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Available on  gplay  » Movies » The Fighter Absurdity Goes Beyond The Thinkable

The Fighter Absurdity Goes Beyond The Thinkable

By Air Commodore NITIN SATHE (Retd)
January 31, 2024 14:01 IST
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Bullets fly, the noise becomes unbearable and the plot finally ends with the hero doing an unbelievable leap on to the ski of the helicopter Schwarzenegger style, flown by our pretty heroine.
UFF UFF! Squirming in my seat, I ponder over what I have been through, sighs Air Commodore Nitin Sathe (retd).

Having endured Tejas and Jawan, I was hoping for a good film in Fighter.

Before I set course for the Armed Forces Club where it was being screened, I viewed a few promos and browsed some good and not so good reviews.

It was nice to see a full auditorium of serving and retired faujis, who, like me, with a drink and snack in hand, look excited for the movie to begin.

I have seen action and been a combat pilot for 36 years, and hoped that the two hour, 46 minute bonanza of aerial warfare would be nostalgic for me and my friends in the audience, that it would give people a glimpse into the life of a fighter pilot and the Indian Air Force.

I also hoped that for my friends in greens and whites, Fighter would increase the envy they have of us, the men in blue*.

With a pencil and a small diary in hand, I was ready in letter and spirit -- quite literally.

The screen bursts into a top view of the snow clad mountains of the Himalayas interspersed with coniferous trees.

The movie kicks off quite well, and one can't help but notice the class of direction and story-telling of Siddharth Anand.

He sure has an eye for detail.

He has obviously listened to advice given by his IAF Veteran advisors.

The entire story revolves around Hrithik Roshan's Patty, the gung-ho fighter pilot, and the pretty Deepika Padukone's Mini, who flies the Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter.

They are part of a specially selected team of air warriors inducted into the Kashmir valley in the aftermath of the Pulwama attacks.

Anil Kapoor, Rishab Sawhney and the other cast members have small but pivotal roles, as the story unravels into smaller plots which connect their pasts to the present.

I, for one, am confused with these side dishes.

The movie travels well till the half way mark.

The dialogues are crisp and laced with humour which brings a genuine smile.

Good effort has gone into showing the airplanes in combat, and the use of AI and trick photography is evident.

I was quite bemused though to see the IAF base at Pune being shown against the backdrop of the snow clad mountains!

Screaming across the screen with their after-burners on, firing their flares and weapons, the SUs are a treat for the young ones.

The pretty helicopter pilot showing off her skills is sure to motivate young girls to dream of being in the cockpit.

I thought they should have shown more of the cockpit and what was happening there rather than just the smiling pilot at the controls from the outside!

Happy faces are seen at the bar and snack counter at halftime. Things have gone well so far.

The film shifts gears once it re-starts.

The director has a lot to do.

He has to take all the smaller plots to their logical conclusion and he does this by firing a barrage of endless 'lessons' on nationalism, patriotism, good governance, inter-personal relations, family matters and so much more.

The movie seems to have lost steam now.

I think Mr Anand will now stretch the movie in the time left with numerous battle sequences (often repeated) and give adequate screen time to the hero and heroine to do their love thing. That's what exactly happens.

Can the Indian movie goer sit through a movie with a pure war/military plot?

I wonder if the requirement of the public to have a bit of everything forces the director to add the spice and lose the stratagem?

That, obviously, leaves the movie neither here nor there!

The absurdity starts with some dog-fights in which, between shooting missiles and guns at each other, the sworn enemies get vocal, sparring with words.

How can they be on the same radio frequency and do all that in combat??

I wonder, smile, and watch on.

The worst is yet to come.

In the closing moments, during the final air combat sequence with aircraft whizzing from all parts of the screen, the fighter absurdity goes beyond the thinkable.

During the dog fight, both the hero and the villain run out of ammo, and the best thing that the hero can do now is to destroy the enemy by ramming into him, Kamikaze style.

It doesn't end here.

The valiant fighter pilots parachute down from their burning aircraft and get into the fight between the dreaded terrorist and his gang responsible for the Pulwama attack.

Bullets fly, the noise becomes unbearable and the plot finally ends with the hero doing an unbelievable leap on to the ski of the helicopter Schwarzenegger style, flown by our pretty heroine. The terrorist, predictably, tries the same but plunges to his death.

UFF UFF! Squirming in my seat, I ponder over what I have been through.

Another masala movie ending!

It sure isn't a military movie as I had envisioned, but I guess it is good publicity for THE Indian Air Force.

An Okay-Okay film if one asks me.

Can fire up the Mera Bharat Mahan feeling in many ways, and the effect surely will last a few minutes after the curtain falls.

See it if you must, and, if in doubt, don't!

It's a 50-50 from my side.

Combat helicopter pilot Air Commodore Nitin Sathe (retd) served the Indian Air Force for 35 years.

*Green worn by the Indian Army; White worn by the Indian Navy; Blue worn by the Indian Air Force.

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Air Commodore NITIN SATHE (Retd)