“Fighter: Top Gun or Flop Gun?” – A Subhash K Jha Review

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Starring Hrithik Roshan, Deepika Padukone , Anil Kapoor

Directed by Siddharth Anand

Hrithik Roshan does a homegrown Tom Cruise in Siddharth Anand’s Pathaan without its jaan, Shah Rukh Khan.

It is a rollercoaster ride for those who are not fans of airborne disasters. You may enjoy Hrithik and Deepika, together for the first and blast time, flying war planes across the LoC. But hell, you know it is not them in the planes. Even if it is they, the stress is more creating a midair Cruise than focussing on the relationships.

Most fatally, Roshan and Padukone seem to have very little us-time together. Most of the time their characters Patty and Mini move in a group with their other airforce chums, doing so many slo-mo shots together it feels like an ad for war wear. Speaking of ads, Deepika tells Roshan at some point in their pointless prattle, “I’ve heard you like Zomato.”


Two of of the slo-mo gang Akshay Oberoi and Karan Singh Grover later get kidnapped by Pakistani’s militants, all of whom grind their teeth so hard we fear for their molars . They, our sworn (and swearing) enemies all wear kajal, even the airborne antagonist named Red Nose (why is he called that, who nose?!) .

That’s so kohl. I am sure the film’s largest chunk from the budget must have gone into buying kajal , after paying Hrithik Roshan’s fee, that is.

Deepika’s screen presence is disappointingly diluted. We get she is doubly disadvantaged as a woman and an airforce pilot. On top of this, she hardly gets any time with Roshan on screen. Rather like having Vyajanthimala and Hema Malini over for a Bharat Natyam jugalbandi dance recital and then make them perform the Samba. On different stages.

Fighter seems fighting fit on the surface. Lots of soldierly solidarity, like we saw in B R Chopra’s Aadmi Aur Insaan and J P Dutta’s Border and LoC Kargil. But the spirit of borderline bonhomie seems shallow, and simulated. Hrithik Roshan remains the apple of camera’s eye throughout. Cinematographer Satchith Paulose loves every crease and curl on the hero’s cheek and in his hair.

They are inseparable, the camera and Roshan, so much so that Deepika feels like an intruder. Even Sanjeeda Sheikh playing missing soldier Akshay Oberoi’s wife makes a deeper impact than Deepika.

The stunts are interesting. The biggest stunt is Anil Kapoor playing Hrithik Roshan’s dead fiancee’s…wrong guess…. brother! Too young to play anyone’s father, huh?

Our Rating

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