Waar

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Waar
Waar (film poster).jpg
Theatrical release poster
وار
Directed by Bilal Lashari[1]
Produced by Hassan Rana
Written by Hassan Rana
Starring
Music by Amir Munawar[2]
Cinematography Bilal Lashari
Edited by Bilal Lashari
Production
company
MindWorks Media
Off Road Studios
Distributed by ARY Films
Mandviwalla Entertainment
Release date
  • 16 October 2013 (2013-10-16)[3]
Running time
130 minutes[4]
Country Pakistan
Language English, Urdu[5]
Budget 17 crore (US$1.6 million)[6][7]
Box office Rs34.65 crore (US$3.3 million) (Worldwide) [8]

Waar (Wār; IPA: [ʋɑːr], meaning "The Strike") is a 2013 Pakistani action-thriller film directed by Bilal Lashari[1] and written and produced by Hassan Rana.[9] The film features Shaan Shahid, Meesha Shafi, Ali Azmat, Shamoon Abbasi, Ayesha Khan, Suhaib Rana and Kamran Lashari.[10] It is the second highest-grossing Pakistani film after Jawani Phir Nahi Ani.[11] It is a stylized depiction of events surrounding the war on terror in Pakistan,[6][12] including the attack on a Police Academy at Lahore in 2009.[13][14]

Plot[edit]

Major Mujtaba Rizvi (played by Shaan Shahid) is a former Pakistan Army officer,[15] who took an early retirement. The plot involves a counter-terrorism operation being conducted in the northwestern tribal region of Pakistan, led by Ehtesham Khattak (played by Hamza Ali Abbasi) and coordinated by his sister, Javeria Khattak (played by Ayesha Khan), an intelligence officer. Ehtesham and Javeria learn of a major terrorist attack that can only be countered with the help of Major Mujtaba.

Major Mujtaba's family was assassinated by Ramal (played by Shamoon Abbasi), an agent in India's spy agency Research and Analysis Wing's (RAW) operative. Major Mujtaba wants to take revenge on Ramal. Recognizing Ramal's through his actions and tactics, Major Mujtaba is able to counter his attacks.

Mulla Siraj, a Taliban working with Ramal, operating from a fort in the tribal area gives Ramal two bombs which Ramal is going to plant somewhere in Pakistan. Planned by Laxmi, a RAW spy, terrorists conduct an attack on a police training center to divert the attention of the security agencies aimed at watching any suspicious activity as they are reported that a big terrorist activity is imminent. One bomb is loaded in a vehicle and Ehtesham drives this vehicle away to dispose the bomb and is killed in the explosion. The second bomb is planted in Jinnah Convention Centre, Islamabad but Major Mujtaba counters this attack and saves the country from another deadly terror incidence. He takes his revenge by killing Ramal. His powerful words are "Good wins over evil in the end" and this happens.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Shaan Shahid (right) with Bilal Lashari during shooting.

The title Waar is an Urdu language word meaning "to strike."[13] Waar is primarily an English language film with some dialogue in Urdu. According to the producer, Hassan Waqas Rana, it was considered dubbing the movie in Urdu but the idea was dropped as it would have compromised the lead role played by Shaan Shahid. The story was inspired from real events and highlights the aspect of terrorism in Pakistan. It was written by Hassan Waqas Rana.

Casting and crew[edit]

Initially, it was reported that Tom Delmar who has worked as stunt director in Hollywood movies would direct;[17] later Lashari was chosen as the director who was working with Rana on another project. It is Bilal Lashari's debut as a director, who has directed music videos[18] and assisted Shoaib Mansoor in the film Khuda Kay Liye.[19] Ali Azmat and Meesha Shafi, who are known for singing, made their acting debut in the film.[19] Originally Ali Azmat's and Ayesha Khan's roles were limited to guest appearance that were later expanded to full roles.[20] Hamza Ali Abbasi who intended to work as assistant director was cast as an actor.[21]

Filming[edit]

