Siddharth Anand has changed gears for good. He is now riding the action genre with Bang Bang! (2014), War (2019), Pathaan (2023), and now Fighter. Fighter is termed as India’s first ‘aerial action’ film and first instalment in the ‘Fighter’ franchise. The film has references to 2019 Pulwama attack, 2019 Balakot airstrike and 2019 India-Pakistan border skirmishes, which make it more relatable and serious.
‘Fighter’ is about these top Indian Air Force aviators who are brought together in the face of imminent danger, to form a Quick Response Team ‘Air Dragons’. Fighter unfolds their camaraderie, brotherhood and battles, internal and external. As mentioned above, Siddharth Anand seems to be on a success spree with all the right moves. Let’s find out the various reasons why Fighter becomes a decent watch for the patriotic Indians and a ‘must-watch’ for the non-patriotic ones as a warning – ‘Do not mess with us’!
Action seems to be the flavour of the season. Fighter emerges as an entertaining gift to the Nation on the occasion of the Republic Day. Siddharth Anand does the basic introduction of the ‘Fighters’ in the initial reels and that’s about it. What follows thereafter is episodes of action in air and on ground too.
We haven’t seen a decent aerial action (Hindi) movie thus far. The first name that rings a bell in the genre is the Tom Cruise starrer ‘Top Gun’ 1 & 2. To be realistic the gap is wide, however I would like to thank Siddharth Anand and team to at least get into the league. The action sequences in air are noteworthy and holds the audience attention. There are some shots that the makers have conceived that look awe inspiring with edge-of-the-seat thrill. There are atleast 2-3 occasions when the audience is surprised with the strategy Squadron Leader Shamsher Pathania aka Patty (Hrithik Roshan) applies to defeat the opponents.
Though Fighter is an out-an-out action film, it has its fair share of emotion weaved into the narrative. The emotions range from being interpersonal to national to the one’s that celebrate camaraderie and brotherhood. Including the one’s to moisten your eyes with happy and sad moments.
I cannot thank Siddharth Anand more to stay clear from the most obvious ingredient in a Hindi film – Romance. It just scrapes the surface with hints and a sprinkle of indicative dialogues but thats about it. Ah! however, what one would love is the bromance in the team. Squadron Leader Sartaj Gill aka Taj (Karan Singh Grover) lingers for his one liners.
Women in Armed Forces
The last film that comes to mind which professed the role of women in Armed Forces was in Sharan Sharma’s ‘Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl’ (2020). With Fighter, Deepika Padukone playing Squadron Leader Minal Rathore aka Minni, it continues to encourage and depict that women are as capable as their male counterparts in all walks of life… including the Air Force.
Hrithik Roshan, except for his hair style, Hrithik fits the role to the ‘T’. He delivers a restrained performance without going overboard in emotional, tensed and lighter moments too. Do not miss Hrithik’s dancing skills, it’s a killer in the ‘Sher Khul Gaye’ song.
We mentioned Top Gun earlier, we don’t need to ape it but learn from the intriguing elements in the narrative especially the entire training part. It showcases the storytellers command over the plot and his skill to involve the audience in his strategy building exercise. ‘Fighter’ picked up the ‘training’ element but did not deep dive into it.
This actor has the capability to fit into any role, be it ‘Lakhan’ or Group Captain Rakesh Jai Singh aka Rocky. I must confess to love him seeing onscreen in whatever character he plays. He continues with his great work with Fighter.
Deepika as Squadron Leader Minal Rathore looks good in the uniform, except that her other fashionable costumes distracts from her sensitive background and ambition.
Karan Singh Grover as Sartaj Gill aka Taj and Akshay Oberoi as Basheer Khan aka Bash are commendable members of the Fighter squad.
Psst psst, while making other cross border political statements, don’t miss the scene where the makers plug in a pro Government political statement too.
Overall, with a longer weekend, Fighter is the movie to watch out for. With a nationalist fervour at an all time high added with the Republic Day celebrations, Fighter might just add up to our ‘Josh’
Directed by: Siddharth Anand
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Deepika Padukone, Anil Kapoor, Karan Singh Grover, Akshay Oberoi, Sanjeeda Sheikh, Talat Aziz
Duration: 2hrs 46mins