War Review (No Spoilers): Gayer Than Top Gun

Yes, I am aware that is an extreme statement in the headline. But I stand by it! Tiger and Hrithik have successfully out-gayed Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer. If that sentence intrigues and excites you, you should watch this movie. If it makes you go “huh? wha? Top Gun was gay?” than this film is operating on a whole other level that you may never grasp, and this review is not for you. SO GAY!!!!

I considered saying “(but not in a bad way)” in the headline, but then I thought no, even that is wrong because it implies there could be a bad way to be gay, which isn’t true. This movie is SO GAY, and that is, obviously, a beautiful wonderful very entertaining thing.

Image result for hrithik tiger war poster

Tiger is fragile and earnest and innocent. Hrithik is cocky and sexy with a half smile. Their eyes meet, and neither can look away. Tiger’s feelings show all too clearly in his face, Hrithik laughs at himself for being so drawn to this innocent boy and yet keeps turning back to smile at him. Hrithik resists trusting him, resists believing in his feelings. But after their first fight together, when Hrithik (shirt torn off his body to reveal his gleaming oiled muscles) reaches down his hand to pull Tiger up off the ground, there is no turning back. Hrithik calls him away from the others that night to sit with him in his private office, his shirt tantalizingly undone to the waist, and reveals that he knows his secret. That thing Tiger has known about himself since he went to all boys school. And it’s okay, they can keep that secret between them, like men, it will be a bond they share. And then they dance together.

No, that’s not fanfic, that is a literal description of the first hour of this movie. It is a beautiful beautiful thing. SO GAY.

The filmmakers are having fun with it too. Within the first 15 minutes, someone says to Tiger like it is a fact they all know “You love him” and Tiger looks down in acknowledgement. Later they joke about eloping together. Towards the end of the film, Tiger picks Hrithik up in his arms and carries him. There are so many moments when they almost kiss, I lost count. But I know it happened enough for me to realize that Tiger is slightly shorter than Hrithik, just the right difference for his head to tilt up slightly just before their lips touch. Only their lips (tragically) never actually touch.

There’s the fun bits, but also the plot literally does not make sense unless we accept that Hrithik and Tiger are in love. There’s blindspots in both characters that only work if they are blinded by love, and there is also a weird passion between them that makes them go against all rules and logic. And that ALSO makes no sense if they aren’t in love. And just the basic fact that the two characters meet only shortly before the film starts and yet already have this passionate bond and deep knowledge of each other, the kind of little things you learn in pillow talk.

The thing is, if it wasn’t SUPER GAY this would be kind of a boring movie. The plot’s ridiculous, but who cares, it’s an action movie so the plot is supposed to be ridiculous. There are a few spectacular action set pieces, but also long boring gaps between them. What keeps it humming along and makes it work is the Hrithik-Tiger chemistry. That must have become clear at some point in the production because I can see hints of a different kind of movie that they dumped in favor of All Hrithik-Tiger All the Time. Poor Vaani Kapoor has 15 minutes of screentime. Really nothing is there. Soni Razdan has maybe 5 minutes. Both of those plots could have easily been expanded to something substantial but instead it feels like they were cut down. Worst of all, the villain is boring! How dare they have a boring villain. If the film were the standard three-hander of hero-villain-romance, it would be terrible. But instead it is hero-hero-sexy-sexy-romance-action.

Poor Vaani. She gets this song, and two scenes.

The Tiger-Hrithik love story is also important because it ties together a bunch of really poorly connected bits of scenes. Tiger gets a couple of action sequences (especially his intro scene) that feel almost disconnected from the rest of the film. The camera style is different, there is no background music, it’s just weird. And having them dropped into the middle of things is weirder. The timeline does not track AT ALL, and they keep giving us little anchors like “6 months earlier” or “2 years earlier” but when you try to add up the months and years combined with the plot, it makes no sense. And the characters are all over the place even more than you would expect for this kind of fluffy action film. And yet somehow it hobbles along thanks to the Tiger-Hrithik love connection. And that love connection hobbles along mostly thanks to Hrithik.

Good God is Hrithik charming in this!!!!! Forget the promos, this is 100% a Hrithik Roshan movie. Tiger is a poor second to him. Hrithik edges him out with screentime, motivation, character backstory, and action scenes. Plus the script itself makes clear that Tiger is a decent up and comer but Hrithik is really in charge. And Hrithik just floats through it, doesn’t even break a sweat. The man is a born movie star. He crinkles his brow, he flips his hand, and I am fascinated. Plus, the camera loves his face. And with him, with age has come experience. He knows exactly how to play this role and make it work, and boy does it work!

I’m fascinated by how YRF knew that. When this film started being made, Hrithik was a “has been”, multiple flops in a row. And Tiger had just had the surprise hit of Baaghi 2 and was the hottest thing around. And yet start to finish this is clearly a Hrithik film. YRF knew he was going to come back, knew to put their money on him. Sure Tiger got a couple fight scenes added last minute, but that didn’t change the essential script and the script makes Hrithik the lead. As he should be, but who would have been brave enough to take that risk after Mohenjo Daro, after Kaabil? Aditya Chopra I guess, the man knows his movie stars.

So, yes, you should watch it. If you like oiled up men making manly faces at each other, ridiculous airplane jumping action scenes, and (miracle of miracles) a non-Islamophobic Hindi action film. If you like clever dialogue, subtle performances, man-woman romances, and internal plot logic, than probably not for you.