The film is produced by MindWorks Media and includes 400 visual effects.[20] It took three years to complete Waar.[22] Locations included Karachi(Pakistan), Rome(Italy), Istanbul(Turkey), Lahore(Pakistan), Islamabad, Swat Valley. It was reported in the media that the film was shot in collaboration with the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of Pakistan Army;[6] director Bilal Lashari denied any such collaboration saying that the confusion might have arisen as MindWorks Media worked on the documentary The Glorious Resolve with ISPR when Waar was being filmed.[23]

The budget was variously said to be PKR: 170 million and PKR: 200 million.[6][7]

Release and promotion[edit]

The release date was changed repeatedly and finally it was released on 16 October 2013 coinciding with Eid al-Adha in Pakistan.[24] It was initially scheduled to release on 6 September 2013.[7]

The first theatrical trailer of the movie was launched in January 2012[25] while the second in January 2013.[24] One of the trailers was viewed more than 500,000 times the same month, making it one of the top five videos of YouTube.[13] Waar was dubbed as the most anticipated film in the history of the Pakistani cinema.[26] When the film did not make it to screens in a considerable time after the release of trailers, the critics dubbed it as another project that will get shelved.[20] Shamoon Abbasi, the main antagonist, cited the lack of resources for filming as one of the reasons for its delay.[16]

The film premiered on 10 October at Karachi[27] and on 14 October 2013 at Rawalpindi/Islamabad.[28] Waar was given adults-only rating by the Sindh's provincial censor board for use of obscene language and violence.[24] Waar was released in about forty five theaters across the country.[29] The film was world TV premiered on 14 August 2014 on ARY Digital.[30][31]

Though initially reported to be distributed by Warner Bros.,[6] it was distributed by ARY Films and Mandviwalla Entertainment.[32]

The film was released in 25 countries.[22] Waar was released in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.)[33] cinemas on 12 December, where the movie actors graced the red carpet at the Grand Cinema, Wafi City.[34][35] It was released in cinemas across the UK on 17 January 2014.[36] The movie released in cinemas throughout Australia on 15 May 2014.[37] It was expected to release in India but was banned.[citation needed]

Reception[edit]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
The Express Tribune 3/5 stars
Mag Media News 9/10 stars
Dawn News 3/5 stars

Waar received positive reviews from critics and became the highest-grossing film in Pakistan of all time. In the IMDb Waar is the 61st highest rated feature film with more than 5,000 votes.[38] Because since 2012 films of the Top 250 need at least 25,000 votes, Waar is not part of Top 250 yet as it has only about 22,000 votes.[39][40][41]

Rafay Mahmood for The Express Tribune gave the movie three out of five stars and commended the cinematography, editing and sound design but viewed critically the story and some performances. According to the review, Waar is a "piece of pointless propaganda (and) is going to further confuse an already puzzled nation about Pakistan’s outlook on counter-terrorism. In the long run, it will prove to be a great feature for Pakistani cinema but a damaging one for intellect."[42]

Mohammad Kamran Jawaid of Dawn gave Waar a negative review, calling the screenplay a "codswallop of instances taped together to form narrative coherency". He also criticized the use of English, stating that "catering to the international market is one thing, but relying solely on it is either ignorance or arrogance". His review labels Waar as a "'showy' enterprise" where the "story, the plot, the resolve — in fact everything — hangs on a failing thread".[43] Salman Khalid for Daily Times talks about the message given by the movie that highlights the "Pakistani perspective on the menace of terrorism", while acclaiming the story, direction, action sequences and individual performances.[44] Rubban Shakeel of Skotato gave Waar 3.5/5 stars, calling it one of the best action films on Pakistan.[45] On Skotato, too, Umer Ali called Waar "A Ray of Hope."[46]

Because of the story, Waar has been critically reviewed in India. Unlike other Pakistani films, Waar received a wider and ever higher coverage than its contemporary Indian movies in the Indian media.[47][48] Due to the fame the movie has gained internationally, Waar has been received critically by Indian media and politicians.[49] However, Indian film director Ram Gopal Varma praised the film, saying he was "stunned beyond belief" and congratulated Bilal Lashari.[50][51]

