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

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Beyond Category

Pianist Myra Melford’s new CD “Life Carries Me This Way” features solo piano interpretations of drawings by modern artist Don Reich. She performs songs from the album, talks about turning art into music, and joins host Eric Felten in some Chicago boogie-woogie on "Beyond Category."