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Pak film depicting 'Indian agents' does roaring business

Islamabad, Oct 20, 2013 (PTI): 2:54 IST
Still from the movie.
As a police compound here comes under terror attack, an 'Indian female agent' cum social worker in Pakistan is dancing with a mercenary celebrating their success. This is a scene from 'Waar', a film doing roaring business here.

Said to be the most expensive Pakistani film ever to be made, the film is rumoured to be partly funded by the military, a charge denied by the film director Bilal Lashari.

The film is about Pakistan's fight against terror but seems to lay the blame for everything bad happening in the country at India's doorstep.

The script revolves around a plot by 'Indian agents' to carry out the biggest ever blast in Pakistan.

Waar opened on Wednesday on 42 screens across Pakistan and set a new record of box-office collections pertaining to Eid openings.

After a first day opening of Rs 11.4 million the big budget flick earned a total of Rs 42.6 million till Friday night, breaking all previous records of Eid collections.

Waar has also broken first day record set by King Khan's Chennai Express that had earned around nine million rupees on Eid-ul-Fitr.

The film has received mixed response from film critics but has been hailed by many ultra-nationalists here who blame India for kidnapping, terror or assassinations that take place in Pakistan.

Not only that, the film bizarrely suggests that even the dreaded Pakistani Taliban is controlled by India.

"The entire patriotic narrative that RAW is backing Khawarij, political traitors and terrorists in Pakistan has been depicted well. #WAAR," Zahid Hamid, an analyst known for his extreme anti-India statements said on Twitter.

However, many are also have a different view. "Propaganda is one thing, and can be found in any 'wood'. I just wanted better scripting and continuity. And no accents FFS #Waar," Zarrar Khuhro, an analyst tweeted.

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, a three Emmy and an Oscar award-winning Pakistani-Canadian documentary filmmaker tweeted, "#waar has cliches but so do Indian movies v go 2 c- whether you like the film or not, watch it for the sake of supporting local talent." "I just found $2 million to cut from our military budget. #Waar," tweeted PPP leader Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

Waar is a story about a retired army officer who had taken an early retirement from the forces due to personal reasons. This lead role is played by one of Pakistan's top actor Shaan.

A special task force of the police is trying to tackle terrorism and none but the retired Major Ehtesham can lead such a complicated operation to get rid of the chemical bomb.

The villain is a female RAW agent, who works as a social worker by day and honey-traps willing politicians by nights, and a mercenary who crosses into Pakistan from India across the LoC.

Though the script of the movie is highly debatable, the technical and overall feel of the film is a welcome change. Off late, Pakistani film industry, referred to as Lollywood, has come out with some fine works.

The hype around the movie has ensured that theatres are packed. Though one could see occasional claps in the theatre, many also came out not impressed.

"My tuppence on #Waar: Brilliantly shot & visually appealing w/a hauntingly beautiful background score. If only the script/screenplay," Maria Memon, a senior TV anchor tweeted.

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