Saturday, October 19, 2013

Movie Review: Shahid - Uncomfortable Yet Inspiring

Rating: 3.5/5

Harshal Mehta's Shahid - The biopic based on the inspiring life of Human Rights Activist and Lawyer Shahid Azmi is one of those movies which will keep lingering in your mind for hours or may be days after you move out of the movie hall, quite unlike majority of the Bollywood movies which you watch, enjoy and then completely forget about as soon as you walk out of the cinema hall.

The movie very beautifully deals with two very sensitive topics - terrorism and the baseless perception-induced harassment and ill-treatment of Muslims.

The movies "New York" and "My Name is Khan" too were based on the same subject and have both been successful; but Shahid is a much more powerful work on the subject than the two movies mentioned above.You may ask "What makes it so powerful?". Well, here are the reasons:

  • Raj Kumar Yadav's terrific performance:  Raj Kumar plays the role of Shahid with immense conviction - his acting helps you connect to the character's pain, joy, anxiety and fear. Other noteworthy performances in the movie are that of Mohammed Ayyub Zeeshan (as Shahid's elder brother) and Baljinder Kaur (as Shahid's mother) and Shalini Vatsa (as a prosecution lawyer).
  • No glamorization:  No A-list stars like SRK and Katrina, no songs to draw the audience to the theater, a non-fabricated depiction of the courtroom environment and yet the movie has the same impact.
  • A believable portrayal of Shahid's life: While taking us through Shahid's life, the writer Sameer Gautam does not attempt to camouflage any flaws in the character's personality. Most of the biopics on inspiring people just focus on the good in their personalities and thus the characters appear to be unreal. However, in this movie Sammer subtly highlighted the mistakes that Shahid made in his personal life - he ignored his wife and son as he got engrossed in work and also hurt the feelings of his ever supportive mother and elder brother at times.

There are a few disconnects in the screenplay; but overall, the movie manages to achieve what it intends to - create an impact in the minds of the audience.

This production by Anurag Kashyap may not be a huge box-office success but those who watch it will be happy that they did.



  1. Though provoking...article...and movie! :) Sensitive issues need to be faced..not skirted or avoided...and the way they are dealth with, should leave you with a sense of purpose...not shame or guilt.