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Shikara Movie Review: An Ode To Kashmir.

Modified On: 07 February 2020 | Reviewed By:

The filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra has made a film which rather taking about the political conflict talks about love and humanity.


Director: Vidhu Vinod Chopra | Music Director: Sandesh Shandilya, Abhay Sopori

Shikara Movie Poster

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Cast: Aadil Khan, Sadia

Directed By: Vidhu Vinod Chopra

January 19, 1990, was a black night for all the Kashmiri Pandits who had to flee their beautiful homes in the Valley to live the life of a refugee in their own country. 30 years after the mass exodus of around 4 lakh Pandits, filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra, who had to abandon his home in Kashmir, made a film to tell the world about the plight of Kashmiri Pandits in Shikara.

In a political atmosphere when Kashmiri Pandits are being used to spread hate, Chopra decided to tell the story of love. Shikara is heart-wrenching, it will leave you thinking about how dead humanity is and how greed and hatred can ruin even heaven. But it doesn't make you hate a particular community. Shikara inspires hope and courage. It makes you believe in love and that it is only loved that can win the war. It also asks questions of really the exodus was needed.

Shiv Kumar Dhar (Aadil Khan) and Shanti (Sadia) belong to the perpetually optimistic lot who think they can overcome any situation with love. They get married and start a new life in their new home, Shikara. The communal tension in Kashmir is rising with Kashmiri Muslim youths taking up guns to fight for their freedom. Kashmiri Pandits are asked to leave the Valley with threats of killings and blasts. But the literate Kashmiri Pandit community believes that it will subside eventually. Years pass by, and the violence increases in the Valley and on January 19, 1990, they experience what they never thought they would.

With thousands of other Kashmiri Pandits, Shiv and Shanti come to Jammu and start a new life in a refugee camp where they live in tents made of bedsheets, which then graduate to a bit stronger ones and then to a small quarter. Shiv, who lost his brother Naveen to the guns, writes letters to the President of America informing him about the havoc caused by their guns.

A sequence that has the couple return for a short, painful reason, sees them making a quick stop at the home they had to flee. They walk up the steps, see the changes, and the family of the man they trusted huddled in a room. And there it is, staring at us, the shame of the interloper, the betrayal and loss. It’s near-wordless, and for that, powerful.

The newcomers Sadia and Aadil Khan look beautiful together. While they are irresistible as a young couple, they look a bit awkward in the scenes where they are shown as older people. Adil is more impressive playing the role of an older Shiv Kumar Dhar. Sadia, on the other hand, should be appreciated for the conviction with which she plays the role of an optimistic and supportive wife. The rest of the actors are real Kashmiri Pandits from Jammu. 

AR Rahman's music does magic to the film. With Sandesh Shandilya, the music maestro presents you with the scenic beauty of Kashmir in his music. Irshad Kamil's lyrics provide the right support.

Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Shikara is a film on the plight of Kashmiri Pandits made with the right amount of sensibility and compassion. 

All in all, this a beautiful love story's translation to the screen is almost flawless and I think it deserves a watch.

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