If you want to watch 1962: War On The Hills, skip the first episodes and start from the eighth. You will be less disappointed, notes Moumita Bhattacharjee.
While the wars with Pakistan have featured in the movies, the India-China war of 1962 is not.
Chetan Anand's Haqeeqat (1964) was probably the first film that did. It told the story of a captain and his platoon who were asked to hold the fort against a wily adversary in 1962.
So the Abhay Deol-Mahie Gill series 1962: War On The Hills had a lot of scope to inform and educate the audience about the war with China.
But poor storytelling and indulgent execution make the Web series a tedious watch.
Captain Surya Singh (Abhay Deol) and his C Company are a bunch of alert, agile and strong individuals for whom duty comes before everything else.
During the Chinese invasion, PLA troops outnumber C Company who are forced to retreat.
Later, when C Company -- consisting of just a little over 100 soldiers-- is posted elsewhere, their valour, strength and extreme intelligence kill 3,000 Chinese soldiers.
The first two episodes are dedicated to character-building and getw so carried away by it that the real purpose of the series gets diluted.
While it starts on the note of how China is trying to get deeper and deeper into Indian territory, the theme shifts to the backstories of members of C Company.
After a point, you start wondering if this series is focusing more on the families or the war itself.
Writer Charudutt Acharya seems to have found the backstories of the characters more interesting than the war.
The second episode meanders around a love triangle between Kishan (Akash Thosar), Radha (Hemal Ingle) and Karan (Rohan Gandotra).
Shagun, played by Mahie Gill, suddenly realises something about her and that's completely unnecessary. It adds nothing to the plot.
None of the backstories add any drama when the war actually happens.
So clearly, they were just inserted to evoke emotional quotient.
Redundant subplots mire the experience a lot.
Was it really necessary for an old lady to narrate the tale of 1962 much like the Titanic?
It's not even a love story.
The series picks up from the eighth episode, and this is a 10 episode series.
The writer could have moved from the second episode to the eighth, making 1962: War On The Hills an epic war drama.
The war scenes have been tackled well and you start getting interested in the proceedings.
But even that isn't glitch-free.
Terrible CGI work ruins the last three episodes.
Indian artists have worked on the VFX of movies from the Harry Potter series, The Sin City and many more, yet we can't even do a good job with our local content. It's quite embarrassing.
Mahesh Manjrekar seems to be obsessed with slow-motion shots as the last three episodes are an amalgamation of just that.
As for performances, Abhay looks a bit stiff as Captain Surya Singh.
Mahie Gill is her usual self and Sumeet Vyas is watchable.
If you want to watch 1962: War On The Hills, skip the first episodes and start from the eighth. You will be less disappointed.