1962: The war in the hills
Not many people know that I have a flair for dramatics too. And there was this play that I was a part of at my work place in which I had played the role of Shaitaan Singh Bhati who was one of the commanding officers of the Sino-India war of 1962. It was one of my most memorable parts that I had the honour of portraying(I haven’t done many to be honest). While preparing for the part, I had read quite a bit about the 1962 war, and finally that has released as a webseries this week on hotstar. So is 1962 The War In The Hills worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
1962 The War In The Hills is the story of 125 bravehearts who fought valiantly against a ruthless enemy who would stop at nothing. The story is an integral part of India’s history. The screenplay is pretty good for most parts but it is also a bit of a mixed bag. Standing at 10 episodes of 40 minutes each, the drama oscillates between the family of the soldiers and the actual war. Here I would like to say that I didn’t really mind the family drama which was portrayed, however a small bit of it could have been edited out as it didn’t really have an impact on the story if I look at it as a whole. Maybe that would have made the drama taut. Some portions are dragged a bit too. The war portions are quite entertaining and well shot but the VFX was a big letdown. It did take away a lot of shine from the drama. It almost seemed like a video game with bots at one point. You could make out that the funds were over towards the end. But on the upside, the drama does hold your attention for most parts as the soldiers struggle on the warfront. A couple of subplots also add some depth and context to the drama. Overall a decent screenplay.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are well penned and they do their bit to evoke a sense of nationalism. I enjoyed the music here I thought it was pretty good. The BGM was decent enough. Director Mahesh Manjrekar has done a pretty good job here. He manages to hold your attention throughout.
The performances are the highlight of the show. Siddhant Muley is impressive, so is Resham Sahani in a cameo. Anup Soni as Major Khattar manages to impress in a cameo. I was also pleasantly surprised with Rochelle Rao as Rinpa, I think she did a pretty good job. Arif Zakaria as Pandit Nehru and Geetika Vidya as Priya do a brilliant job in their limited screentime. Pawandeeprajan as Radar(he is in Indian Idol this year) and Karim Hajee as General Singha do a good job too. I was particularly impressed with Meiyang Chang too as Col. Lin, he didn’t go overboard with his character. Vineet Sharma also stood out as Hardiram. Pooja Sawant(from Lapachhapi) as Padma was such an endearing character and the fine actor that she is, she pulled off this complex and conflicted character with ease. Hemal Ingle as Radha was like that bundle of energy and extremely likable, hope to see more of her going forward. Mahie Gill as Shagun was her usual brilliant self. Rohan Gandotra as Karan was another fine performance and a green tick in the report card. Akash Thosar (from Sairat) as Kishan is simply outstanding. He has all the making of a future star, he was easy on the eye and simply brilliant. Sumeet Vyas is a fine actor but has always had an issue selecting the right script. But as Ram Kumar he has delivered a towering act, these are the kind of roles he should choose from, that are meatier and do justice to his talent. And Abhay Deol as Major Suraj Singh is just perfectly cast. I have always adored his body of work. He likes taking his chances and unconventional routes in his filmography. Here he is simply brilliant in another memorable performance.
1962 The War In The Hills is a pretty good watch to relive and cherish the heroics of your heroes of 1962. Available on Hotstar.