This had the potential of being a war romantic melodrama, with action and love stories, moreover a movie about the necessity of peace between 2 battling nations. Though, it couldn't considerably achieve this or that, falling down a chasm of naivety, making a good disappointment instead!
The secret of this movie's problem is one word: confusion. The script is just confused while doing many things. For instance, is it a movie about peace? With the way the Pakistani characters looked, it isn't. They're mostly shown as fanatic barbarian animals. Even the good one, the soldier who freed the Indian internees, seemed like a traitor more than peace lover. It's obvious that positive, objective, or sane aren't this movie's talents!
Confused comes with another meaning while experiencing the movie's melodrama. Look at the love triangle. It's a classic theme; since (Casablanca - 1942), these stories are being successfully made. This time, it isn't, being anything but solid. For instance, when Akshay Kumar solves the matter, so easily, by going out his wife's life, the drama stops and dies. Notice well that that happened right before the third act; as if to give way to the big rescue-in-the-neck-of-time action scene! That simply made weak melodrama, finished one important line prematurely, and showed a deficient ending. It pushes you to feel that the movie was originally an action which needed any in-between, meaning hastily made love story, to be sold!
Also, it includes heavy amount of naivety. Review with me: Bobby Deol has a she-colleague that loves him, well, what did she add to the story?! Amitabh Bachchan, as the bigwig General, shoots his grandson in the leg, and dares him to tell the truth (imagine if he did!), sure that moment was laughable! Kumar is with a mustache in one scene, then he's without it in another, then he retrieves it in the next (??). Kumar is talking to his wife in a car, and there is a daylight in the background, then it's a dark night, then it's a daylight again; I told you earlier; it is confused!
Deol is undying freak, who survives everything, while he's supposed to be a wimp (how they forgot that this is a good base in comedy!). I believed that he had to die at the end, to be finally a hero who sacrifices for his country, letting his married sweetheart fall in love with her husband again I guess. In anther version, I thought he must give back the sacrifice to Kumar, by martyring while saving him from death (so Kumar's son may have Deol's name later). Well, any other ending should have been better than that forced happy one where everybody is safe and smiling and provocative!
Talking about "provocative" powerfully recalls how the Pakistani soldier, who bombed Deol's friend then got killed by a dagger in the chest, is seen ALIVE and KICKING later?! Or how Kumar was speaking in poetry FOR ALL THE TIME! And how the movie has WHOLE NINE SONGS; actually anybody with common sense of "pace" must agree that this is provocatively boring!
Away from all of these downsides, the character of a coward soldier drew my attention partly as something rarely seen in an Indian movie. The viewpoint towards USA's double-faced policy, or fallacious speech of freedom, said by Bachchan's character, wasn't less rare, giving fair judgment to America's crime in Iraq that not many movies speak it out this way. Kumar's performance goes directly to the top of his "best ever" (very short list by the way!). The dance numbers were huge and dazzling. Most of the songs had good lyrics. The thrilling climactic sequence was very well-made, being better than many of the movie's elements. And it's a delight to watch Bachchan, Deol, and Kumar sharing one screen together.
(Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo) is watchable but confusedly made, ending up as naive entertainment. It's not a perfect masterpiece, or unbearable dud either. Though being average isn't really the issue; it's betraying depressingly the super potential, and the painful feel of never-made great movie.