Pakistan’s first big-budget movie, ‘Waar’ (meaning ‘Strike’), has opened to enthusiastic audiences. The film depicts the volatile relationship between Pakistan and its nuclear arch-rival, India, Euronews reports. Bilal Lashari, ‘Waar’s’ 31-year-old director, said that even the film’s production crew were surprised by the response: “We were expecting a pretty decent opening. However, we weren’t still expecting the kind of reaction we got because the film was breaking new records every single day,” said Lashari. “So it’s been overwhelming. And yeah, I mean we were expecting it to be big, but it was even bigger; it ended up being huge.”
‘Waar’ took more than three years to make and official production costs were around EUR 1.6 million in a country where the average film is made on less than EUR 18,000. Its distributors say the film grossed more than €650,000 during the first week – a record for Pakistani cinema. The narrative is simple and packed with action. Indian villains team up with Islamist militants to plot spectacular attacks across Pakistan. Though yet to be screened in India, the film serves as a reminder of tensions between the neighbouring states, which have fought three wars since claiming independence from Great Britain in 1947. India and Pakistan trade accusations of staging cross-border attacks and supporting militants; particularly in the disputed region of Kashmir, where violence has seen a resurgence in recent months.