Box office[edit]

Waar opened on the first day of Eid al-Adha on 42 screens, the widest release ever, across Pakistan with 100% occupancy: It broke records with capacity audiences. It earned 1.14 crore (US$110,000) in its first day, breaking the previous record of 0.9 crore (US$86,000) held by Chennai Express.[52][53] It earned 4.26 crore (US$410,000) till Friday night, breaking all previous records of Eid collections.[54] Waar collected 9.7 crore (US$930,000) in its extended first week of nine days[55] and added another 3.7 crore (US$350,000), thus making a total of 13 crore (US$1.2 million) in thirteen days.[56] The film managed to collect 1.9 crore (US$180,000) in its 4th week but was still behind Syed Noor's 1998 Choorian, which earned 20 crore (US$1.9 million) and then on its 36th day of screening, it broke the record held by Choorian.[11][57]

The movie had collected 20.9 crore (US$2.0 million) in seven weeks. In its eighth week the movie got advantage of ban of Hindi films in Pakistan and collected 0.6 crore (US$57,000) to take its total to 21.5 crore (US$2.1 million).[58] In its 9th Week movie saw a huge competition in the form of Dhoom 3 but still added another 0.52 crore (US$50,000).[59] Movie continued its steady run in next Weeks and ended its run around 23 crore (US$2.2 million) becoming biggest grosser in Pakistan at that time and worldwide collection 40 crore (US$3.8 million).[60] The domestic box office collection of was later broken by Dhoom 3 (released in December 2013) which grossed 24.5 crore (US$2.3 million) in Pakistan.[61]

Music[edit]

The film's music that took almost two years to get completed was composed by Amir Munawar[2][62] while Qayaas and Umair Jaswal have contributed a song each. Clinton Cerejo from Mumbai composed Saathi Salaam and Mauje Naina, which were first aired on Coke Studio India, Season 2. Here is the list of soundtracks in Waar:

  • Inquilaab (Vocal: Umair Jaswal)
  • Saathi Salaam (Vocals: Sawan Khan Manganiyar & Clinton Cerejo)
  • Mauje naina (Vocals: Bianca Gomes, Shadab Faridi & Altamash Faridi)
  • Halaak
  • Khayal

Awards and nominations[edit]

Waar received 16 nominations at first ARY Film Awards ultimately winning 13 awards, the highest for the ceremony.[63][64]

Ceremony Date Category Recipient Result Reference
ARY Film Awards May 24, 2014 Best Director - Jury Bilal Lashari Won
[65]
Best Film Hassan Waqas Rana
Best Director Bilal Lashari
Best Actor Shaan Shahid
Best Actress Aisha Khan
Best Supporting Actor Hamza Ali Abbasi
Best Supporting Actress Meesha Shafi
Best Star Debut Male Ali Azmat Nominated
Best Star Debut Female Ayesha Khan Won
Best Actor in a Negative Role Shamoon Abbasi
Best Original Music Amir Munawar Nominated
Best Playback Singer - Male Umair Jaswal
Best Action Hassan Waqas Rana Won
Best Cinematography Bilal Lashari
Best Editing
Best Special Effects Hassan Waqas Rana
Lux Style Awards December 4, 2014 Best Film Hassan Waqas Rana Nominated
[66]
Best Director Bilal Lashari
Best Actor Shaan Shahid
Best Original Soundtrack Amir Munawar

Sequel[edit]

On 7 December 2013 ARY Films and MindWorks Media joined for the production of Waar 2, a sequel.[67] Waar 2 will be shot in Pakistan, UK, Russia, Turkey and the former Yugoslavia.[68] Waar 2 is expected to be released in 2016.

