Cast: Sidharth Malhotra, Kiara Advani, Ankita Goraya, Shiv Panditt, Sahil Vaid, Shataf Figar, Mir Sarwar, Vaibhav Choudhary and others.
Cinematography: Kamaljeet Negi
Rating: Three-and-a-half stars
Well known Tamil director Vishnuvardhan, who has directed several Tamil hits including Billa, featuring Ajith Kumar and Nayanthara in the lead, has made his foray into Hindi cinema with this inspiring story that is based on the life of one of India’s real bravehearts, Captain Vikram Batra, who made the supreme sacrifice for the nation during the fiercely and bitterly fought Kargil war in 1999.
Vishnu has a tendency to narrate good stories and that is exactly what he seems to have done in Shershaah, a title/codename which was given to Captain Vikram Batra during one of the many challenging missions that the fearless Indian Army captain undertook to eliminate cowardly Pakistan army rangers and merceneries who had infiltrated into Kashmir with the intention of illegally occupying Indian territory.
The story starts off with Vishal Batra delivering a speech about his brother Vikram Batra, who made the supreme sacrifice at the young age of 25. The film then goes on to showcase the carefree and fearless nature of Vikram Batra even as a boy. A young Batra, we get to know, had no qualms about standing up for his rights and always believed in giving back as good as he got. The young Batra did not mind even taking on an opponent who was much older to him and bigger in size when the latter refused to hand over a ball that rightfully belonged to him .
In Shershaah, Vishnu highlights the fact that the man was someone who was simple, sweet, generous and kind to friends, family and countrymen but was a nightmare to enemies. He tells us what the man’s views on issues were and how he was an uncomplicated person.
Siddharth Malhotra who plays Captain Vikram Batra does a reasonably good job. The initial portions aren’t all that convincing but as the film progresses, Siddharth begins to look the part.
Kiara Advani, who plays Dimple Cheema, the lady who conquered the heart of Captain Vikram Batra and who continues to remain a spinster to this day after Vikram’s death in 1999, does an amazing job. She steals your heart from the moment she appears on screen.
Kiara’s outstanding work and her chemistry with Siddharth Malhotra make the romantic portions of Shershaah highly enjoyable. The expressions that Kiara comes up with are just priceless. Every time she looks at Vikram Batra, Kiara turns into Dimple, her sincerity showing in her eyes! After witnessing this performance, one has no option but to believe that Kiara’s already impressive acting skills have gone up one more level.
The film has some great visuals, thanks to some outstanding work by cinematographer Kamaljeet Negi. The film also has an excellent background score that really complements and accentuates the emotion that is being conveyed.
Shershaah reminds us of the supreme sacrifice our men in the Indian Armed forces made during the Kargil war to show the world in general and our enemies in particular that they shouldn’t take us for granted. It puts across the message that India might love peace but that enemies shouldn’t mistake her love for peace as a weakness. The film reminds the world that India has a fearsome, disciplined, powerful army made up of committed, capable men, full of grit and determination, who will not hesitate to put their lives on the line should the need arise!
On the whole, Shershaah is a lovely tribute to a fine soldier called Vikram Batra. Shershaah is now available on Amazon Prime. Do check it out!