Bollywood has produced a number of jingoistic war epics over the years, but very few have bothered to delve into the mind of the soldier himself. Director Mani Shankar makes an effort to readdress the balance with Tango Charlie, an interesting study of Indian terrorism, violence, and valour. Seen through the eyes of introspective military man Tarun Chauhan (Bobby Deol), it follows one man's journey from young army recruit to war-hardened fighter - a trip that's also worth taking by the viewer.
When they rescue Tarun Chauhan - codenamed Tango Charlie - from the snowy peaks of Kashmir, two pilots (Sanjay Dutt and Suneil Shetty) read his diary and thus, the trials and tribulations of their unusual charge are recounted in flashbacks. From the influence of his gung-ho mentor Mohammed Ali (Ajay Devgan), to his first-hand experience of violence, camaraderie, and love, Tarun's life is revealed.
"REAL SOLDIERS ARE NOT BORN, BUT BRED"
Adding a new and much needed dimension to the traditional Indian war epic, Tango Charlie is a brave attempt at examining war and what it means to different people. Above all it presents the idea that real soldiers are not born, but bred. The film's only downfall is its unnecessary inclusion of songs, which disrupts the pace and reminds us that Bollywood isn't quite ready to let go of its musical tradition. Instead of shell shocked, however, the refreshing Tango Charlie leaves you feeling enlightened and informed.Music: Anu Malik, Anand Raaj Anand