New blockbuster movie shows why Pakistan loves to hate India

Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:57am EDT
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By Mehreen Zahra-Malik

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Militants overrun a Pakistani police academy and kill 100 officers. An Indian spy and her accomplice waltz in a glitzy flat in Islamabad to celebrate the success of their mission.

This is a scene from Waar ("Strike"), Pakistan's first big-budget movie which opened this month to enthusiastic audiences in the nuclear-armed South Asian country of 180 million.

Filmed with the support of the all-powerful military, the movie depicts every volatile aspect of Pakistan's rocky relationship with its nuclear arch-rival India.

Even in Pakistan itself, Waar is denounced by some liberals wary of what they see as fiery nationalistic rhetoric and scenes demonising India.

The narrative is simple and packed with action.

Indian villains team up with Islamist militants to plot spectacular attacks across Pakistan. Pakistani security forces jump in and save the day.

"Like any other action film, we wanted to show the triumph of good over evil," said director Bilal Lashari, 31. "And we wanted to do it with a great amount of spectacle and scale."

Politics aside, Waar is fun to watch. Helicopter gunships whizz over mountains and commandos lay siege to militant sanctuaries in Pakistan's picturesque, lawless tribal regions.   Continued...

A man rides an escalator past posters of the movie "Waar" at the Atrium cinemas in Karachi October 23, 2013. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro