News / Arts & Entertainment

Pakistani Hit Action Film Strikes a Nerve Over India

Pakistani Hit Action Film Strikes a Nerve Over Indiai
X
December 02, 2013 11:28 PM
Pakistan’s moribund film industry has been brought back to life with the action thriller “Waar," which translates roughly as “The Attack.” The film, shot in Pakistan, tells the story of a retired military hero who saves the country from a terrorist attack. But critics say the movie’s allusions to rival nuclear power India as the enemy only serves to deepen the antagonism between the two countries. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Karachi.
Sharon Behn
Pakistan’s moribund film industry has been brought back to life with the action thriller Waar, which translates roughly as “The Attack.” The film, shot in Pakistan, tells the story of a retired military hero who saves the country from a terrorist attack. But critics say the movie’s allusions to rival nuclear power India as the enemy only serves to deepen the antagonism between the two countries.
 
The Pakistani high-octane terrorist thriller film, Waar, is a huge hit.
 
Moviegoers applaud the film because it is based on Pakistan’s realities like the fight against terrorism, says distributor Nawab Hassan Siddique.
 
“In the history of Pakistan, there has never been such a huge hit, neither by an Indian film nor a Hollywood movie. The credit goes to Pakistan, that a Pakistani picture has earned such huge ticket sales," said  Siddique.
 
The film’s ex-special forces hero, Major Mujtaba, along with bloody interrogation scenes, are a big departure from typically popular Indian Bollywood dance movies.
 
And it's a hit at the box office - Pakistan's highest-grossing film ever.

Even though Waar never indicates where the “bad guys” are from, many moviegoers are sure they are from India.
 
“Obviously, 100 percent, because we have a number of proof of India’s involvement in Pakistan," said a moviegoer.

And that draws criticism. The perceived anti-India slant is not helpful when relations between the two countries are already tense, says military analyst Ayeesha Siddiqa.
 
“You don’t need these bunch of innocent citizens thinking the same way, they will end up supporting those radicals," said Siddiqa.
 
Writer and producer Hassan Waqas Rana says he wanted the film to spark conversation.
 
"It's a film. It’s not the strategic policy of the government of Pakistan. It’s a film that I have written in my own room. I may be 100 percent wrong, I may be 100 percent right, you never know. That's the whole point of a film," said Rana.
 
Rana dismisses comments that Pakistan’s powerful military helped fund the film. He acknowledges the army helped with logistics to give certain scenes a more realistic feel. But he says he funded the movie himself.
 
The success of Waar has reignited Pakistan’s film industry and some 10 other movies are now in the works. And Rana is taking his smash hit to the international market - and already planning a sequel.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”