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Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Sathiyo
Producer: Anil Sharma / Movie World Studios
Director: Anil Sharma
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Bobby Deol, Divya Khosla, Sandali Sinha, Nagma, Aarti Chabria, Vivek Shauq, Kapil Sharma, Surendra Pal Singh, Vishwajeet Pradhan, Rajesh Vivek, Govind Namdeo, Danny and Ashutosh Rana
Music: Anu Malik
Lyrics: Sameer
Genre: Drama
Recommended Audience: Parental Guidance
Film Released on: 24 December 2004
Reviewed by: Shruti Bhasin  - Rating: 6.5 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.07 / 10 (rated by 418 viewers)
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After watching Anil Sharma´s Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Sathiyo, it is quite obvious why it was best that it didn´t release this past Diwali. Audiences would’ve definitely picked Veer-Zaara over this film. Why? Because while Veer-Zaara promoted unity, peace, love, and harmony between Pakistan and India, this film adds more tension to the eyes and the mind. It makes me wonder, since relations are good nowadays between the two countries, would Gadar - Ek Prem Katha have succeeded in 2001? Just something to think about as you read on!

So what has Anil Sharma concocted this time? In 2001, he brought a gripping and emotional journey to the screen with Gadar. It brought out some of the finest performances from Sunny Deol and Amisha Patel. Skip to 2003, where we were introduced to Priyanka Chopra and more of a mediocre spy thriller in The Hero. As we approach the end of 2004, it seems like Anil Sharma’s movie success is going down again. He made some below average films in the 90s and started this century with a bang, but it seems Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Sathiyo is not at the same level as his previous releases.

The story is not fresh, the performances are average, and the technical aspects of the film could be called the saving grace, but not by much.

Our story begins with Amarjeet Singh (Amitach Bachchan) who has a son, Vikramjeet (Bobby Deol) and his bahu (Nagma). Vikram loses his life in battle and Amarjeet wants his grandson, Kunal (Bobby Deol) to join the army and fight for his country. All is well in the beginning, but Kunal wants to live an easy life with a family and quit the army.

One fine day, in the desert of Rajasthan, he runs into Shweta (Divya Khosla) and Kunal goes ga-ga. Kunal also has a friend who loves him, doctor Sakshi (Sandali Sinha), but he is oblivious. Despite the fact that Shweta is married, and her husband Rajeev (Akshay Kumar), is away at war and missing, Kunal wants to be with her. Meanwhile, Rajeev is being tortured as a POW (prisoner of war) in Pakistan. Shweta is hesitant to marry again because in her heart, she believes that her husband is alive. After many reels, she agrees, but Rajeev returns (Flashback 1988: Divya Bharti loses husband Rishi Kapoor, and decides to settle down with Shah Rukh Khan, but then husband returns); how very original!

All is fair in love and war . . . so who wins Shweta? I guess watch ATHWS to find out!

For the war aspect of the film there are plenty of action scenes to see, and they are interesting to watch. However, at most points the love story adds a strain on the screenplay, which doesn´t balance well with the action aspect. Never the less, all is well that end’s well. That sums it up for ATHWS.

The surprise package in performances is Sandali Sinha (the Pooja Bhatt look-a-like). From her debut in Tum Bin, I find she was one of the most innovative actresses to hit the screen, but alas, she is still underrated. This performance should get her some much-deserved recognition. Bobby Deol also delivers a 1-2 punch with a role, that will surely compare him to big bro Sunny. Akshay Kumar is cute with the mustache and the shayeri, but that’s all. Amitabh Bachchan is good, as usual, but nothing special, however it was still nice to see him in a Sikh role. Finally, Divya Khosla has an interesting and over-the-top role in her debut picture as a girl who must choose from two suitors. The role does not demand much, but we’ll have to wait for another film to really determine if she can act in more complex roles.

Technically, the film has interesting cinematography, especially in the war scenes. The dialogues (also from the writer of Gadar) leave much to be desired since we’ve heard similar things in other films before. The sequences between Amitabh and Bobby are done well. Action scenes are shot well, especially the sea sequences.

The music is below average, which is surprising, considering that this is a war film, and Anu Malik is one of the best in creating the feel for this theme. “Chali Aa” is the pick of the lot. The lyrics are average (perhaps Javed Akhtar would’ve been a better choice).

Comparisons will obviously be made to Gadar - Ek Prem Katha , but it makes no difference because both stories are different, so it´s up to the audience to watch the film as a seperate entity. Personally, I do not think of this film being anti-Pak or just a film that targets certain groups, watch it as a commercial film. 

Overall, the film is truly just an average fare, and it truly was AN UNUSUAL JOURNEY OF LOVE. Let’s all promote, peace, love, and harmony! Happy New Year!

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