Wagah is a 2016 Indian Tamil-language action romance film written and directed by G. N. R. Kumaravelan. The film features Vikram Prabhu and Ranya Rao in the leading roles, while D. Imman composes the soundtrack. After beginning pre-production in November 2013, the film released in August 2016.
When we first see Vasu (Vikram Prabhu, all at sea), the film’s protagonist, we see him as a bloodied mess. Vasu is a BSF soldier who is being held captive by the Pakistani soldiers in an illegal concentration camp of sorts, headed by Razzak Ali Khan (Shaji Choudhary), a villain so cartoonish that he would have been seen as way over the top even in a Captain Vijayakant v/s Pakistani terrorists film. Vasu was caught by these men while ‘dropping off’ his Pakistani girlfriend Kanoam (Ranya, who resembles Hansika is some angles, especially because of her vacant expressions and constantly open mouth) safely at her home in Pakistan, by crossing the border without proper permission.
Kanoam (whom, Vasu decides to call Kajal for no reason whatsoever) was on a visit to India to meet her grandfather, where Vasu fell in love with her at first sight (of course!), but her visit was cut short by violence in the Kashmiri valley over Pakistani forces murdering Indian soldiers. Now, Vasu has to escape from his ‘prison’, rescue his girl and save the lives of the other Indian jawans still trapped in the hellhole.
There are instances of directors who won acclaim with a film overreaching and failing in their next one. But, here, Kumaravelan’s script is such a muddle that how no one realised its dreadfulness during the making is a mystery. The main reason for this is that Kumaravelan isn’t sure whether to treat his story as some epic romance or as a commercial ‘patriotic’ film. Initially, when Vasu decides to join BSF for no other reason than free booze and relatively little work, we think we are in for a Lakshya-like story of a young man discovering his life’s mission. But even after he makes it to Kashmir, Vasu is bored by what he has chosen to do. It is, in fact, refreshing to see a film that displays an irreverence towards being a soldier (especially in these anything-is-an-opportunity-to-outrage times), but the moment the romance, which isn’t plausibly built, gets in, things swiftly go downhill. And when this man, who would rather die for his love than for his country, suddenly starts uttering jingoistic lines like ‘Enna maadhiri jawan irukkira varaikkum India-la oru adi kooda unnala edukka mudiyadhu’, it is a transformation that is hard to believe.
What we get are mainly corny lines like how fences between nations cannot stop the wind from blowing from one side to the other, and how one country’s destruction will not result in the development of another. But with no proper set-ups, they end up as being unintentionally funny. The Kumaravelan who gave us Haridas would have latched on to such moments and underscored the bitter irony of how a person, who is from a place 3000km away is accepted in Kashmir, while another, who lives a mere 20km from her grandfather’s home, is told that she doesn’t belong there.
Directed by G. N. R. Kumaravelan
Produced by M. Balavishwaanathan
Screenplay by G. N. R. Kumaravelan
Starring Vikram Prabhu, Ranya Rao
Music by D. Imman
Cinematography S. R. Sathish Kumar
Edited by Raja Mohammad
Production Vijay Bhargavi Films
Release dates 12 August 2016