Well, I saw it for the second time last night and there were a couple cool things I noticed this time that I want to mention. And Alisa alerted me to an interesting interview with the director. And Hrithik is still hot. All of these things made me want to do a kind of grab bag post of it all.
First, I saw it again last night!
One interesting thing, the theater (for the 8pm show on a Tuesday) had about 20 young women and 4 guys. So the film has found its natural audience, straight woman who like watching hot guys in love with each other.
Second, my friend came up with a theory that Evil Tiger was Hrithik’s last fling before Good Tiger. Hrithik didn’t love him, it was just sex, but Evil Tiger harbored jealousy and anger which lead to his Evilness. And to his desperate attempt to make Hrithik love him in the second half.
Third, there is another little against the grain reading moment I hadn’t noticed before. Ashutosh asks Tiger “which team are you on?” HA!
Second, interesting very short interview with the writing team for the movie, Sidharth Anand (also the director) and Shridhar Raghavan: https://www.filmcompanion.in/everything-you-need-to-know-war-siddharth-anand-shridhar-raghavan-hrithik-roshan-tiger-shroff
The important quotes for me are these two:
I totally enjoyed reading some of the pieces – once a film is out there everyone has a right to interpret it as they wish. It might be someone’s idea of fun, or an intellectual exercise, in viewing the film from a sexuality or any other prism, but no, there were no such things intended on paper.
And from Sidharth:
It’s because Khalid looks up to Kabir that you get that vibe. I wanted to portray Kabir as a little larger than life and you can only do that through the eyes of another protagonist. If Khalid looks at him with awe, you as the audience will look at him with awe. So that’s what we had to do. He’s looking at him like a fan would. The fact that Hrithik looks the way he does is also why you feel that homoeroticism. Even the men who are looking at him are going, ‘Oh my god, how good looking is he?’ You can’t help but look at him with lust. I’m glad it’s a talking point but it wasn’t intentional at all.
First, most importantly, I WAS RIGHT HA HA HA I RULE ALL!!!!! Sidharth’s way of describing the situation as needing to portray Hrithik as larger than life, of blurring the way a fan and a fellow character would look at him, and the acknowledgement that the visual spectacle of a star is part of their appeal and a common sense part of how people watch them, WITHOUT any specific complicated thought process that identifies this as part of a sexuality is pretty close to my statement:
For instance, there is the way male bodies are treated onscreen. Since films are a visual medium, and since Indian films revolve around men, the male body becomes the primary visual for the film. Male muscles, male legs, male strength, male smiles, it is all part of the film experience. And for the fans, just as they will repeat the dialogues of their idols and follow their life lessons and repeat their stories, so will they obsess over the way they look….. Yes, obviously, sexual attraction is part of the appeal of these male stars for their young male fans. But how large a part, does that really matter? Is that for anyone outside to say? A movie star most have amazing physical presence and charisma, that is part of the job, and let us all just accept that when you have that level of charisma, everyone (man or woman) is going to be a little bit attracted to you.
Second, for Shridhar’s quote, isn’t it nice to have a literal author of a film reject the concept of “authorial intent” in film watching? As he says, the film is out there and people can do whatever they want with it. It doesn’t belong to him, it belongs to us. In my limited experience of reading creator interviews, that is the case more often than you would think. There are some egotist directors/scriptwriters who get very upset when people watch their films “wrong”, but most of the time people actually making movies have an attitude of “sure, whatever! So long as you like the film it’s no skin off my nose why you liked it.”
And one final War thought, a very important one:
Did the make-up artist choose to emphasis Hrithik’s crows feet? Because I noticed on this watch that they are really really pronounced. If so, I hope it catches on, because it looked GREAT.
(oh, and future scheduling note, once War is streaming we WILL be doing a tweetalong. It was super fun watching it with a friend in theaters, I need to watch it with my internet friends on computers)