Friday, September 7, 2018

Paltan movie : A lifeless war film


Paltan is a long-drawn war-drama that picks up during the final moments.

Paltan Story: Paltan is based on true events at the actual line of control between India and China at Nathu La pass – a strategically important corridor between India and Tibet. It is the story of bravehearts from Indian Army’s Rajput battalion, who put up a spirited defense against their unreasonable Chinese counterpart in 1965.

Director - JP Dutta
Cast - Arjun Rampal, Sonu Sood, Jackie Shroff, Gurmeet Choudhary, Harshvardhan Rane
Rating - 3.5/5

I’m mildly surprised JP Dutta hasn’t yet used the National Anthem as background score. The cheerleading jingoism is so strong in his movies that a director like Dutta might be all too glad to have his audience forced to stand through the entire running-time of his long films, to parallel the way our brave soldiers remain standing at the border. His latest film, Paltan, based on a 1967 Indo-Chinese skirmish near the Sikkim border, may be an attempt to have us empathise with the interminable dreariness of soldiers stationed in deadlock at a war-zone. Nobody is supposed to move, and nobody does: not even the director.

It is clear Dutta has nothing new to say after his 1997 hit, Border, which took a few stars and made them look good in uniform. For the record, I’d still gladly salute and take orders from Shroff, a relic of the old film who is largely wasted here. There is a lot to be said about the futility of war, and now Dutta has made his case for the futility of the war movie.