Our country will be celebrating its 75th independence anniversary and what better film to mark the occasion than a biopic on one of India’s bravest soldiers, Captain Vikram Batra. Dharma Productions and Kash Entertainment’s ‘Shershah’ is released on Amazon Prime Video. Siddharth Malhotra played the hero of the film, late Vikram Batra. There is nothing new in a war biopic as the story is very straightforward but Siddharth plays this role with full force. Not only the entire country but also the family of late Captain Batra will be very proud of him. “Sher Shah” is a film where you know everything, yet it is its own fun to watch. That is the power of film. A story we’ve heard many times, yet we can’t describe the allure of putting it on screen. A war biopic could not have been better.
Captain Vikram Batra hails from Palampur in the Himalayas. He has 2 sisters and a twin brother, parents were teachers in a government school. He was brave from childhood and very early on he decided that he would join the army. Ishq happened to be studying in Chandigarh College and the top cadet of NCC, Vikram Merchant, got a choice between Navy and Army. In 1996, cleared the CDS exam, underwent 19 months of training and after leaving IMA, was selected for 13 Battalion, Jammu and Kashmir Rifles and posted in Sopore area of Kashmir. After several encounters with terrorists, Vikram continued to advance in the army and then the Kargil War. First was the top capture of point 5140 where he was made captain and soon after that the captain led his battalion to capture the top of point 4875.
The high hill where Pakistan built its bunkers and captured India’s bunkers. Captain Vikram Batra bravely led his soldiers and comrades to the front and in sometimes two-pronged and sometimes three-pronged attacks, the Pakistani soldiers kept killing them. On one occasion he engaged and killed 4 unarmed Pakistani soldiers. Although some of his companions were injured, Captain Batra continued. Finally a bunker was released from which Pakistani soldiers were firing incessantly. There was only one way to stop them, a frontal attack. Vikram, not caring for his life, stops his partner that he is married and Vikram is a bachelor. Vikram went forward alone and sustained a bullet in his chest but breathed his last after eliminating the Pakistani soldiers. Captain Vikram Batra was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra, the army’s highest honour. His fiancee Dimple Cheema is not married till date. Captain Vikram Batra was an immortal soldier and a son of India who always considered the country bigger than himself and sacrificed his life for it. Before his death, he watched his battalion hoist the tricolor at point 4875 and then closed his eyes.
Everything in the film’s story is taken from Vikram’s life, yet the script is penned by Sandeep Srivastava. Vikram’s life was reality and not a movie story, so the screenplay had no scope for dramatization. The dialogue code name Shershah, Ye Dil Mange More, Aasab after hoisting the tricolor or Aasab wrapped in the tricolor was spoken by Vikram himself, so Sandeep had no difficulty. The film’s director Vishnuvardhan is an import from the Tamil film world. He worked with award-winning cinematographer Santosh Sivan at times and later worked as an assistant to many successful directors. Most of the films he has directed have been superhits and hence Karan Johar assigned him the responsibility of directing this film.
Kiara played the role of Dimple Chima.
Earlier, Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions faced a lot of criticism for the Gunjan Saxena biopic. This time he didn’t want to take any risk, so full instructions were taken from General Joshi, the Indian Army and Vikram’s family to authenticate the film. The army deployed two of its majors on the sets of this film, who were watching everything closely. Vikram’s brother Vishal Batra gave complete information about the family and gave many personal details about Vikram, due to which the truth was also seen in the film. Patriotic films often show emotion in such a way that for a moment one wonders why so much drama is being shown. Sher Shah is quite honest about this. Nowhere does it seem like an overdose of patriotism.
Siddharth Malhotra fought his life for this film and has been busy preparing for this film for the past several years. He spent a lot of time with Vishal Batra, Vikram’s friends and family and tried to understand Vikram. As Siddharth goes to college in the 90s in the movie, Shahrukh Khan’s shadow is clearly visible on him. Siddharth has done a wonderful job as the pure hearted boy. Vikram did not care about life but did not want to see his companions die. Siddhartha also left no stone unturned to become Vikram. He not only worked hard for the character, joined the army camp, but also went to every place where he could get any personal information about Vikram from any person. This is an artist’s commitment.
There are more actors in the film. Kiara Advani got a small role but very strong. He did it very nicely too. When she rushes to Vikram’s funeral, an expression of infinite sorrow on her face, the audience cannot hold back their tears. When Captain Vikram’s parents were given the tricolor and Captain Vikram’s cap, even the biggest stony heart melted. Vikram’s passing is not only a comrade in Vikram’s unit grieving, but also the mountain of losing his unit’s most brilliant officer and best friend, with whom he spends his whole life. In the rest of the roles, Shiv Pandit played the role of Army Officer Sanjeev Jamwal ‘Jimmy’. Shiv has appeared on the big screen after a long time and how his acting becomes as tough as breaking a coconut in front of Vikram’s vitality and then when he himself breaks down on Vikram’s death, Shiv takes his acting to a new level.
Similarly, the roles of Niketan Dhir Major Ajay Jasrotia and Shataf Figar i.e. Lt Col YK Joshi were brief but effective. Subedar Raghunath, who is Vikram’s shadow from start to finish, is moved by the pain he feels when he sees Vikram firing in front of him. Actors playing the roles of other soldiers and officers also did not let the film become a propaganda film with unnecessary slogans and patriotic speeches. His wet eyes and silence were the only things to weigh down the last few moments of the film.
The role of music in films cannot be ignored. Both the songs performed by B Prak impressed. During Vikram’s funeral and cremation, B Prak’s loud voice pierces his chest like a spear. Even though the film is over, this song remains a shadow in the heart. Asis Kaur and Zubin Nautiyal’s duet Ratan Lambiya is very melodious. The songs of the film are becoming popular after the release.
It is very easy to find faults in this film as every war film in the world is like that, same thing happens with a biopic on a soldier. JP Dutt’s film shows a similar thing, but the reality is that in a military family there is no religion greater than the country. No one understands where these families come from. Today, where the country’s youth are eager to earn lakhs, engrossed in air-conditioned vehicles and homes, hesitant to do any work, Captain Vikram Batra’s life is an inspiration that every household in India can look up to. To be born.
Siddharth Malhotra as Captain Vikram Batra.
Sher Shah is a Sher type movie. There is no excess of feeling. Even on Vikram’s death, his family members do not speak freely of knowledge. The film is shown from the perspective of Vikram’s brother, so he appears at the beginning and end of the entire film. They also do not see the film from the point of view of the liberation of Shahadat. One should think of the family whose young son sacrificed his life for the country at the age of 25 while taking a bullet in his chest. The film is dedicated to all the soldiers and soldiers who gave their lives on the field in the Kargil war, who gave their lives, defended the country’s borders and reclaimed their land.
Don’t watch a movie just because of its purpose and its making. Just look at the Indian soil that still has that energy where flowers like Captain Vikram Batra have blossomed to inhabit this Gulshan.
Tags: Kiara Advani, Shershah, Siddharth Malhotra
First Published: August 13, 2021, 17:55 IST