Controversy[edit]

Owner and CEO of Mindworks Media, Hassan Waqas Rana was booked under an FIR (First Information Report) with the Pakistani police by the director of Waar, Bilal Lashari for keeping its profits for himself. Apparently he transferred all cinema earnings to his personal account. The court dismissed Hassan's pre-arrest bail and police are searching the suspect in Lahore and Islamabad.[69]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b ""I Didn't Want to Play Safe with Waar": Bilal Lashari". Lekha Menon. Retrieved 12 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Khan, Sher (23 September 2013). "Why Waar's music took two years to make". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 11 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "It's official: Waar set for Eidul Azha release". The Express Tribune. 4 October 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "Four films to be released today". Dawn. 16 October 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  5. ^ Waar - BBFC. BBFC
  6. ^ a b c d e Biya Shadab (26 April 2011). "Waar: Pakistan’s next blockbuster?". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c Shoaib Ahmed (12 October 2013). "Waar to release on Eid". Dawn. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  8. ^ http://boxofficedetail.com/view_post.php?value=543
  9. ^ Khan, Sher (28 August 2013). "Genius or moron — you decide, says Waar producer". Tribune. Retrieved 12 December 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f Khan, Sher (9 January 2012). "Waging Waar". Lahore: The Express Tribune. 
  11. ^ a b Mahmood, Rafay. "Waar is the highest grossing Pakistani film of all time". Tribune. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  12. ^ "Meesha Shafi joins Mira Nair's The Reluctant Fundamentalist". The News. 8 October 2011. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c Jason Burke (17 February 2012). "Pakistan film fans prepare for Waar". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  14. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1821700/ IMDb
  15. ^ "Waar full movie ( Shaan shahid as retired army officer)". Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  16. ^ a b Sher Khan (10 October 2013). "Waar: ‘Girls can do action sequences, too’". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  17. ^ Hamad Dar (2 February 2010). "Hollywood is Here, Are You Ready for Auditions?". Koolmuzone. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  18. ^ "All set for the movies Pakistan?". The News. 16 October 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  19. ^ a b Osman Khalid Butt (20 November 2011). "Making a feature film in Pakistan requires sacrifice". The News. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  20. ^ a b c Sher Khan (6 August 2013). "Heads or tails: Waar to finally release this fall". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  21. ^ Sher Khan (11 November 2012). "Hamza Ali Abbasi gears up for Kambakht". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  22. ^ a b Annabel Symington. "Making a Big-Budget Movie in Pakistan". India Real Time. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 19 October 2013. 
  23. ^ Sher Khan (9 January 2012). "Waging Waar". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  24. ^ a b c Maleeha Hamid Siddiqui (16 October 2013). "Adults-only film Waar registers exceptional advanced bookings". Dawn. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  25. ^ "Watch: "Waar" trailer promises action and grit". Dawn. 2 January 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  26. ^ Sanaa Ahmed (28 January 2012). Tejpal, Tarun, ed. "Does size matter in Pakistan" (PDF). Tehelka. Neena Tejpal Sharma. 9 (4): 52–53. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  27. ^ "Premiere of "Waar", the Film of Nation". ARY News. 11 October 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  28. ^ "Out of the bag: ‘Waar’ finally hits twin cities’ screens". The Express Tribune. 15 October 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  29. ^ Rafay Mahmood (16 October 2013). "Waar vs Boss: Shaan beats Akshay at screen space". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  30. ^ "Waar to make world TV premiere on August 14". The Express Tribune. Rafay Mahmood. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  31. ^ "Waar set for TV premiere on August 14". DAWN.com. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  32. ^ "People hold on to your goats! Waar coming this Eid". Pakistan Today. 6 October 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  33. ^ "Pakistani film ‘Waar’ strikes U.A.E. cinemas". Pakistan Today. