–By Umaima Ahmed
So, finally I happened to watch the acclaimed most anticipated movie of Pakistan’s cinema – the big budget “Waar”. It was a pleasure watching a Pakistani movie in English with perfect pronunciation even though it is not the native language of ours. Admitting that I am no expert of cinematography, and know less about the technicalities of directions, choreography and other technicalities, but still to my observation, the director Bilal Lashari had done justice with it.
The start of the movie is featured with the bloodshed. Well, surely not a pleasant beginning, but sadly not an exaggeration for the reason that we are in a state of war and are now used to of such scenes even in our real life. The movie goes on and it’s shown that the intelligence agencies and the armed forces of the country took immediate, calculated actions and that’s how criminals were eliminated. As evident from it, the role of our Intelligence and Police was shown exceptional in the movie. That aims to help them gaining some morale, as the ongoing state of affairs is quite bleak in real. It was shown that they are the ones who actually are facing death to keep us alive. Yes they do fail at times but they have their success stories as well. That’s a separate issue ehy often their failures are mentioned and successes are taken simply for granted.
The movie brings the attention of the audience towards the fact that the security personnel of the country also have feelings, and that they are not stone hearted people. Their sentiments, family ties, their joys and fears remain hidden under their uniforms – may it be khaki, blue or green. We may have no idea what sort of threats and uncertainty of lives their families face. We never think what the children of those men in uniform feel when they hear people abusing their fathers’ sacrifices. We have no idea how many jawans lost their families and friends in this chaos, yet they stand by with courage and honor to fight with the terrorists. Like Mujtaba (Shaan) in the movie lost his family, and Javeria (Aisha) lost her brother, who embraced shahadat to face his fellow officers.
The movie reflected that the wave of terrorism in the country has been sponsored by the foreign powers, India and USA to be specific. That narrative makes this movie a target of the criticism from many quarters. It is argued that the terrorists follow a violent and radical interpretation of Sharia. The root cause is the ideology, which a big share of the population follows and supports. This side of the picture is not focused properly.
An extremely important issue of the water crises was touched in the movie and the role of the politicians on the “dam” was wonderfully presented.
Throughout the movie, the terrorists were shown equipped with a very determined plan of action. It happens to be in accordance with the reality as well. They have a strong network that is spread out even in those areas, where even our wildest dreams cannot reach. They know their target, the exact timing and precise step to take. The security forces literally have to be engaged at left, right and the center. They have to keep their eyes and ears open to decode the plans of the terrorists. There seems no win-win situation, as having the tricky plan; terrorists may launch their attack to another location just to divert the attention from their main target. Just like it was done in the movie at the Police academy.
Towards the end, like most of the movies, the villain had to die. So Birmal was killed by Mujtaba and his planned attack was not executed. Political leadership of the country remained unharmed. When I watched that scene, I realized how important our parliamentarians are for us besides all their failures on the political front. Disliking these people for not delivering is another thing, but if they are attacked like this, it would result in chaos and anarchy, and their vacuum will harm the solidarity of the country. Pakistan is not a banana republic and it does not need a bunch of non state actors to run her institutions. No matter how much one disagrees with the political state of affair, after all, this is the democracy that needs to be flourished.
In the modern times, the psyops and the art of propaganda is considered to be one of the tools to guard the national interests. For the first time Pakistan has used this tool, so let’s celebrate it for a while
Now coming to some points which I would like to discuss about the audience and the feedback that I got from the day this movie has been released.
- Huh, this is a propaganda film:
Yes it is, to be honest. But well, does it matter too much? Globally speaking, in one way or other, the movies on such themes reflect a certain point of view. So did this movie. This is not an official statement of the government of the country. So chill.
- Damn it, ISPR funded it:
It is often quoted, “Eat mangoes, don’t count the trees”. So, let’s just pick the message, which is to UNITE against terrorism and fight till the last drop of blood. Stand up against the terrorists and do support and trust your forces.
- Why so much praise? Is it as good as a Bollywood or Hollywood movie:
Well, what about “Jatt da kharaak”, “Atif Chaudhry” and “Shikari Haseena” sort of cheesy stuff? The renowned Indian director Ram Gopal Varma has praised the director. Do visit the ranking of the movie on the IMDb. This is 9.2 so far.
- Oh! It has a lot of F*** word:
Yes it does have, but not “a lot” of it. Why does the F*** word bother everyone so much when obnoxious language and torture is openly displayed and glorified against the women in Pakistani TV serials. The movies usually enjoy more liberation.
Reaction of the Audience which I witnessed during the movie:
Giggles and laughter were heard when police academy was under attack and especially when the ladies were being given suicide jackets with a statement “Mubarak ho”. I may be sounding too sensitive and emotional to many but it brought inconvenience. The sense of fear choked me when I watched that scene. I wonder what was there to laugh at. We think these people are just mad people who go out to blow them selves up. But just imagine what exactly have they been taught and how religion is been manipulated to brainwash them. It’s beyond one’s imagination how someone could blow oneself that easily.
We are going through pathetic state of affairs. Lately two political mulanas have given their “fatwas” on “shahadat”. It is a pity that these so called flag bearers of Islam have no understanding of Islam in its true sense. Contrary to their disgusting and much condemned remarks, the movie has shown beautifully how Ehtesham embraces shahadat to save his fellow officers in the line of duty.
Last but not the least, our national anthem is our identity. When we don’t respect it and sing it away as this is some joke, then it definitely shows where we are at fault. While leaving the hall, I could hear young boys yelling away and cracking jokes on the national anthem. Sad.
I hope more movies are made with even bigger messages. Pakistani film industry took a wonderful revival with Shoaib Mansoor’s “Khuda Ke Liye” followed by few other movies. Waar is another stepping stone. There is still a long way to go. But small steps only would take you to the destination required.