Shershaah, a movie released on Amazon Prime, starring Siddharth Malhotra and Kiara Advani, based on the life of braveheart Captain Vikram Batra, who was awarded India’s highest military honour Param Vir Chakra for his heroics in the Kargil War posthumously has become the target of a concerted campaign by the liberal lobby to degrade its ratings.
Film critic Taran Adarsh has given Shershaah a rating of three and a half stars. Similarly, Anupama Chopra while describing the movie running high on patriotism has not put the money where her mouth is. She describes the movie as not daring enough to capture the essence of its subject.
While the aforementioned paid critics have severely downplayed the movie, the likes of NDTV and the Quint — the supposed champions of the left-liberal brigade have left no stone unturned either to pull the movie down. NDTV as well as The Quint’s film critic Stuti Ghosh have given the film only three stars.
These are the same critics and portals that salivate at any hot, steaming pile of garbage that is served in generous quantities by the Khan triumvirate. However, because Shershaah wasn’t woke enough, showed the reality at its face value, the left critics simply didn’t like it.
‘Shershaah’ is one of the few movies that depict the truth as it is, without malice. Directed by Vishnu Vardhan, the movie is not only touching but realistic, engaging, true to the source material and filled with enough moments to ignite nationalism even in the most dormant of Indian homo sapiens.
It is a routine trope in war movies churned in Bollywood to show the Pakistani Army or any enemy as the benevolent and generous side. There is a conscious decision to humanise them so that some strange monkey-balancing can be performed. While it is good to flesh out characters, give them motivations and to some extent, a sad sob story but a war movie based on real-life, need not have such farcical plot points.
Nobody while fighting at Kargil bothered to understand what the enemy felt or how good he was at heart. It’s a battle and every single one of the soldiers made their decision to fight for the country, keeping in view, the worst-case scenario of losing their lives. War is painful, war is messy, war isn’t fair but the Bollywood liberal brigade wants its flavour of forced bonhomie and ‘Aman ki Asha’ infused in it. And that is certainly not what Shershaah set out to do.
The movie triggers them because nationalism forms the tenet of the movie. Pakistan is shown as an enemy, plain and simple, with no sugar-coating. In the film, just like real-life Vikram Batra, Siddharth Malhotra is seen shouting slogans like ‘Durga Mata Ki Jai’, which by most estimates would have riled up the wokes. After all, according to the woke dictionary, Durga Mata ki Jai, Jai Shree Ram, Jai Hind and all such slogans are communal while ‘Allahu-Akbar’ is patriotic.
‘Shershaah’ is one of those rare Indian films, which neither glorifies terrorism nor abuses Indian culture or the Indian army. And that perhaps has been its undoing of the movie as the liberal mob searches for the condemnation of the Indian army. Only if a villain or a mole was from the Army, the movie would have risen on the rating charts of the critics.
It is surprising that there is no activism and preaching in the movie, considering it has been produced by Karan Johar’s Dharma Production. After facing publish backlash on several issues for his excess activism, Karan Johar has seemingly learnt his lesson and has started to make movies that do not push the ideas of few left-woke writers. Also, it’s rather alright to be cancelled by the few elites in the liberal lobby than by the majority of the masses who would lap up the Shershaah and for the first time and probably the last time, bat for Johar.