There was a boy, a small boy who made ad films until providence intervened and he made one of the biggest blockbusters in the history of Indian Cinema, Gadar
. Then he made The Hero
, which just about managed to find the life-raft while other movies struggled in the open sea. So, okay, puberty was not a very pleasant time in his life, but he got through. With Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo we know that, in his teens, he is not going to, um..., score with more than one girl, and only if his parents get them hooked up.
Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Sathiyo suffers the curse of the temporal warp, i.e. a movie more suited to a different era, that before Border. It is all fine to use soldiers and military equipment but in the galaxy we live in there is still such a thing as a story. We do not expect it to be great (we stopped doing that since Sholay
), but does it necessarily have to feature Bobby Deol in a double role?
Amarjeet Singh's (Amitabh Bachchan) family profession is laying down their lives for their country. They do it in inimitable style, too - blabbering loads of super-pseudo unintelligible crap to the men under their command. Really, the very act of the men not dropping off is sheerly due to the training they must surely have received.
Thankfully, all that changes when Kunal Singh (Bobby Deol) comes along. He believes more in the theory of peaceful co-existence - you don't send me into battle and I won't give you any reason to. Basically, he fafs around all day chasing away the one woman, Saakshi (Sandhali Sinha), who has lost enough of her marbles to fall for him, and go after the one woman, Shweta (Divya Khosla), who has not spent enough time with him to go bananas to ditch her husband, Rajeev (Akshay Kumar).
But, this is a movie. And, Kunal is our hero. There occurs an event, so blatantly ridiculous that he is transformed into a patriot par excellence. He still does not talk much. He does not even think much. In fact, he even wins a medal using clandestine means. Otherwise, he is the best son of soil the country has ever produced.
From now on, the movie has only one way to go - straight down - and it takes all the time in the world, and reels in Bollywood doing it. There are the customary war scenes, with unheard of acts of heroism and valor from the audience. Amidst bullets whizzing past Kunal and explosions missing him with horrifying precision, the longest song in Indian Cinema (all of 21 minutes!) plays in (gratefully) three installments, a novel idea indeed.
Just one question. Why didn't they make the movie in three installments spaced ten years apart?