Paltan, directed by J.P.Dutta, is based on the Indo-China skirmish in 1962 on the Sikkim border. India had emerged victorious over the Chinese after just a day, but the director seems to stretch out this story to its limits, testing the audience’s patience. Showcasing the gloomy life of a soldier fighting it out on the borders, Dutta’s formula to effectively strike some empathy with the audience seems to be to subject them to a film that is just as grim. The star cast of JP Dutta’s third war film is Jackie Shroff, Arjun Rampal Sonu Sood, Gurmeet Chaudhary and Harshvardhan Rane among others. The film begins with a postman delivering letters to various homes – bad news about their loved ones at the front. Enter the clichéd wailing widows and mothers, who descend to tirelessly beating their chests upon hearing the news. Dutta adds in more cliches with action sequences abruptly interrupted with flashbacks of the soldiers families and loved ones, who are always in the midst of a big, green farm. To make things more difficult, Dutta includes laborious conversations and dialogue that make the audience clench their fists in anticipation for the movie’s climax. The dialogues of the film seemed forced with unwanted idioms in it, which miserably failed to incite any patriotic feeling in us. There were obvious glitches in simple delivery of dialogues (stereotypes inserted like usual Bollywood films). They couldn’t weave the magic with words like a few classic army and war movies managed to do. Can anyone forget ‘Sandeshe aathe hain song from Border, JP Dutta’s relic? Please don’t enter the theatre expecting such soul touching songs or sentences. Eesha Gupta and Arjun Rampal, as a couple didn’t manage to show the chemistry of an Army officer and his wife. Only an Army wife knows how it feels when her husband is walking towards the battle field. The emotional whirlpool aspect of it was eluding from the screen, leaving everyone with a vacant expression. After the movie lost its momentum post 20 minutes of the film, popcorn was the only interesting aspect of the whole cinematic experience. We were all trying to get a whiff of the renowned film maker’s midas touch, we ended up get nothing but unstoppable and contagious yawns. JP Dutta saved all the action and reaction for the denouement. The climax was note-worthy but one needs to have the patience to sit through the movie to reach that pinnacle point. Unfortunately Dutta couldn’t weave the magic as before but it’s not bad show either.