Rating: 2/5 Stars (Two Stars)
Star Cast: Arjun Rampal, Sonu Sood, Harsh Vardhan Rane, Gurmeet Chaudhary, Love Sinha, Siddharth Kapoor, Jackie Shroff
Director: JP Dutta
“Paltan” is a war-based movie directed by none other than the great filmmaker JP Dutta. The film is based on the Nathu La and Chao La conflicts that happened in 1967. The film starts with the 1962 war flashback and shows how the Chinese army killed many Indian army men and civilians. When the film returns to the present, we see Lieutenant Colonel Rai Singh Yadav (Arjun Rampal) and Major General Sagat Singh (Jackie Shroff) discussing things with the new platoon with some inspiring dialogues like, “The more you sweat in peace, less bleed in the war.”
After joining his new Platoon, Colonel Rai meets a group of soldiers – Major Bishan Singh (Sonu Sood), Captain Prithvi Singh Dagar (Gurmeet Chaudhary), Major Harbhajan Singh (Harsh Vardhan Rane), Love Sinha (Atar Singh) and Siddharth Kapoor (Interpreter). The story advances at a slow pace and tries to depict the absurd struggles between the Chinese and the Indian army. At last, there is a war sequence but it cannot be compared to the JP Dutta classic, “Border”.
While you get a feeling that you have wasted two hours already as the film doesn’t make any sense, the last fifteen minutes of the film are actually interesting. If this movie was made by any other director we wouldn’t have expected much. But in the past Dutta sahib have given Bollywood the war classic like “Border”, so, seeing this film made by the same person left me heartbroken. The intention behind making the film is good but on the technical aspects, the film goes terribly flat. The main reason is the wrong choice of actors and terrible camera-work that make the film unbearable. It’s true that soldiers should be energetic but in the film, they shout for no reason. Not only Indian actors’ performances are bad, the Chinese actors are even worse. The screenplay is written in such a way that it fails to arouse any feelings of patriotism among the audience.
Anu Malik has given a good title song, which is quite inspiring and manages to create the desired effect for mountaineering as intended. The background score by Sanjay Chowdhury is too in your face with loud and unpleasant sounds throughout the film. My message to JP Dutta would be- Sir, leave the war alone now! He has reached a point where a film on war-drama seems useless, as he has been unable to improve the work he has done in the past. What started with “Border” and “LoC”, went downhill with “Kargil”, officially ends with “Paltan”. I wish he could finish this on a glorious note though.
Gurmeet Chaudhari’s character has different shades which make it more interesting than the others. Siddhant Kapoor and Love Sinha are almost negligible. Jackie Shroff has also not been utilized to his full potential, as he is given dialogues mostly in English and the audience was unable to connect till the end.
Arjun Rampal leads the team and there are some pathetic acting scenes at times, but he manages to deliver some good scenes too. In a nutshell, we can say he is not completely wasted in the film. Same can be said about Sonu Sood who has some good as well as very bad scenes. We cannot complain about the nature of Harshavardhana Rane character which is more enthusiastic at places than is actually needed, because the character seems to be written in that way.
Leave it and save yourself from this ‘patriotic’ torture. Everyone has called “Paltan” a very brave story but it isn’t in reality. It fails, technically speaking and therefore, the description is inconvenient.
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