Tags : FIGHTER Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Hindi Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Bollywood Movies reviews by Bobby Sing
27 Jan 2024 / Comment ( 0 )
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