As a police compound in Islamabad comes under terrorist attack, an “Indian female agent” who is also a social worker in Pakistan is dancing with a mercenary, celebrating their success. This is a scene from Waar, a film doing roaring business in Pakistan.
Said to be the most expensive Pakistani film ever to be made, the movie is rumoured to be partly funded by the military, a charge denied by its director Bilal Lashari. Waar is about Pakistan’s fight against terrorism and revolves around a plot by Indian agents to carry out a deadly blast in Pakistan.
The film opened last week on 42 screens across Pakistan. After a first day opening of 11.4 million rupees (Dh394,000), the big-budget flick had earned a total of 42.6m rupees by Friday night, breaking all previous records for Eid releases.
Waar has also broken the first-day record set by Shah Rukh Khan’s Chennai Express, which earned about 9m rupees on Eid Al Fitr.
Waar has received a mixed response from film critics but has been hailed by many ultranationalists in Pakistan who blame India for kidnappings, terror attacks or assassinations in Pakistan.
Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, a three-time Emmy- and an Oscar-winning Pakistani-Canadian documentary filmmaker, tweeted: “#war has clichés but so do Indian movies we go 2 c – whether you like the film or not, watch it for the sake of supporting local talent.”
“I just found $2 million to cut from our military budget. #Waar,” tweeted Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party.