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Shikara Film Assessment: Vidhu Vinod Chopra Tries To Do A Balancing Act However It is Lopsided

Shikara Film Assessment: A poster of the movie (courtesy vidhuvinodchoprafilms)

Solid: Aadil Khan, Sadia

Director: Vidhu Vinod Chopra

Score: 2.five stars (out of five)

It is going with out pronouncing that it has in most cases been past the ambit of mainstream Bollywood to completely comprehend and surround the more than one skeins that represent the previous, intractable Kashmir imbroglio. It’s, subsequently, no longer sudden in any respect that Shikara, meant to be an elegy to a misplaced paradise, falls wanting its avowed purpose. It tells the Kashmir tale from the perspective of those who had been compelled to depart the Valley when militancy erupted there within the overdue 1980s. Inevitably, the movie is restricted in its scope. Regardless of how exhausting director Vidhu Vinod Chopra tries to do a balancing act, it can’t be anything else however lopsided.

Shikara is a love tale set in opposition to the backdrop of the exodus nevertheless it floats in large part in shallow waters and remains clear of the muddied whirlpools which might be inevitable when the unrest within the Valley has persevered so long as it has. The movie revolves round an idealistic couple who pines for his or her misplaced house with out letting hate and mistrust rob them in their humanity. They dangle to the hope of returning some day to the land in their start, reflecting the craving of all sufferers of war, no longer simply Kashmiri Pandits.

It will be pertinent to query the timing of Shikara. Kashmir, the place a lot of the motion is about, has been underneath lockdown for a number of months now and the rights of the folks of the Valley had been summarily curtailed. It redounds to Chopra’s credit score that the Hindu-Muslim binary on the middle of this fictionalized account “in accordance with true occasions” is not manipulated to openly tar an entire staff of folks with the similar brush despite the fact that the movie has a few defining moments the place the them and us divide involves the fore and made up our minds the drift of the narrative.


Shikara Film Assessment: A nonetheless from the film

In seeking to pull of the tightrope stroll, the screenplay takes recourse to sweeping way. We see grainy pictures of Benazir Bhutto (on a black and white tv set) addressing a rally and exhorting Kashmiris to combat for freedom. In every other scene, information of an settlement between George Bush Sr. and Mikhail Gorbachev is flashed on TV. One personality, in response to the second one bit of reports, taunts on the concept of global peace. He blames the American citizens for pumping hands into Afghanistan to lend a hand the Mujahideen combat the Russians after which diverting guns to militants in Kashmir. Any other says that politicians are not serious about an enduring solution in Kashmir, all they would like is to win elections.

This is about it. By way of pinning the blame for the upward thrust of militancy on exterior geopolitical forces and on home politicians who thrive on fishing in stricken waters, Shikara ignores an area historical past of exploitation and suppression that extends again into the 19th century. However then Chopra acknowledges the bounds of a two-hour movie and does no longer declare that he’s presenting an exhaustive portrait of Kashmir within the run-up to, and within the aftermath of, the exodus of Pandits from the Valley.

He filters the plight of a forcibly displaced neighborhood during the sieve of a sad tale that straddles 3 many years. Shikara, which the director has co-written with journalist Rahul Pandita and screenwriter Abhijat Joshi, glosses over the granular main points and makes use of easy, vast strokes to track the genesis and manifestations of the Kashmir conflagration.

However in monitoring the connection between Shiv Kumar Dhar (Aaadil Khan), a poet and literature professor, and Shanti Sapru (Sadia), who meet unintentionally when they’re roped in as impromptu extras all the way through a Hindi movie shoot in Kashmir within the mid-1980s. Love blossoms and, helped alongside through Shiv’s bosom friend Lateef Lone (Faisal Simon), they marry prior to the tip of the last decade.


Shikara Film Assessment: A nonetheless from the film

Inside a 12 months, the couple builds a space, which Shanti names Shikara as it was once on a ship that the pair had consummated their love after their wedding ceremony night time. However their keep within the new home is short-lived. Bother erupts for the Pandits and they’re compelled to escape.

The second one part of Shikara is about in a refugee camp in Jammu, the place the ache of displacement takes its toll on the old and young alike. A way of loss hangs heavy. An aging Pandit refugee can not forestall himself from continuously pleading with anyone inside earshot to be taken again to Kashmir: a snapshot of the mental toll that the flip of occasions took at the older refugees.


Shikara Film Assessment: A nonetheless from the film

In a single scene, in 1992, a tender boy leads a gaggle in shouting “Mandir wahi banayenge“, reflecting the converting political local weather within the nation and its affect on impressionable minds. Shiv steps in and tells the boy {that a} true chief does no longer divide, however unites. There’s on the core of Shikara an try to workout warning within the portrayal of an emotive, polarising theme.

But, the quandary of Shiv and Shanti (which additionally was once the identify of the director’s mom who was once compelled to depart her house within the Valley and may just by no means go back) is actual and knowledgeable with sensitivity and lyricism. Within the opening scene of the movie itself, it’s published that Shiv has been writing letters to a succession of US presidents for 28 years with a plea for lend a hand. That is an intriguing and authentic, if no longer completely convincing, flight of fancy. Shiv’s epistles are like his poems, dripping with optimism and an timeless spirit of positivity.

For a movie that offers with individuals who have turn out to be refugees in their very own nation, Shikara is devoid of anger and bitterness. The 2 most important characters, not like many in their ilk in the true international, have no longer allowed their despondency to push them in seeing the placement in black and white. They’re befuddled and stunned all proper however they are not ate up through rage.

Shot splendidly smartly through Rangarajan Ramabadran, who crafts frames which might be unfailingly evocative of each temper and position, Shikara oscillates between aching good looks and deep darkness as a young, previous international love tale performs out in a fractured international.

The casting lends authenticity to the depiction of the milieu – Sadia as Shanti and Aadil Khan as Shiv are actual and fully plausible despite the fact that the style during which the 30-year aging procedure is captured is fairly dodgy. Faisal Simon as Shiv’s perfect pal and a Ranji Trophy cricketer who’s radicalized as Kashmir sinks into concern and gloom, is efficacious too.

Shikara is evasive on many the most important counts, however, judged on purely cinematic parameters, its strengths are noteworthy.

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