Paltan , as J P Dutta’s new war movie is called , suggests a large array of soldiers all dressed to kill. Aggression at the war-front has always been a prime motivation for JP’s choleric epics. Moving away from the expected, the enemy this time is not Pakistan , but China. While focusing on the threat from the former we often forget that the latter is a far more imminent threat.
Paltan’s breathless pacy trailer done in shades of rusty-dusty virility, shows a bunch of solidly committed soldiers played by familiar (Arjun Rampal, Sonu Sood, Gurmeet Chowdhaary) and not-so-familiar(Harshvardhan Rane) faces standing up to Chinese aggression. The crushing defeat in the 1962 Indo-China is evoked though angry dialogues .
This time soldiers promise they won’t let history repeat itself.And JP Dutta, the maestro of war movies, won’t let us forget that history has a way of repeating itself. The trailer, shot in frenzied fragmented images of soldiers rushing in to take on their Chinese counterparts(one hopes the roles are played by authentic Chinese actors ) has a genuine battle vibe to it.
Though the film doesn’t have the vast A-list cast of JP’s LOC Kargil(where everybody from Sanjay Dutt and Nagarjuna to Saif Ali Khan and the JP protégé Abhishek Bachchan pitched in with soldierly solidarity) Paltan’s handsomely muted cast is impressively uniformed . Yup, these actors look like soldiers who can protect our borders .
Also, this time JPDutta doesn’t focus so much on the solidiers’ pining beloveds .I did catch a shot or two in the trailer where we see the girls running after their battle-bound beloveds. But over- all the focus here is , errr, uniformly on the battle being played out at the border without digressions into the soldiers’ love lives.
Clearly then J P Dutta has learnt from his past mistakes. I have a feeling Paltan would not stretch itself out into three hours of back and forth between border-line battle and homely heartaches . Brevity and bravado go hand in hand in the trailer of Paltan. The rugged outdoors with real guns and explosions would make Patlan a rare war outing in Bollywood.
I for one can’t wait for the first week of September when J P Dutta’s Paltan arrives in all its sinewy glory. Sorely missed would be Abhishek Bachchan. I searched for a glimpse of JP Dutta’s favourite whom he introduced 18 years ago in the underrated Refugee. When JP last directed a film the illfated Umrao Jaan 12 years ago Abhishek fell in love with his leading lady Aishwarya Rai.
There is love blossoming in Paltan too. Between the matra bhoomi(mother land) and its protectors . And that interrupted romance between J P Dutta and the war epic is also back on the track.
All guns blazing.