Feature Name: Shikara
Directed By: Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Cast: Aadil Khan, Sadia
Run Time: 118 minutes
Review By: Manisha Karki
Shikara is all about January 19, 1990 – this date was a black night for all the Kashmiri Pandits who had to flee their beautiful homes in the Valley to live the life of a refugee in their own country.
30 years after the mass exodus of around 4 lakh Pandits, filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra – who had to abandon his home in Kashmir, made a film to tell the world the plight of Kashmiri Pandits.
Rarely do films in Bollywood happen which hit you hard and shake the soul inside your body as well. Shikara tells the hard-hitting story of Kashmiri Pandits and gives the universal message of standing united.
The story traces the life of young newlyweds Shiv Kumar Dhar (Aadil Khan) and Shanti Dhar (Sadia), who flee their homeland and take refuge at a camp in Jammu, with the promise that they will return home someday.
The story goes as Shiv and Shanti are standing at the threshold of losing everything they ever had. They are torn between two equally tough choices – save their lives and leave behind their beloved birthplace or stay back and face the aftermath of a battle against their community.
Director Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Shikara is an attempt to bring to light the plight of Kashmiri Pandits. He has done his job remarkably well, We can see it on screen the struggle behind making and giving 5 years of your life to a film. It is simple still convincing at the same time. It will make you feel the pain that one has while leaving their homes.
There are multiple elements to keep one guessing about what’s going to unfold in the first half of the film. While the second half is more invested in the love story – which does feel far-fetched, predictable and dated at times.
Talking about the performance, debutants Sadia and Aadil Khan make an attractive pair to watch on screen. Sadia, with her infectious smile, is a natural in portions where she is playing the younger part. Aadil’s depiction of an amateur poet does not resonate half as much as his portrayal of an older man.
The music and background score is given by A.R Rahman and Sandesh Shandilya and it is the most soul touching soundtrack, with able support from lyricist Irshad Kamil.
We, with all our hearts, give Shikara 3 stars, you can surely spend your time watching the best story of this week.