Director: Kunak Deshmukh
Cast: Sunny Kaushal, Radhika Madan, Mohit Raina, Diana Penty
Rating: 2.5 Stars
The word ‘love’ has a different interpretation for everyone, even in Bollywood films. Prem’s definition of love would be different from Raj’s interpretation, which might be distinct from that of Rahul’s. With the newly released Shiddat, director Kunal Deshmukh introduces us to Jaggi (Sunny Kaushal) and Kartika’s (Radhika Madan) love story with the parallel track of Gautam (Mohit Raina) and Ira (Diana Penty).
After films like Jannat, Tum Mile and Jannat 2, Kunal continues with his idea of exploring the intense romantic space wherein the characters are layered with multiple conflicts. The filmmaker presents the tale like a beautiful poetry in motion – lavish cinematography, soothing music, good performances. But the issue with Shiddat lies in the way the conflict is established and the manner in which it untangles. What sounds like a promising idea on paper, does not exactly translate on screen due to the unrealistic turn of events in the screenplay.
The rhetorical question – How far would one travel for love – gets an answer in Shiddat, however, that’s not convincing enough for one to be immersed in the narrative. While the narrative does have some tender moments, where you feel for the characters, the impact of those is diluted in the longer run due to the prolonged run-time. Through the narrative, it’s the dialogues that keep the interest intact as they have a fine blend showcasing the metamorphoses of human emotion in different scenarios. The production values, as is the case for all Dinesh Vijan films, are top notch. The music is soulful and the picturization springs in the element of freshness in the narrative.
Talking of the performances, Sunny Kaushal packs a powerful punch. The actor is in his complete element, announcing his arrival as a performer. It’s a complex character and aces the emotional space with ease. He has the on-screen charisma and not once does he look like a newcomer with little experience. Radhika Madan is enjoying herself for a major chunk of her screen time, and does well in the emotional scenes too. Mohit Raina is effortless and let’s his eyes do the talking. As an actor, he manages to bring calm in the most intense moments of the film. He is stellar in the emotional moments. Diana Penty shows the potential of being a credible actor yet again, however, sadly doesn’t have much to do. She merely acts as a small catalyst in the story.
Shiddat has some moments, which along with the performance of lead characters make for a decent watch in parts, however, is run down by the unreal turn of events in the narrative and prolonged run-time. Some love stories are evergreen and some try to be one. Shiddat, unfortunately, falls in the second category