Director: Hansal Mehta
Producers: Bohra Bros. Pvt. Ltd and AKFPL Production
Writers: Hansal Mehta, Sameer Gautam Singh and Apurva Asrani
Cast: Raj Kumar Yadav, Prabhleen Sandhu, Mohammad Zeeshan Ayub, Baljinder Kaur, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Vipin Sharma, Kay Kay Menon
Genre: Drama/ Thriller
Rating: * * * *
By: Keyur Seta
Story Outline: Shahid is a biopic on the life of the deceased lawyer Shahid Azmi. He was murdered in 2010 for defending innocents wrongly framed for terror activities.
The film traces Shahid’s journey from the 1993 Mumbai blasts. The incident has such a devastating impact on the youngster that he joins a terror outfit in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK). Fortunately, he realizes his mistake and manages to return home in Mumbai. Further circumstances ensure that he becomes a successful defense lawyer. But his real challenge starts now.
Review: There are good films and there are also very good films. But there are very few ones that make Indian cinema proud. Director Hansal Mehta’s Shahid is one such movie that has all the rights to hold its head high regardless of its fate at the box office.
The film is a fine example of an impeccable script (Gautam Singh and Mehta), gritty presentation and excellent performances. Result of the aforementioned mixture is sure to yield great results and that is exactly the case with Shahid. It is a good idea to reveal the climax at the start so that the viewer is able to concentrate Shahid’s journey. Although the protagonist’s life story is interesting, it is not an easy task to narrate such a tale, especially with such low budget.
The way diverse events and sub plots are woven together deserve special mention, especially Shahid’s love interest which doesn’t obstruct the proceedings whatsoever. Lastly, the flick throws a number of hard-hitting questions on the deterioration of democracy in today’s times. The only negative point one can find is that the ongoing appears a bit dragged after a point of time in the second half. Plus, the hardcore commercial audience might not appreciate this genre of cinema. However, these are not major flaws.
From the technical department, some crafty camerawork perfectly suits the need of the film. Few single-take shots through a hand held camera are very impressive. Some powerful background score and apt editing too deserve praise.
Some performances become a milestone in every successful actor’s career. Raj Kumar Yadav’s act in Shahid is one such milestone which will take his career to greater heights. His portrayal of different shades of the character can only be described as brilliant! However, despite such an act from the lead actor, Prabhleen Kaur manages to impress via her perfect portrayal as Shahid’s love interest.
After No One Killed Jessica, Jannat 2 and Raanjhanaa, Mohammad Zeeshan Ayub is once again super impressive. In the role of Shahid’s mother, Baljinder Kaur suits well. There some wonderful cameos too from Kay Kay Menon, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Vipin Sharma and Shalini Vatsa.
Overall, Shahid is a must watch. Those eager for meaningful cinema should surely support it if they wish to see such genre of films in the future. Positive word-of-mouth is the only hope for the film to make a mark at the box office.