Fighter (2024) Movie Review – A patriotic action flick with nail-biting aerial combat sequences

A patriotic action flick with nail-biting aerial combat sequences

The genre of war films is revered and extremely loved all over the world. However, the feeling of patriotism is extremely high among Indians due to the persistent territorial conflict between India and Pakistan over the occupancy of the state of Kashmir. The Indian cinema has released several films around the idea and the 2024 aerial action flick Fighter is one such movie.

The film is one of the very few titles from the Indian film industry to focus on the Indian Air Force and aerial warfare. Fighter narrates the story of a group of fighter pilots who are members of the Indian Air Force (IAF) Squadron named Air Dragons. Throughout the film, the members of Air Dragons narrate their camaraderie, and brotherhood as well as their internal, interpersonal and external battles.

Fighter centres around Shamsher “Patty” Pathania – played by Hrithik Roshan who does a commendable job at playing the ace aviator. Patty is cocky, smart, and brilliant at his job but still flawed. The film does an amazing job of portraying these aviators as humans first and soldiers second. The character of Minal “Mini” Rathore played by Deepika Padukone also does a good job at her performance.

However, there is no room for her to outshine Hrithik with most of the focus being either on Patty’s character. The film has barely any romance as the focus of Fighter is the action. Hrithik and Deepika’s pairing is new and looks inorganic on screen. There is room for more exploration of the relationship between the duo and a full-fledged romcom starring the two talented actors would be ideal after what we see in this film.

Anil Kapoor playing Rakesh “Rocky” Jai Singh does a commendable job as the Chief Operations Officer but it would have been good to see more to his story because the film does not elaborate personal stories of other important characters. We see that Rocky and Patty have a tumultuous relationship due to Patty’s mistake. It would have been interesting to see the dynamics between Patty and Rocky before the said mistake as it could have justified Rocky’s monotone behaviour towards Patty throughout the first half of the film.

We also see Mini’s struggles as a female aviator who finds it hard to convince her rigid-minded parents to accept her dreams. While this would have made a very convincing story on its own, the addition of Mini’s plotline distracts viewers from the major issue at hand – the Kashmir conflict.

Fighter centres around the 2019 Pulwama attack wherein a convoy of vehicles carrying Indian Army Soldiers was attacked by a vehicle-borne suicide bomber. The chunk of the film that focuses on the Pulwama attack and the repercussions of the incident leaves you in tears. The brotherhood and the bond shared by the fighter pilots, especially that of Taj (played by Karan Singh Grover) and Patty is the highlight of the film.

Rishabh Sawhney tries to be menacing as the villain – Azhar Akhtar but sadly it is his monotone and unidimensional acting that does not make him seem as evil as one would like him to be. The film’s USP is its graphics and its VFX. The aerial combat scenes are very well made and keep you hooked until the very last minute. 

The music of Fighter is out of place wherein the song “Sher Khul Gaye” seems like a forced addition to the screenplay. The song is added to the film to highlight Hrithik’s dancing skills as this has been a pivotal point of the actor’s career over the last 24 years. On the other hand, “Heer Asmaani” is a great track that plays as the Squadron members bond with each other in the film’s first half. Two other amazing tracks are “Vande Mataram” and “Mitti” which invoke the patriotism that this film focuses on.

While most of the film focuses on aerial combat, you will not miss seeing Hrithik Roshan’s action as the actor gets his hands dirty in the final moments of the film, as he beats the bad guy with the audience rooting for him. Overall, Fighter is a great watch with an interesting storyline that beautifully portrays the struggles of the aviators in the Indian Air Force featuring an additional touch of nail-biting aerial combat scenes.


Read More: Fighter Ending Explained

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  • Verdict - 7.5/10

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