Have you ever wondered what a movie would look like if it continued the way it started? Shiddat begins on a romantic note as a couple in love take an eternal vow at their wedding ceremony. And it continues to move musically from sentimentality to comedy to drama and physically. From Punjab to Calais to London, with a three-year time jump. Everything goes fast, and we’re interested in which, as any narrator will tell you, is half the battle.
And then the film starts heading south, unravelling perpetually, and that’s where the other half goes.
It sparkles between students Jagi (Sunny Causal) and Kartika (Radhika Madan), whose fun encounter occurs at a sports camp. He was one of those useless boys who thought that a girl who woke him up. With her mouth would kiss him. Yeah, that’s right, he’s a swimmer who needs to find his mojo. There are your jokes, songs and dances and rolls around a little in the hay. And then the two go their separate ways.
At that point, even if you complain about young men refusing to grow up. And stupid young women who don’t know the difference between “here” or “out,” you start to like the two of them. Because being one has a certain freshness. in the early scene. And suddenly, the film changes: Jagie finds himself in an internment camp off the coast of France, longing to cross the English Channel. Where his only actual love lives, gasping for air and preparing to marry.
Meanwhile, real lovebirds Gautam and Ira (Mohit Raina and Diana Penty) come across as warlike Jodi. He’s a professional diplomat, a bloodthirsty liberal who loves illegal immigrants. They can become a common thread if the conspiracy doesn’t just turn them into a means to show us what “janam-janam ka piar” means.
Mohit Raina’s character can look twisted at times. We don’t blame her:
How do you take this film seriously when the lead actor, hitherto petrified by a swimming pool, jumps into the ocean (breaking waves! Stirring propellers! Ship!) to reach the girl of your dreams? The absurdity continues. When the mystery of flying a plane like a frozen passenger finally emerges, we’ll be ready.
But that same man finds himself at the end of the reception when the woman in his life tells him that he sees only shades of blue, while he feels a riot of colours – red, green, purple, the whole palette. With all this talk about food and pigment, there is evidence of illegal migrants, activism for refugee rights and the ghost of deportation.
Jagi and Kartika are at the poles. Likewise, with the actors who play the two characters. Sunny Causal gives male characters a worldly quality. Radhika Madan gives Kartika openly, if not firmly. The chemistry between wires is fundamental. Mohit Raina adds a bit of gravity to the production, but with features sinking into shallowness and redundancy, its game efforts could fall overboard.
None of the key figures is in a clear social or family context.
The only one whose family is visible at a glance is Kartika. Jaggy mentions his mother several times, but the audience doesn’t know who she is. The manuscript does not provide any information about the whereabouts of the Indian consular officer in France or his wife. But here, too, the father says everything; mother hangs in the background and has no sound in the margins.
No matter what flight noise Shiddat made in his two and a half hours, his heart wasn’t always in the right place. At one point, the object of the hero’s affection says that she feels like the heroine of a 90’s Hindi film. That’s not far from the goal. What Shiddat’s voice conveyed hardly matched what his soul conveyed. Like the two main characters, they move in different directions. Not a big spectacle.