Routine, but Delivers
U/A, 2h 40m
What Is the Film About?
Squadron Leader Shamsher Pathania aka Patty (Hrithik Roshan) is the best pilot in the force, but his over-enthusiasm leads to unwanted tensions with the Commanding Officer, Jai Singh aka Rocky (Anil Kapoor).
During a key operation, Patty’s bold decision lands his team in trouble with a couple of co-pilots being captured by the enemies. Fighter’s basic plot is the consequences faced by Patty for his actions and his eventual redemption.
Hrithik Roshan is in his element playing a tailor-made role for him. He oozes classy stylishness in every frame even when he does nothing.
Leaving the style element aside, Hrithik Roshan gets good dramatic moments to highlight the actor in him. Nothing is groundbreaking stuff here, but what’s given is done with the typical sincerity that one expects from Hrithik Roshan. They are mostly seen in the second half back to back.
The action here is different from the usual hand combat, so Hrithik Roshan doesn’t get to do much physically as an action hero. It’s here his persona comes into effect as he pulls off the pilot in warfare mode with ease. The heavy dialogues come only towards the end and they are okay.
Deepika Padukone has a decent role in the mostly male-dominated film. She gets ample screen time though and has nice quiet moments with Hrithik Roshan. Apart from them, she nails the emotional scene that comes during the final portions of the movie.
Siddharth Anand of War and Pathaan fame helms Fighter. He started his career as a soft rom-com director but shifted to larger-than-life Hollywood-style action fares with Bang Bang. He continues it with Fighter.
Right from the glimpses to the teaser, it was evident that Fighter aimed to be the Top Gun equivalent in Indian cinema. Well, Siddharth Anand can’t match the Hollywood classic, but it’s not a knock on him as he still pulls off the best in that space from India.
The aerial sequences and fights are the major differences between Fighter and other similar patriotic films that have flooded the market in recent years.
Storywise Fighter is a mix and match of different events that have occurred in recent years related to the Indian Army. We have seen similar attempts in the OTT space. It’s the scale that makes the difference and impression here.
There are two tracks to the proceedings in Fighter. One is the drama involving the various characters and the other is action blocks involving them. On the latter count, Fighter hits all the right notes even if a feeling of repetitiveness creeps in at times.
The drama is subtle in the first half as the characters and the world are established. It makes the proceedings look a little flat, but there isn’t much lag.
Operation Bandar around the pre-interval kicks off the action and it’s thrilling even if short. The momentum is maintained until the interval with another action sequence. However, the song placement in between feels a little off.
The second half has the action and drama amped up even if the narrative follows predictable beats. The emotional scenes, despite the routineness, work. And the action goes to the next level. There are repetitive bits in them, but the quality of visuals and crispiness help in holding the attention.
The climax goes into an over-the-top mode with dialogues, but it gets a pass as it’s only a small portion of a larger block.
Overall, Fighter offers nothing new content-wise, but the packaging with breathtaking aerial stunts and quality visuals sustains interest. If you are into warfare action dramas, Fighter is a basic-level watchable fare.
Performances by Others Actors
The casting of the movie is another area where Fighter scores. It top notch with a good combination of relatively unknown and known veterans. Anil Kapoor easily stands out among the crowd. He delivers the required with aggression and truly deserves the command.
Karan Singh Grover and Akshay Oberoi are apt for their respective roles. The previous experience of playing similar parts comes in handy here. Ashutosh Rana seen in a small cameo shines as expected. The rest of the cast too is fine.
Music and Other Departments?
The songs are disappointing considering the past work seen in Siddharth Anand movies. The placement too doesn’t help the cause here. The background score too is a mixed bag. Some bits work, but most of the time it’s at an average level.
Fighter is a slick production with superb visuals. Satchith Paulose’s cinematography is captivating. The editing is fine in the normal scenes.
The aerial stunt sequences deserve all the applause. They are done well. However, one can’t shake off the feeling that better editing could have taken them another notch higher.
Hrithik – Deepika pairing lacks impact
Did I Enjoy It?
Yes, In Parts
Will You Recommend It?
Yes, But With Reservations
Fighter Movie Review by M9