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  34. ^ "Pakistani blockbuster "Waar’ to hit U.A.E. cinemas Thursday". Gulf News. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  35. ^ * Khan, Jamil (9 December 2013). "Pakistani movie Waar to release in Dubai". The Gulf Today. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  36. ^ "‘Waar’ releases in United Kingdom today". ARY News. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  37. ^ "Pakistani Blockbuster "WAAR" in Australia". SBS Urdu. 26 April 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  38. ^ Highest Rated Feature Films With At Least 5,000 Votes in the IMDb
  39. ^ Kaleem Aftab (13 January 2014). "Pakistani film Waar tops IMDB". The National. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  40. ^ "Waar highest rated feature film of 2013 on IMDb". The Express Tribune. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  41. ^ "Pakistani Action Film 'Waar,' 'The Wolf Of Wall Street' & '12 Years A Slave' Top IMDb Best Of 2013 Poll". Indiewire. Kevin Jagernauth. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  42. ^ Rafay Mahmood (11 October 2013). "Waar: All that glitters". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 11 October 2013. 
  43. ^ Mohammad Kamran Jawaid (18 October 2013). "Movie Review: Waar". Dawn. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  44. ^ Muhammad Salman Khalid (19 October 2013). "Movie Review: ‘Waar’". Daily Times. Retrieved 19 October 2013. 
  45. ^ Rubban Shakeel (19 October 2013). "Waar - Film Review". Skotato. Retrieved 19 October 2013. 
  46. ^ "Waar a ray of hope". Umer Ali. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  47. ^ "Pakistani film Waar shows India as cause of nation’s problems". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  48. ^ "Pakistani film on 'Indian agents' sets new box office record". NDTV. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  49. ^ Behn, Sharon (2 December 2013). "Pakistani Hit Action Film Strikes a Nerve Over India". Voice of America. Retrieved 4 December 2013. 
  50. ^ "WAAR-struck: Ram Gopal Varma gushes over Lashari's blockbuster". Express Tribune. 26 October 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  51. ^ "Ram Gopal Varma praises Pakistani movie 'Waar'". The Times of India. 28 October 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  52. ^ "Waar beats domestic box office record with opening day take of Rs11.4m – The Express Tribune". Express Tribune. 17 October 2013. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  53. ^ "Waar goes Mega Hit". Skotato. 21 October 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  54. ^ "Waar scores biggest Eid collection in Pakistan – The Express Tribune". Express Tribune. 19 October 2013. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  55. ^ "Box Office history: Racing to Rs150m milestone in 9 days – The Express Tribune". Express Tribune. 25 October 2013. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  56. ^ "Pakistani film Waar earns approx Rs.13 Crores in thirteen days - AAJ News". Aaj.tv. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  57. ^ "Did you know?: Waar now officialy the highest-grossing Pakistani film of all time". Tribune. 25 November 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  58. ^ "Waar Week 8 Business". BoxOfficeDetail. 
  59. ^ "Waar Week 9 Business". BoxOfficeDetail. 
  60. ^ "Top 5 Lifetime Grosser In Pakistan Ever". BoxOfficeDetail. 
  61. ^ "PK races ahead at Pakistani box office, inches closer to beating Waar". 
  62. ^ Agha, Saira (6 July 2012). "Amir Munawar – the music maestro composes for 'Waar'!". Daily Times. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  63. ^ "Complete Winners List of First ARY Films Awards". Pakistan Ultimade Media. May 25, 2014. Retrieved May 28, 2014. 
  64. ^ "ARY Film Awards 2014 - Complete Winners List". Brand Synario. April 30, 2014. Retrieved May 25, 2014. 
  65. ^ "ARY Film Awards 2014 AFA14 Pictures and Winners". Style Pakistan. April 28, 2014. Retrieved May 26, 2014. 
  66. ^ "13th Lux Style Awards 2014: Show Pics & Winners List". Life with Style. 2014-12-08. Retrieved 2017-05-30. 
  67. ^ "Waar 2 is officially in the making". Tribune. 7 December 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  68. ^ "ARY Films to co-produce mega movies WAAR-2, Delta Echo Foxtrot". ARY News. 7 December 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  69. ^ "Lashari kept away from Waar's profits". Dawn News. 23 June 2014. 

Additional references[edit]

External links[edit]