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Paltan teaser indicates completion of JP Dutta war trilogy after Border, LOC Kargil

The upcoming film is based on the Nathu La and Cho La military clashes between Indian and China in 1967.

Sonal Pandya

Filmmaker JP Dutta hasn't made a film since Umrao Jaan (2006). The Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan-starrer was a change of genre for the director who made his name with period films that involved the Indo-Pak conflict like Border (1997), Refugee (2000), and LOC: Kargil (2003).

His next film Paltan marks a return to the genre that made him famous. Paltan's large ensemble cast includes Dutta regulars Jackie Shroff and Suniel Shetty, along with actors Arjun Rampal, Sonu Sood, Harshvardhan Rane, Luv Sinha, Siddhant Kapoor and Gurmeet Choudhary.

A teaser has been released today, two months ahead of the film's release. It refers to Dutta's previous war films Border (1997) and LOC: Kargil (2003), indicating that Paltan concludes the war trilogy.

The teaser includes music of the Colonel Bogey March, a British army marching song, made famous by the Hollywood film, The Bridge On The River Kwai (1957). In the scene, captured troops whistle the march in front of their captors. The song has earlier been used in Dev Anand's Jewel Thief (1967) by composer RD Burman in the composition 'Yeh Dil Na Hota Bechaara'.  

The teaser ends with a shot of Indian soldiers marching in a line along a snowy valley while singing Vande Mantaram. Paltan is based on the 1967's Nathu La and Cho La military clashes between India and China on the Sikkim border. In Border (1997), Dutta focused on Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and showcased the 1999 Kargil war in LOC: Kargil (2003).

It remains to be seen whether the director can recreate the patriotic fervour of Border which won three National Awards. Not many war films have been made in recent times, but recently, Parmanu: The Story Of Pokran (2018) starring John Abraham, based on India's first nuclear tests, had managed to find an audience.

Paltan is due to be released on 7 September 2018, 51 years after the Indo-China clashes of 1967.