Fighter review: A massy entertainer with impressive aerial action and a stellar cast!

Aishwarya Srinivasan
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Fighter review

In our Fighter review we talk about Hrithik Roshan soaring high in the film, its action sequences and much more!

Fighter Review: Every time a patriotic film is released, especially if it's on an Indo-Pak conflict, there’s a set tone that follows. Fighter, too, has that same path, but the only difference is that its cast and its stunts give you that larger-than-life feeling. It’s a massy entertainer through and through. The film is based on the Pulwama attacks and the incidents that followed. There’s a special unit of Indian Air Force pilots who are the best in the country. And now it’s their mission to strike back. 

There are many directors who have carved a niche for themselves. Like Karan Johar is known for his romantic films, or like how Sriram Raghavan is known for his thrillers, in the same way, Siddharth Anand has now become the flag bearer of action films that are infused with patriotism. With Fighter, he pushes himself beyond what we have seen in Pathan and War. Hrithik Roshan plays ‘Patty’ aka Shamsher Pathania, the best fighter pilot of the squadron. He has this effortless swag and confidence in his character, which gives us that hero quality we look for in action films. Deepika Padukone plays ‘Mini’ aka Minal Rathore, the only woman in the squad who had to fight restrictions at home to fulfill her dreams. Anil Kapoor is ‘Rocky’ aka Rakesh Jaisingh, the one who leads them but is particularly tough on Patty because of a past incident they have in common. 

Also Read: Fighter and War showcase a new era of Hrithik Roshan but here's why we miss the side of him I grew up watching 

The supporting cast included Akshay Oberoi who plays ‘Bash’ aka Basheer Khan and Karan Singh Grover who plays ‘Taj’ which is short for Sartaj Gill. Sanjeeda Sheikh plays his wife Saachi. It was good to see the best of TV and film actors come together on-screen. Karan Singh Grover brings in the humor but also does a fabulous job in the intense scenes. This really was one of those big breaks that he should’ve gotten long back. Hrithik Roshan stands out as Patty, he is fierce in the air and witty on the field. And of course one cannot escape his captivating ‘Greek God’ like looks, you simply cannot look at anyone else when he is in frame. Deepika Padukone on the other hand felt like wasn’t used to her potential and compared to Hrithik as expected her screen time was lesser. Except for the climax, it felt like her character really did not have much to do other than be his love interest. And somehow even in that, the chemistry did not work for me. There was no spark whatsoever. 

But the movie anyway wasn’t about that, it fares well where it’s supposed to and that’s the action sequences. We’ve never had a film on the Indian Air Force before and the only film that comes to mind while thinking of aerial action is Tom Cruise’s Top Gun Maverick and it might be Siddharth Anand’s version of an ode to that. But this film manages to create its own original action that looks crisp, important to the story and actually makes sense rather than it looking like it’s an overdose of punches. Many of these action sequences give you goosebumps while watching and it has those thrilling edge of the seat whistle worthy moments that people crave from an action movie. Even the sound effects of the aircrafts are well done and feel authentic. It gives a fresh twist to a done and dusted story for sure.

The dialogues are a bit tricky though. Some leave you emotional and teary eyed while some just seem melodramatic. For instance- A particular scene with Akshay Oberoi is pretty intense but the dialogues between Deepika-Hrithik are just blah! The film somehow finds its balance between the two. The songs by Vishal-Shekhar elevate the action scenes which helps you connect better as an audience. 

The way they show the antagonist of the film, Azhar Akhtar played by Rishabh Sawhney, again follows a stereotype we see in many action films. With his bloodshot eyes, long hair and scuffed beard, there’s nothing new to offer. But the other arcs like the camaraderie between Hrithik and his whole squadron, the details you get to see about the Indian Air Force, keep you interested in the film. Overall, Fighter is a big-screen movie for sure. It is eventful, it’s massy and a treat for action genre fans. It felt good to see Hrithik Roshan back with his extravagant hero like quality after a long time.

Fighter is currently playing at a theater near you!

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