Thousands of Kashmiri Pandits had to leave their homes as terrorists on January 19, 1990, nearly 30 years ago. They hoped that they would soon be able to live in their homes again in the same way as they had lived for decades. He hoped that there would be noise in Parliament for him, but there was no voice in his favor. 30 years have passed since then, even today they remain refugees in their own country. Many Kashmiri Pandits have also departed from the world pressed into their chest hoping to stay in their home again.
Producer-director Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s film ‘Shikara’ is a film woven around this story. However, he puts the cult of terror in the valley and the resulting atrocities on Kashmiri Pandits as a mere reference in the film and presents it more as a love story of a Kashmiri Pandit couple. The story begins in 1987, when the Kashmir Valley was as much to the Kashmiri Pandits as it was to the Kashmiri Muslims. When the two communities were united with the whole harmony. The film ends in 2018, when thousands of Kashmiri Pandits are still cursed to live a refugee’s life.
A film is being shot in Kashmir. The director should add a Kashmiri as extras. His assistants are Shiva Prakash Dhar (Adil Khan) and Shanti Sapru (Sadia). Shiva writes poems, is a peace nurse. After this incident, the two fall in love and they get married. He spends his first night in a shikara in Dal Lake, which is why Shanti keeps his new home named Shikara. She makes Rogan zeal for Shiva and Shiva writes poems for her – ‘May your house be full.’ But their happiness does not last long. In a year or two, circumstances change such that homes of Kashmiri Pandits start burning, their murders start and they have to leave Kashmir and flee and spend their lives in a refugee camp in Jammu.
Shikhara Movie Story
The film is primarily a love story of Shiva and Shanti. Director Vidhu Vinod Chopra has used the terrorism and tragedy of Kashmiri Pandits in the valley as a mere reference. A little glimpse of him is seen. That too in the film’s predecessor. After intermission, the film focuses entirely on the love story of Shiva and Shanti. Vidhu says more in his words. Writer Rahul Pandita, Abhijat Joshi and Vidhu do not discuss much about the causes of terrorism in the Valley. Doesn’t raise much questions, just focus on love. That is why in the film the scene of the burning of Kashmiri Pandits in the house, the directors show their shadows instead of showing the faces of miscreants. They simply try to explain that government repression and US terrorism are the main reasons behind terrorism in Kashmir. That is why the film’s protagonist writes letters to the President of the US and not to the rulers of India.
But the love story of this film is very strong. She soaks to the inside. It instills confidence in the power of love. The love of Shiva and peace does not diminish even in the toughest moments of life. It is love that saves their lives from being bitter and also prevents them from becoming bitter towards their victims. The cinematography of Rangarajan Rambhadran is superb. With his camera, he captures the natural beauty of Kashmir, the life of the people and the mood of the film in the best way. Editing of Vidhu is also good. The song and music of the film is normal.
Adil Khan’s performance as Shiva is very good. In the very first film, he did a great job. He has effectively evoked the suffering of an exiled Kashmiri Pandit from his acting. Saadia also influences the form of peace. This is also her first film and the first film she has been able to impress. Priyanshu Chatterjee’s role as Shiva’s maternal brother Naveen is small, but he remains remembered. The artist who played the role of Latif also has a good performance. The rest of the actors playing small roles have also done their job well.
Shikhara Movie Final Verdict
If you see this film as a love story, then it will impress you, make you emotional, will make you compassionate. But if you relate this to the expulsion of Kashmiri Pandits, their tragedy, then you may be disappointed, because their suffering does not get a clear expression. It is a blatant disregard to the scores of innocent lives lost in the exodus and for the Kashmiri Pandits who hoped for a justice on the big screen.
Shikhara Movie Rating
The News Crunch rates the film 2 out of 5 stars.