Shershah – a window into Captain Vikram Batra’s life

Khevna.P.Shah, INN/Bangalore

@Shahkhevna1, @Infodeaofficial

               “If you’re a fauji then you live by chance, love by choice, and fight by profession”

The patriotic action-drama movie, Shershah starring Sidharth Malhotra and Kiara Advani directed by Vishnuvardhan is based on Param Vir Chakra awardee Vikram Batra.

Captain Vikram Batra, PVC (9 September 1974 – 7 July 1999) was an officer of the Indian Army, awarded with the Param Vir Chakra, India’s highest and most prestigious award for valor, for his actions during the 1999 Kargil War. He led one of the toughest operations in mountain warfare in Indian history. He was often referred to as Sher Shah (“Lion King”) in the intercepted messages of the Pakistan Army.

The movie is narrated by Vikram’s twin brother, played by Sidharth Malhotra, and opens with the present scene and then takes you back into flashback. This was totally unnecessary, it felt like a way to accommodate characters that don’t seem much necessary. The story only has the potential to stand out. The movie surely did justice to the life of Major Vikram Batra and his time serving in the 1999 Kargil War.

Shershah was Sidharth Malhotra’s best performance up till now, we have seen him play the loverboy in SOTY and revenge-seeking gangster in Marjavaan, but his role was relatively new and Malhotra totally perfected the role given to him. Before him, Abhishek Bacchan played the role of Captain Vikram Batra in the movie LOC: Kargil, which revolved around the Kargil war. Abhishek Bacchan did nail the role but Sidharth Malhotra did give off the same energy and enthusiasm. Other actors like Pawan Chopra who played G.L.Batra, Shiv Panditt who played Capt. Sanjeev Jamaal, Nikhil Deer who portrayed Major Ajay Jasrotia, Sahil Vaid played Vikram’s best friend Sunny did a fantastic movie and without them, the movie wouldn’t have fallen into place.

Apart from casting, the movie did deliver some impeccable dialogues and it did have dialogues that didn’t belittle the enemies but felt rather genuine. It even offered the audience a positive ideology on Kashmiris.

“Oye fikar na kar Jaani, Tiranga lehra kar aaoonga … nahi toh usme lipat ke aaoonga … lekin aaoonga zaroor haan ”.

First and foremost, the best part about Shershaah is that it’s devoid of any jingoism and focuses more on captain Vikram Batra’s love for the army and his fellow soldiers rather than always shouting, “Bharat Mata ki jai,” at the drop of a hat. And when the movie isn’t distracted by his life outside of his army posting, Shershaah is a perfectly engaging watch

Vishnu Varadhan’s first foray into Bollywood has all the ingredients of being one of the stylishly presented war dramas. Vishnu doesn’t take an easy & linear route to explain the events, and he starts with the end. Carefully without touching any landmines of pop nationalism or jingoism, Vishnu keeps things straight to the point. Lack of good dialogues, in a way, becomes a roadblock for his seamless direction.

John Stewart Eduri’s background score is powerful & rhythmic but is haunted by the absence of one good theme. B Praak fans would’ve surprise by their lifetime towards the climax.

The movie was definitely very predictable, but since it is a biopic it cannot be changed according to the scriptwriters. Though the movie could have cut down the romance and left it to a minimal aspect. The wat scenes ought to give the audience goosebumps. The hero isn’t, however, given to either superficial swagger or bellicose bravado. He is the sort of clear-headed guy who knows what he has got to do and chips away at it with unwavering intent.

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