War set the box office on fire in 2019 and became the highest-grossing film of the year. Directed by Siddharth Anand, the film starred two of the biggest action superstars of the country Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff in an adrenaline-pumping face off. On the 1st anniversary of the film that made 319 crores nett in India, Sid Anand reveals that Aditya Chopra and he had set out to achieve a new benchmark for action spectacles in India with the film.
Siddharth says, “When we started out, the script of the film was being written, I was writing it like an English film. It didn’t have songs, its language was very new. When I say language, I don’t mean spoken language, it is the language of the film, the way scenes unfold. The content of each scene, the way the screenplay unfolds, it was a little complex in terms of the timeline and the way things were moving, it was like a relentless thriller. I didn’t know what the palette of the audience would be in 2 years to the time the film releases, to keep up with the current trends, the evolving taste of the audience.”
He adds, “When War came out, it was extremely relevant and contemporary thankfully, that was the endeavour. When the film was cast, it had Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff – the casting was just through the roof! It was a dream cast and we weren’t expecting two superstars coming together! Nowadays to get one actor in a film is so tough, and to get two superstars was like a dream. So, naturally, the expectations of the film went high.”
Siddharth has always given something new to audiences through his cinema. From Salaam Namaste, Ta Ra Rum Pum, Bang Bang! and now War, the director has shown that he is an extremely ambitious film-maker who wants to bring forth newness on screen.
He says, “The fact that we got two action superstars, we had to set a benchmark. When I started making action films, I started in 2012, I just knew that there is no benchmark or template for me in India. Because I don’t think we make many action films or good action films in India. I wanted to beat my own expectations of what I’ve achieved in the previous action films. My competition was the action in Bang Bang! There was very new, very radical stuff that we did in Bang Bang! and I was competing with that and wanted to give audiences a little more than that and I ended up giving them a whole lot more with War.”
Talking about his creative discussions that he had with YRF head honcho Aditya Chopra while setting out to make War, Siddharth reveals, “The most important factor in making a big action spectacle film is the producer. And we had someone like Adi, who is a no holds barred producer. He doesn’t spare any expenses but of course, he makes sure that the money is well spent and correctly spent. And whatever you spend it shows on screen. I had someone who doesn’t flinch in giving the audience a spectacle that they have not seen and rise beyond the expectations.”
He adds, “I mean he is the kind of a producer who I could give mad suggestion like – let’s go shoot a car chase sequence in the arctic. I mean any other producer at that point in time would’ve said you have Hrithik and Tiger, just do the action sequence on a set and do some mind-blowing action within that set, blow up the set if you want. I did that also and I did the arctic car chase, so the fact that I can even suggest these things because I know that there is an equally mad producer in Adi, who just lives and breathes films and cinema; and is there only to better it.”