Shershaah (2021) is about the Kargil war that happened in 1999, which was the last full-fledged conflict between India and Pakistan with high stakes for both sides. Instead of covering the entire war, the movie by Director Vishnuvardhan follows the journey of Captain Vikram Batra, a budding army officer from Himachal who was later awarded India’s highest military decoration of the Param Vir Chakra. The focus on one individual (Vikram) made the story relatable and enjoyable. The film is available on Amazon Prime Video and as I am feeling generous today gets a mangoidiots rating of ‘Ripe’.
The first from his family to join the Indian Army, Vikram (Sidharth Malhotra) is passionate about serving the nation and is shown to be brave from his childhood. While studying at Punjab University, he falls in love with his classmate Dimple Cheema (Kiara Advani), unfortunately, they couldn’t get married due to not getting the approval of Dimple’s father. Meanwhile, Vikram joins the Army and gets posted to Kashmir and soon he is called for action in the Kargil war. What happens there is the story.
Though appearing a bit older for the character, Sidharth Malhotra has done the role of the young officer perfectly. There was convincing chemistry between him and Kiara Advani in the romantic sequences. Supporting actors had done their parts well too, especially Raj Arjun as Subedar Raghunath Singh, Sahil Vaid as Amit “Sunny”, Batra’s best friend and others. The war action scenes were picturised well, the makers have kept the scope of the encounters small and contained, but that didn’t deprive us of the anticipation and excitement that we expect when seeing military conflicts on screen.
Readers Digest magazine carries a regular column called “Humour in Uniform” about jokes that happen in the lives of military men (and women) – I got reminded of that when we see the playful side and the confidence of Vikram Batra when he selects as his victory sign to be “Yeh Dil Maange More” (meaning This Heart Desires More), borrowed from an advertisement caption of Pepsi India during the time.
The movie is a fine tribute to the martyrs and a reminder of the personal losses caused by any war for the families of men in uniform.