Shikara

Shikara Film: Shikara

Directed by:  Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Produced by: Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Screenplay by: Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Rahul Pandita, and Abhijat Joshi
Story by: Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Starring: Aadil Khan, Sadia
Music by: Sandesh Shandilya and Abhay Sopori
Score: A. R. Rahman and Qutub-E-Kripa
Cinematography: Rangarajan Ramabadran
Edited by: Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Shikhar Misra
Production Company: Vinod Chopra Films
Distributed by: Fox Star Studios
Release date: 7 February 2020

Premise: The movie is based on the life of Kashmiri Pandits, who have evited from the Kashmir due to militancy. Shikara is the story of resilience in the face of insurmountable odds. It’s also the story of a love that remains unextinguished through 30 years of exile.

Know more about the captain of the Ship, the director:
Vidhu Vinod Chopra was born and grew up in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India. His father was D. N. Chopra and veteran filmmaker Ramanand Sagar was his half-brother. His mother was Shanti Devi Chopra who left Kashmir with him and family after outcast of Kashmiri Pandit in 1990. He has dedicated his new movie Shikara to his mother which is based on the same theme. He studied film direction at the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune.

His first feature film, shot in black-and-white, was Sazaa-E-Maut (Death Penalty) – a thriller made on a low budget with then-unknown actor Naseeruddin Shah and editor Renu Saluja, who were his fellow students at FTII, Pune.

His critically acclaimed films include Parinda, 1942: A Love Story, Mission Kashmir, the Munna Bhai series, Parineeta, and 3 Idiots. 3 Idiots went on to become one of the most successful films in India and became the first film in the country to cross Rs. 200 crores at the box office. It also found popular appeal in markets like Taiwan and Korea. He also made his Hollywood directorial debut with the film Broken Horses in 2015. However, it received a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 22%, and was commercially unsuccessful, only making Rs. 60 lakhs in its opening weekend. His last Hindi directorial feature film, Eklavya: The Royal Guard released in 2007.

My Gut Feel (MGF) and comments:

The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own time.: Anthony Kennedy.
The above thought holds relevance when we read, think and try to understand the reasons for the exile of Kashmiri pandit which forced them to live a life of a refugee in their own country India. In today’s time where any news goes viral in seconds, it’s hard to believe why that time nothing was done to stop it or to give proper shelters to Kashmiri Pandits.

Vidhu Vinod Chopra the director of Shikara has witnessed this atrocity being a Kashmiri Pandit. Her mother passed away in 2007 with the hope of going back to Kashmir and as per him since 2008 he started working on the script of Shikara. It’s been 30 years since this incident happened and there has been a pin drop silence on this issue.

Both the trailers of Shikara are promising and I believe that the outrage faced by Kashmiri Pandits has been captured with great sensitivity by Mr. Chopra.

Rahul Pandita and Abhijat Joshi are the co-screenplay writers along with Mr. Chopra and It seems they have webbed an engaging narrative of the soul moving series of events.
The story revolved around the journey of a couple played by Aadil Khan and Sadia, pre and post-incident and they both are looking convincing on their part.  Aadil is debuting as an actor through this movie however he already has done assistant direction work on two movies Kedarnath and Mohenjo Daro.  Music and background score also play a pivotal role in taking the screenplay effectively and the team lead by A.R Rehman has scored excellent in this department as well.

The story is so sensitive and closely related to Mr. Chopra that its possible to go overwhelmed and derail in storytelling process however I believe with vast experience Mr. Chopra did hold the horses and has done full justice to the story we’re going by his own words he intends in today’s time is to create a Samvad and not to create a Vivad. And he presented this movie as a tribute to her mother.

Going by My Gut Feeling (MGF), I am giving Shikara 3.25 stars out of 5 one week before the release for heart-melting story and backing by sensitive and sensible director Mr. Vidhu Vinod Chopra and his creative team.

Read More of my Previews at Rajat Narula Previews

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