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1962 The War in The Hills Review


The war genre in Hindi cinema has significantly transformed since the release of Border (1997). It no longer solely revolves around soldiers sacrificing their lives on the battlefield for the nation; it now delves into the untold stories that unfold beyond the frontlines. Exploring the aspects of war that occur away from the actual conflict, Mahesh Manjrekar's ambitious series 1962: The War in The Hills successfully encapsulates the emotions involved, taking inspiration from BBC's World on Fire.

The cast of 1962 The War in The Hills Movie

"1962: The War in the Hills" is a web series directed by Mahesh Manjrekar. It is important to note that the project is a web series, not a movie. The series features a talented ensemble cast. Here are the prominent cast members of "1962: The War in the Hills":

  • Abhay Deol as Major Suraj Singh: He plays the lead role of Major Suraj Singh, an Indian Army officer who leads his troops during the 1962 Sino-Indian War.
  • Mahie Gill as Shagun Singh: Mahie Gill portrays the character of Shagun Singh, the wife of Major Suraj Singh. She supports her husband and handles the challenges faced by families of soldiers during the war.
  • Sumeet Vyas as Colonel Vishnu Bisht: Sumeet Vyas takes on the role of Colonel Vishnu Bisht, a senior officer in the Indian Army who plays a crucial part in the war strategy.
  • Akash Thosar as Naik Roshan Thapa: Akash Thosar portrays Naik Roshan Thapa as a brave soldier under Major Suraj Singh's command.
  • Rohan Gandotra as Captain Akash Singh: Rohan Gandotra plays Captain Akash Singh, a young and courageous army officer fighting with Major Suraj Singh.
  • Annup Sonii as Major Ranjit Singh: Annup Sonii portrays Major Ranjit Singh, another essential character in the series. He serves as an officer in the Indian Army and contributes to the war effort.
  • Rochelle Rao as Maya: Rochelle Rao takes on the role of Maya, a strong and resilient woman who supports the soldiers and their families during the war.
  • Hemal Ingle as Dhara Singh: Hemal Ingle plays Dhara Singh, Major Suraj Singh's daughter, and Shagun Singh's daughter. Her character adds an emotional aspect to the narrative.

These are some prominent cast members in "1962: The War in the Hills." The series features a diverse range of actors who bring the story of the Sino-Indian War to life.

What's 1962: The War in The Hills About

1962 The War in The Hills Review

Based on a narrative derived from the events of the 1962 Indo-China war, the Disney Plus Hotstar series follows the journey of 'C Company,' an army unit commanded by Abhay Deol, as they embark on a mission to defend their nation. While the show draws inspiration from the historical conflict, it should be noted that it is not entirely based on factual events but somewhat influenced by them. As the tensions between India and China escalated, the Chinese forces intruded upon Indian territory in an attempt to claim it, instigating a full-fledged war. In addition to depicting the battles on the frontlines, the series delves into the personal lives and struggles of the soldiers' families, offering a glimpse into the challenges they face during this tumultuous period.

What Works in The War in The Hills in 1962?

The program's highlight is when writer Charudutt Acharya and director Mahesh Manjrekar turn away from the battleground and focus on the families, or, to use a more apt term, a war away from war. The visceral emotions are mixed in with the chest-thumping. Akshay Kumar's Kesari made a mistake, which is what 1962 somewhere corrects. It provides some actual backstories for its warriors, not merely add another layer. However, too much soap opera treatment ruins that as well.

Mahesh Manjrekar, known for his adeptness in evoking emotions through his direction, brings the same skill to the severe narrative of the show. While the tension within the government and on the Border and the hardships faced by the army men constitute a significant portion of the plot, he also dedicates a substantial portion to the families involved. Rather than briefly mentioning the presence of waiting wives, longing girlfriends, or sorrowful mothers, their stories are given proper attention. Writer Acharya skillfully incorporates a love triangle into the narrative, which adds an impressive dimension to the overall storyline.

The performances in 1962: The War in The Hills contribute significantly to the show's quality. Akash Thosar, who portrays Kishan and deserves more detailed characterization, delivers a compelling performance in a pivotal role. He skillfully brings out various shades of his character. Rohan Gandotra, the third wheel in the love triangle, also impresses with his acting abilities. However, special credit must be given to Hemal Ingle, who portrays Radha and immediately captivates the audience with her determination and dreamy eyes. Her face, hair, and emotions exude a sense of old-world charm yet with a touch of modernity. She is a character that I particularly enjoyed.

Abhay Deol delivers a competent performance in his role, although nothing is groundbreaking. On the other hand, Mahie Gill impresses with her portrayal of his wife, bringing depth to their relationship. Pooja Sawant also deserves recognition for her impactful breakdown scene.

Cinematographer Karan Rawat, despite being overshadowed by the village's production design, utilizes Ladakh as his true playground. He attempts to capture the region's majestic beauty, reminiscent of the work done by Mani Ratnam and Santosh Sivan in the film Dil Se. Rawat seeks symmetry in his shots, evident when he positions a vertical mountain as a backdrop and centers it or employs the soldiers' disciplined movements to create visually pleasing frames. However, these instances are limited and only glimpses of his talent are showcased.

What Doesn't Work in 1962's The War in The Hills?

The primary issue that stands out is the dialect used in the show. Despite the narrative indicating that the regiment is from Revadi in Haryana, the set design and costumes must capture the authentic Haryana vibe. It is evident to anyone familiar with the state that the portrayal needs to be revised. While Mahesh Manjrekar, who has assembled a talented cast of Marathi actors, faces no problem regarding their acting skills, he overlooks training them in the appropriate dialect. Akash Thosar, who delivers a sincere performance in his acting, sounds like the boy from Sairat speaking in forced Hindi. It's an imagined mismatch!

Furthermore, the biggest concern lies in the Chinese characters speaking Hindi with an English accent. Some even attempt to speak in pure Hindi. In his Oscar-winning speech, Bong Joon-Ho shared a line that resonated with the world and should be engraved in our minds. Content creators should follow his example, try to introduce subtitles, and use the original language. Authenticity is the key.


The team tried to improve something positive, but unfortunately, they counterbalanced it with something negative, resulting in a chaotic situation. Intense emotions quickly transition into melodramatic territory fail. However, it's not to say that everything is terrible. There are indeed choices available. "1962: The War In The Hills" is a show that can be skipped.

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