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Bollywood’s latest Release, “Fighter,” has soared into the limelight with its promise of being India’s first-ever aerial action film. Starring the dynamic duo of Hrithik Roshan and Deepika Padukone, along with Anil Kapoor and a stellar supporting cast, the movie has garnered attention for its adrenaline-pumping sequences and patriotic fervor.
Table of Contents
|Ramon Chibb, Siddharth Anand
|Hussain Dalal, Abbas Dalal
|Mamta Anand, Ajit Andhare, Anku Pande, Ramon Chibb, Kevin Vaz
|Hrithik Roshan, Deepika Padukone, Anil Kapoor
|Score: Sanchit Balhara and Ankit Balhara
|Viacom18 Studios, Marflix Pictures
|25 January 2024
The film opens with a nod to the indomitable courage of the Indian Air Force (IAF), framing its narrative against the backdrop of real-world events like the Pulwama attack and India’s retaliatory strike in Balakot. While the exact period remains unspecified, the movie follows Commanding Officer Rakesh Jai Singh, played by Anil Kapoor, forming a quick response team comprising top IAF fighter pilots—Squadron Leader Shamsher Pathania (Hrithik) and Squadron Leader Minal Rathore (Deepika). Together, they form the special unit, Air Dragons.
The storyline, though not groundbreaking, manages to maintain engagement with a mix of action, emotion, patriotism, music, humor, and a dash of romance. The film’s attention to detail in action and execution is commendable, even if the storytelling could have been more innovative. Dialogues by Hussain Dalal and Abbas Dalal, while average, don’t overshadow the overall impact of the narrative.
Satchith Paulose’s cinematography deserves applause for making “Fighter” a visual feast. The film captures breathtaking locales and snow-capped mountain ranges, elevating the overall cinematic experience. The aerial combat sequences are visually stunning, providing the much-anticipated immersive experience.
The movie’s pace takes flight in the first half, with a well-timed build-up and engaging sequences. However, it encounters turbulence in the second half with forced-fit portions designed, it seems, to meet the desired runtime. Despite these mid-air bumps, the film regains its altitude in the last 20 minutes during the climax, providing a thrilling conclusion.
Hrithik Roshan steals the show with his unmatched swag, chiseled physique, and charismatic screen presence. His portrayal of Squadron Leader Shamsher Pathania is a sight for sore eyes, especially in the gravity-defying aerial combat and hand-to-hand combat sequences. Deepika Padukone, having showcased her action chops in “Pathaan,” takes it up a notch in “Fighter.” Her chemistry with Hrithik, evident in dance sequences and emotional scenes, is touted as a highlight.
Anil Kapoor, in his role as Commanding Officer Rocky, once again proves his mettle as a versatile actor. His portrayal of a strict and brooding officer adds depth to the film. Karan Singh Grover and Akshay Oberoi, in pivotal roles as Squadron Leaders Sartaj Taj Gill and Basheer Khan respectively, deliver commendable performances, contributing significantly to the storyline. The film also features heartwarming cameos from Sharib Hashmi, Ashutosh Rana, and Sanjeeda Shaikh, providing delightful moments.
While the film excels in portraying the camaraderie and heroism of the Indian Air Force, the antagonist, Azhar Akhtar (played by Rishabh Sawhney), falls short of leaving a lasting impact. Despite a strong introduction scene, his character lacks the menacing quality expected in a war drama antagonist. The portrayal feels one-dimensional, failing to evoke the necessary tension and fear.
“Fighter” is hailed as a full-on entertainer that manages to evoke a sense of patriotism without resorting to chest-thumping chants of “Jai Hind” or “Hindustan Zindabad.” The film’s climax, where Hrithik makes a reference to “India Occupied Pakistan,” is said to call for loud cheers, showcasing how Hindi films masterfully express love for the country. “Fighter” emerges as a movie that offers a pure paisa vasool experience. Despite its predictable plot and cliched dialogues, the film compensates with stunning visuals, top-notch performances, and a genuine sense of pride. The aerial action sequences, coupled with the camaraderie among the cast, create a movie-watching experience that is both engaging and exciting.
While there may be some turbulence in the narrative and character development, the film manages to soar high in the genre of aerial action. For fans of Hrithik Roshan and Deepika Padukone, “Fighter” is a must-watch, showcasing their on-screen chemistry and action prowess. In the vast skies of Bollywood cinema, “Fighter” adds another feather to its cap, taking the audience on a journey filled with highs, lows, and a patriotic fervor that lingers even after the credits roll. So buckle up, enjoy the ride, and let “Fighter” take you on a sky-high adventure like never before.