‘If you are a Fauji, you live by chance, love by choice, and fight by profession!’ This dialogue sums up the spirit of both the movie and the life of the warrior being focused upon in Shershaah.
Based on the life of braveheart Captain Vikram Batra, who was awarded India’s highest honour Param Vir Chakra for his heroics in the Kargil War posthumously, ‘Shershaah’ is one of the few movies that depict the truth as it was, without malice. Directed by Vishnu Vardhan, the movie is not only touching, but also smooth, realistic, and filled with enough moments to give goosebumps to every single Indian, who is watching the movie on Amazon Prime Video.
Directed by Vishnu Vardhan, and starring Siddharth Malhotra as the lead, ‘Shershaah’, is based upon the life of Captain Vikram Batra, who was martyred in the Kargil War of 1999. Captain Vikram Batra lived his life as he was personally – carefree and risk-loving. The movie astonishingly encapsulates Captain Vikram’s this very personality. Vikram Batra had popularized the slogan ‘Yeh Dil Maange More’ before he was martyred in his pursuit to liberate Point 4875, the Government of India renamed the point to Vikram Batra Top, in his honour, on 7 July 1999.
After days, have we witnessed a movie that presents the story as it is, and gives due respect to our men in uniform. It would be hard for many to believe that this movie is bankrolled by the same Dharma Productions, which had given some controversial and horrendous movies like ‘Gunjan Saxena – The Kargil Girl’ last year. But if Sonam Kapoor can do a ‘Neerja’, miracles do happen.
‘Shershaah’ is one of those rare movies, where you will hardly find any flaws. After ‘Lakshya’ and ‘URI – The Surgical Strike’, it is one of those movies, which is not only patriotic but also equally realistic. The film is only 2 hours and 15 minutes long, and yet the story is engaging and full of emotions. It will bind you to your seat for the entire duration of the movie.
The film does have some songs, but neither do they disrupt the movie, nor do they make the movie boring. Some might find the personality of Vikram Batra in the movie a bit awkward, but that’s how he was – carefree, lively and a risk lover. His romance with Dimple Cheema is also accurately portrayed as mentioned in various anecdotes in the media.
Apart from that, the social and the political circumstances of the Kashmir valley have been briefly but accurately portrayed as well. Mostly, people have complained that to appease the minorities, the Indian army has been demonised in many movies, while the radicalised sections of people in Kashmir have been portrayed as hapless victims, who are forced to become terrorists by the demonic soldiers. However, this film doesn’t follow the same theme. The terrorists, the soldiers, as well as general Kashmiris are portrayed realistically, without malice or intent to whitewash, exactly the way they thought and behaved during the late 90s.
In terms of acting, Siddharth Malhotra has just not portrayed the role of Captain Batra, he has lived the role. It is evident from this film that, he is not a bad actor, it’s just that he never chose good scripts for himself. But ‘Shershaah’ was just what the doctor ordered for him. The only downside is that this movie did not get the honour of being released in the theatres, otherwise people would have clapped and cheered for this movie in every aspect.
‘Shershaah’ is one of those rare movies which could be said as nearly perfect, the Indian film industry. However, there were two minor flaws that denied it the status of the ‘perfect movie’. One was the odd Punjabi diction in which Siddharth and Kiara, who played Vikram and Dimple conversed. The other was the interview sequence, where Siddharth’s character was speaking about his conquest to a young Barkha. It didn’t look natural.
Except for that, ‘Shershaah’ is one of those rare Indian films, which neither glorifies terrorism, nor abuses Indian culture or the Indian army.
As Captain Vikram Batra, Siddharth Malhotra has paid a fitting tribute to the legacy of the great warrior and we expect more from him in the future. Had it not been for Wuhan Virus, ‘Shershaah’ deserves the whistles and cheers of packed theatres!
TFI gives it 4 out of 5 stars!