Calling all action fans. Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff, two of Bollywood’s meanest machines in the gym, will wage war against the other in an action spectacle called War, releasing in the UAE on October 2. While we hope the better man, or should we say spy, wins, here are eight things you can arm yourself with before you head to the cinemas.
‘War’, directed by Siddarth Anand of ‘Bang Bang!’ fame, is a high-octane action thriller featuring two of Bollywood’s fittest actors — Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff. Roshan plays Kabir, an Indian spy gone rogue, and Shroff plays his protege, Khalid, who is on call to demolish his consummate mentor.
“‘War’ has action and two superstars in one frame. But I want the viewers to take home the story behind ‘War’ and not just the conflict or action that’s shown. This movies boasts a great combination of actors, but at its core it’s a story that you will connect with,” said Anand in an interview with Gulf News tabloid!.
Hollywood brings the action
It’s the second time that director Anand is directing Roshan in an action-driven film. The action sequences reaches stratospheric levels, he claims. The action design team comprising Paul Jennings (‘The Dark Knight’, ‘San Andreas’, ‘Jack Reacher’ and ‘Game of Thrones’), Franz Spilhaus (‘Safe House’, ‘Eye in the Sky’, ‘Death Race’), Sea Young Oh (Age of Ultron, Snowpiercer) and Parvez Shaikh (‘Tiger Zinda Hai’, ‘Kesari’, ‘Mary Kom’) — have joined hands to bring to life some breathtaking stunt sequences. These four action directors were brought on board to choreograph those gravity-defying spectacle, that forms the spine of War.
“A great deal of planning went into each and every action scene… We tried to pull off the impossible in many scenes,” said Anand.
Think Shroff and Roshan executing stunts on choppers and stunts in the harshest terrains to get a better picture. It was the collective perseverance of the ‘War’ team that ultimately worked.
“Sometimes I get this crazy, larger-than-life visions. For instance, in Ta Ra Rum Pum, I emptied the streets of New York to shoot a love song. While initially, the line producer said you can’t just empty Manhattan … But my madness remained and we managed to empty it out. Watch that song and you won’t find a single soul. It happened at a time when we didn’t have those enhanced VFX possibilities. Everything you saw was real and that was my intent,” said Anand. He also made sure that Roshan, his lead actor from Bang Bang, drove a Ferrari F1 car on Abu Dhabi’s busy Corniche Road for a crucial scene in that film.
“I have this crazy vision,” he adds.
‘War’ was shot in seven different countries, including Spain, Georgia, Italy, Portugal, Sweden and India. The shoot took them to 15 cities across the globe.
Vaani Kapoor makes an entry
Actress Vaani Kapoor, whose credits include ‘Shuddh Desi Romance’ and ‘Befikre’, plays an integral part in this action drama. She’s not a glorified eye candy, claims Kapoor when asked if she played a reductive part in this testestorone-charged film.
“I play a relatable part of an independent girl. I can’t go into the details of my role, but I am paired opposite Hrithik Roshan and it’s my hope that people will like me. My role is pivotal,” said Vaani Kapoor in a separate interview.
Not just an eye-candy
For Kapoor, who’s dubbed as producer Aditya Chopra’s discovery, the prospect of working with director Anand and her lead actors Roshan and Shroff were the biggest draw.
“It’s his [Siddharth Anand] vision that you need to be in sync with. Every character in ‘War’ has a strong back story. You need to do a lot research. I had two readings with Siddharth to understand where my character is coming from, her life and how she copes with situations. I began to understand what her demeanour should be,” said Kapoor.
Kapoor learnt a lot by observing Roshan, whose attention to detail and scene is legendary.
Roshan pushes limits
Hrithik Roshan, in an interview with PTI, claims he gravitates towards roles that “transform him to do something better.”
“I only look to find a movie where I can juice out my entire potential. I like to be in spaces where I am pushed to the edge. The struggle and search to find your edge, how far can I lean over my edge and still survive that is what I continuously do… True joy is when you live on the edge. The adrenalin rush, the insecurity, the fears mashed with the excitement is what life should be about,” he said.
In another interview with the magazine GQ, Roshan claimed that he took on an action-driven role to mix things up in his career.
“After doing movies like Kaabil and Super 30, I needed a force that would drive me to be my best. I was getting too complacent, and I felt only Tiger had the power to stand in front of me and make me look like a piece of [expletive]. I don’t think anyone else would’ve ignited me the way he has,” Roshan said in the magazine interview. For Shroff, it was the prospect of working with his matinee idol that drew him to ‘War’.
“He questions everything in a scene, then you start feeling incomplete about yourself. Why am I not questioning, why is my process different, how come he is pointing out so many things. I guess that’s his way of working, and at the end of the day the end result looks amazing whatever he does,” said Shroff in an interview with the news daily Deccan Chronicle.
Stars get fit
All the actors in this film spent copious hours in the gym to be their fittest best in ‘War’. Actress Vaani Kapoor, whose washboard abs are the stuff of legends, claims that her road to bikini-perfect body was paved with obstacles. “It required me to put in hundreds of hours at the gym … I am very lazy in life and I don’t go to gym often.
"I don’t enjoy going to the gym like many stars. If I wasn’t in this industry, then I wouldn’t be killing myself for four hours in the gym everyday … I don’t have better metabolism either. So what you see is the result of hard work and strict food intake,” said Kapoor. Roshan also had to battle it out in the gym. He reportedly said that the fat content in his body was higher after working in a film like Super 30, which downplayed his physique and looks.
“My body had become lazy and I was given only 2 months to get in shape and it wasn’t enough. I started this film on a bit of a back foot because my body was not ready,” said Roshan in an interview with India Today.
Roshan, Shroff bring the colour
Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff occupy the throne of being Bollywood’s most consummate dancers. But it took them three weeks of intense rehearsals to nail the colourful Holi (Indian festival) track, ‘Jai Jai Shivshankar’. The dance song, choreographed by Bosco and Ceasar, features more than 500 dancers and shows Shroff and Roshan trying to outdo each other on the dance floor.
“There is a Holi song in the film… I told Vishal and Shekhar [music composers] that this is not just a song, this is a responsibility. I think it’s the blessings of God and the blessings of all the fans of Hrithik and Tiger that we have been able to create a track which is truly an anthem. You have to hear it to understand it!”
Don’t miss it!
‘War’ is out in the UAE on October 2.