Image result for hrithik tiger
Oh, and you should see it in theaters largely for the joy of watching a bunch of macho fan boys not realize that they are enjoying a SUPER GAY movie.

Advertisements

45 thoughts on “War Review (No Spoilers): Gayer Than Top Gun

  1. The last line & the review cracked me up. I can’t wait to watch Hritik in all his foxy-daddy glory. They thought they were making a movie for the fanboys,but really this is for the females.

    Like

    • Oh also I don’t think it’s really YRF but Siddharth Anand who has to be credited for making this film all about Hritik. Saw an interview and he loves Hritik more than Tiger himself. It seems like two Hritik fanboys got together,got funding from YRF and made a monument of love for Hritik. They probably showed Hritik as how they see him & we are all reminded how good he is.

      Like

      • He should always work with Siddharth Anand. He is so amazing in this movie! The only flaw is that his toupee keeps slipping during the action scenes, but you just have to try hard to pretend you don’t notice that.

        On Thu, Oct 3, 2019 at 4:16 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

        >

        Like

        • Completely agree that this was all Siddharth Anand. He and Hrithik did an interview with Anupama a couple days ago and Siddharth said that he had been writing a movie just for Hrithik for the last 4 years. He was working with Adi on a different script and more than half way through came up with this idea and convinced Adi to shelve the other script. Hrithik should absolutely work with Siddarth ALL the time!

          Like

          • Except that I want Siddharth to give the same treatment to the other pretty boy action stars! Sid Malhotra, John Abraham, they all need to be in silly action films with no shirts ALL THE TIME.

            Like

          • I am all for this. Especially Sid Malhotra. I am sick of directors making him look ugly, especially when he is so pretty! Let’s showcase his best assets please. I would love another A Gentleman-esq action romance with him in it. I have zero interest in watching Marjaavan with his long, mangy, weirdly parted hair and ungroomed beard!

            Like

          • Sushant Singh Rajput, there’s another one everyone seems afraid to make look pretty.

            On Fri, Oct 4, 2019 at 8:24 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

            >

            Like

    • Are all fanboys gay? well, I suppose they are a little (those discussions of which actor has the best body….). So yes, they were making it for fanboys! And twitting them a little bit that they don’t realize a movie based around the idea “who has the best abs, Tiger or Hrithik?” is going to be super gay.

      On Thu, Oct 3, 2019 at 3:45 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

        • Especially Tiger, he has this massive young male fan base, and every movie revolves around gleaming slow motion close up shots of his abs. At least Hrithik was a woman’s star, there was a heterosexual justification for all the objectification. Who’s Tiger working out for?

          Like

          • Hrithik’s fan base is the same. I actually rarely ever seen women going gaga for him. It’s always men who brag about how hot he is and how much uglier other people’s favorite male stars are compared to Hrithik. I always found it really weird.

            Like

  2. Bought the ticket after reading this! Can’t wait!

    Apparently they filmed one action scene in Rovaniemi, Lapland here in Finland. At least that is what the Finnish marketers sold this film with for those who went to watch it for the premier, which I couldn’t make. It’ll be fun to see at what point it shows up.

    Like

    • Yeah, just two songs. And Hrithik only dances half the time in “Jai Jai Shiv Shankar” and for like 10 seconds in the other one.

      On Thu, Oct 3, 2019 at 6:40 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

    • I don’t want to oversell, Hrithik never actually takes his shirt off. He just has it unbuttoned to the waist, or artistically torn, or the zipper undone. At one point he wears a shawl neck cardigan with nothing underneath. He’s teasing us, but not going all the way. Because he’s Manly and Mature, while Tiger is all “oh yeah, I’ll rip my shirt off for anyone any time any place!” in his eager youth.

      But oh my, the crows feet? The grey at the temples? It’s the hot mature man of all our R-rated dreams.

      On Thu, Oct 3, 2019 at 8:37 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

  3. Elopement??? Almost kissing??? Hrithik picking Tiger up??? Here I was thinking that this was one of those really boring stoic manly man action films but now I HAVE to watch it at some point to see the gayness

    Like

  4. Hrithik Roshan is a feast for the eyes, I will only watch it for him, I was hesitant to watch this movie cause of the mixed reviews but after reading your review I can’t resist.

    Like

    • See the movie! It’s less than 3 hours, and it brings such joy with it.

      On Thu, Oct 3, 2019 at 7:05 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

    • I don’t know, have you seen the movie? They didn’t set out to show a male friendship, they set out to show a romance. I don’t think I could manage to find a deep male friendship in the film if I looked for it.

      Which isn’t to say there aren’t other situations when your point would apply, but I would hope that I wouldn’t write this kind of review of a film like Dil Chahta Hai or Raees or Sholay where there was some effort put in to building a friendship between characters rather than simply making it a romance. Art is funny, the same story can be shown many different ways, and depending on those choices there are different interpretations open to the audience.

      Societies are also funny, in India/Indian film deep affection between men, including physical displays of affection, is accepted. It is queerness that is not accepted. There are many films that treat male friendships respectfully and almost no films that provide queer content of any kind. So I want to celebrate this rare exception we have here, and celebrate the bravery of the actors and filmmakers in going out of their way to give us queer content.

      On Thu, Oct 3, 2019 at 7:54 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.