Cast: Jackie Shroff, Arjun Rampal, Sonu Sood, Gurmeet Choudhary, Harshvardhan Rane, Luv Sinha.
Director: JP Dutta
Producer: JP Dutta
JP Dutta’s Paltan chronicles the untold story of a great triumph which resulted in redeeming our nation’s pride. The film is set back in the year 1965, based on true events related to Indo-China tensions. After 1962’s devastating war which was in China’s favor, Indian Army suffered huge loss of man power. In 1965, Colonel Rai Singh (Arjun Rampal) was appointed at Nathu La border in order to re-establish peace and order. Colonel Rai Singh, along with his few men including Bishen Singh (Sonu Sood), Prithvi Singh Dagar (Gurmeet Choudhary), Harbhajan Singh (Harshvardhan Rane) and Attar Singh (Luv Sinha) reach Nathu La border on the orders of Major general Sagat Singh (Jackie Shroff). The film stretches around the story of 1967 war. The first half was exceptionally slow and was not as engaging as Dutta’s film should be. In the first sequence we come across a postman delivering bad news to the families of the martyrs. They instantly begin to wail, and the sound of this unpleasant chest-beating hysteria surrounds the viewers. In the very next scene we witness the conversation between Sagat Singh and Rai singh, speaking in English and taking a pause at not so natural points. The film leaves space for many loop holes. Through out the first half we witness the kiddish fights between Indian and Chinese army men, which wasn’t expected in Dutta’s war film. In the midway, we’re taken to the flashback memories of our leads, conversing with their families and better half. Maybe the makers were trying to show the emotional attachment and showcase the typical romance, but failed miserably. Second half is comparatively better, it gains back some attention, and adds some value of war film. In the name of war film, viewers are served with the last twenty minutes of action sequence, which nowhere justifies the genre and matches the expectations. Dutta saves all the action for the climatic push after forcing the viewers to sit through two and a half hours of clinched jaws, boots on gravel and boring dialogues. Coming down to performances, despite of multi-starrer film, Harshvardhan alone steals the limelight. His aggression and outrageous feeling is clearly observed. Apart from him, Jackie Shroff is trying hard to drive his role well, somewhere succeeds as compared to his remaining co-actors. Sonu Sood is neutral throughout, the expectations were high, which he fails to stand up on. As a major Bishen Singh, we don’t feel he suits up to the character. The spontaneous action and emotions were nowhere be seen, making it more worse. Arjun Rampal was somewhere above the line, not that good but typically fine. His body language was commendable. Gurmeet Choudhary performed the worst, in terms of language as well as action scenes. He keeps on switching between Jatt Haryanvi and Rajasthani language, tends to confuse us which is his mother language in the film. When it comes to action scene, despite of getting busted by the grenades, his body didn’t had a single mark of burns, making it a clear loop-hole. Luv Sinha has no huge role to play, is easily faded away from the visions of the viewers, didn’t get enough opportunities to explore his character. Siddhant Kapoor has barely got any screen space, in the crowd of such star cast, Kapoor has been totally ignored and forgotten.
As compared to Dutta’s previous two war films, Border and LOC Kargil, Paltan stands nowhere near the bar. With several loop holes, bad dialogues, worse performance and very little war scene, Dutta’s Paltan disappoints the vision and expectations we were carrying along.
Cinespeaks Verdict: The intention of the film is fair, showcasing the untold story of 1967, with a poor star-cast, the film lacks behind in numerous places. Dutta has clearly nothing new to narrate after his 1997 hit, Border which remains a classic film for ages to come. The war scene has to be far more intense, considering the previous films. Film somewhere falls short to leave the emotional impact, which again favors against the Dutta’s directorial Paltan.
Cinespeaks give 2 stars to the film.
Written by: Aakash Gala