Not everyone was happy as Pakistan’s most anticipated movie of the year Waar opened on the first day of Eidul Azha, with some online terming it “ISPR-funded propaganda”.
The movie was released on 42 screens across Pakistan and beat the box office record for an opening day take of Rs11.4 million.
It is an action/thriller and drama film, written by Hassan Waqas Rana and stars Pakistan’s actors, Shaan Shahid and Shamoon Abbasi. The storyline has been inspired by the war on terror in Pakistan and its effects on the world, but with a stylised interpretation of it.
Though majority of the people are proud of having a Pakistani movie to cheer for this Eid, some said the script was sub par and functioned as propaganda.
Talk about "Waar" being funded by ISPR — no secret — and the paid lackeys come out of the woodwork
— omar r quraishi (@omar_quraishi) October 17, 2013
Propaganda is one thing, and can be found in any 'wood'. I just wanted better scripting and continuity. And no accents FFS #Waar
— Zarrar Khuhro (@ZarrarKhuhro) October 18, 2013
Seems Zaid Hamid wrote the script for 'Waar'.
— Nadeem F. Paracha (@NadeemfParacha) October 18, 2013
— Raza Rumi (@Razarumi) October 17, 2013
#Waar worries me bc I am scared of the trend of films on terrorism globally reinforcing nationalist sentiment & stereotypes – reductionist
— Mahim Maher (@Mahim_Maher) October 16, 2013
New Pakistani cinema has mostly produced propaganda films. Khuda Kay Liye,Chambaili, Bol,Josh and now #Waar .The problem is bad filmaking!
— Rafay Mahmood (@Rafay_Mahmood) October 18, 2013
Others believed Waar was perfectly acceptable – propaganda or otherwise.
#waar has cliches but so do Indian movies v go 2 c- whether you like the film or not, watch it for the sake of supporting local talent
— Sharmeen Obaid (@sharmeenochinoy) October 16, 2013
I don't know about the rest of you but I spent my evening amongst faujis yesterday and have been told Waar contains 'a grain of truth'
— Madiha Riaz (@madihariaz) October 18, 2013
State sponsored movies are made everywhere, be it be Hollywood or Bollywood – what's the big deal IF #Waar is also a state sponsored movie?
— Anas Mallick (@AnasMallick) October 18, 2013
— Erum Manzoor (@ErumManzoor) October 18, 2013
What the director said
In 2012, Waar Director Bilal Lashari had told The Express Tribune that the “ISPR has no involvement in Waar. Hassan Waqas Rana, the writer and executive producer has funded this film. MindWorks Media did a project in the middle of Waar for the ISPR called the Glorious Resolve. There has been some confusion as some people thought the shoot for Glorious Resolve was actually for Waar.”