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For the first time after a while, I went for a film after having seen only 1 trailer, that too once. No dialogue promos, songs, or anything else other than the posters. Having heard so much of it, I already had expectations high, which isn't always a good thing. But did it meet them?
Not only did it surpass my expectations, it turned out to be one of the best films I have seen all year (and believe me I have seen many).
While it looks like a thriler/terrorism tale, at the heart of it, Shahid is all about human emotions. A wrongly convicted Muslim boy takes to studies and becomes a lawyer after getting out. He fights for the right of those who are weak to face the system & eventually becomes a messaih for many. For now, this much is enough for you to know and explore the rest.
Generally I would mention the runtime of a film but here, honestly, I didn't look away for a second. An edge of the seat thriller at times, it draws you in with its stark visuals right at the start. There is so much soul in the film, most of which comes through its knockout performances.
There are many winners in the acting dept. The anchor is Raj Kumar Yadav, who displays every range of emotion with unreal sincerity, almost making you believe he was the real guy. This one is going to be a game changer for him. KK Menon puts in a lovely underplayed appearance, Tigmanshu Dhulia in a fun cameo, numerous smaller roles, of which casting director Mukesh Chabbra being the pick in a hilarious bit. And last but not the least, a very deserving Vipin Sharma, who was second only to Raj in this film.
Director Hansal Mehta has made many a forgettable film but this one is something else. He captures the essence of the film beautifully in small moments, like the time Shahid is talking to a female client and tries flirting with her. At the heart of it, the film is about a simple man who wanted to do good things for society.
How his life played out, watch & find out.
In a time where we have just passed the hugely debated Oscar selections, this little gem comes in 2 weeks late, because believe me, it would have been one of the frontrunners in my book. Dont think, just go buy the tickets & enjoy this fantastic piece of cinema.
P.S - I must mention that UTV have done an absolutely shoddy job with the marketing of this film. It has a hauntingly brilliant background score, with a couple of brilliant tracks, one being sung by new favourite Arijit Singh. How can they plug every good film of theirs and let this one go under the radar. If it doesn't open, I'd hold the marketing to it.