3.0 / 5
Quick Tech: This is a love story made for die-hard romantics
Young IFS officer Gautam (Mohit Raina) made an indifferent remark about how he met his wife Ira (Diana Penty) at his wedding reception. “If I hadn’t met you in London, I would have stayed in Paris or Amsterdam,” he says, “because you’re lucky Mary.” It’s cheese as hell and he knows it. But this is a speech that a groom should give. Influential collegiate Jaggi (Sunny Strategy), who crashed the wedding gate, though didn’t get the memo. He took the speech to heart and determined his life by it. Three years later, he met NRI girl Karthika (Radhika Madan) at a sports camp. He is a hockey player and he is a swimmer trying to get a place in the Indian team. Like the protagonist of a normal Hindi film, he first started following him. The sparks fly and he begins to help her become a better swimmer, becoming a kind of life coach. Eventually they sleep together. But there is a catch. He is already engaged and is getting married in London in three months. He begged her to stop marrying him. He, being more practical, it’s just talking hormones. The separation will cool their emotions and he can stop it if he lands in London three months later. He took her to his word and left DDLJ like Raj, to persuade her Simran. But this is where the match ends. He does not have the resources to go to London legally and therefore takes the path of illegal immigrants. He arrived in France but was apprehended by authorities. His Indian case officer is none other than Gautam, whose own marriage to Ira was in stone. Gautam advises him to forget Kartik and return to India to start a new life. Nevertheless, Jaggi’s spirits and positivity rub off on Gautam and persuade him to give his relationship another chance. But there is something else in the destiny to wake up …
It is said that love fools us all. The stupidity of one man is the passion of another man. And that passion makes him forget everything other than the object of his desire. That, in fact, is the short story of Shiddat. It’s a vague story, just holding a mirror for Jaggi’s pain and suffering. He initiates an Odyssey under the notion that Kartika loves him as deeply. The film hints at a classic love story like Sohni-Mahiwal but the two people there fell in love very much. Here, Karthik is shown as highly practical who has not been in touch with him for so long. Who thinks he’s being teased when he calls from Paris. For her, she is nothing more than a wonderful memory to hold on to on a cold night. He’s not burning in the same flame as he is and that’s the biggest problem with the film. Like the general romance of the 90s, her father dropped her off at her house and asked her to marry the man he had chosen for her. This is a bigger problem for today. Has our sensitivity not changed a bit over the years? In the meantime, the girls were more liberal, not independent? Where is his rebellion? Why doesn’t he swim in the English Channel, as he does, to stay with her? He may have succeeded as a swimming champion. Why is he pushing himself to get a place in the Indian swimming team, when he wants to decide what he wants? Apparently the writers were not up to date. To keep a man’s quest alive, the love story of Mohit Raina and Diana Panty, which started all this, was removed. He is a career diplomat and he is a bloody heart generous. But we will create an interesting thread in which their conflict is not shown enough.
Unequal writing is encouraged by some power-packed performances. It is really clever to cast Sunny Kaushal and Radhika Madan together. This is a new pairing that definitely shares the cracking chemistry. Sunny and Radhika are both natural actors and you can see that they are quarreling with each other. As long as they stay together on screen, the movie goes along nicely. We want to know them more, and see how they explore their relationship further. But the DDLJ obsessed director had other ideas and those were small. Thanks to both Sunny and Radhika for giving a hundred percent for their character and for making the movie come alive through their acting. The love affair between Mohit Raina and Sunny is also right. He comes across as this annoying, indifferent big brother who has given up love and is delighted to see Sunny joke. Raina gives the film a much-needed gravity. Her chemistry with Diana Panty is also fine. She is rarely seen in movies and we wish this talented actress had more to do.
As mentioned earlier, Shiddhat is a film that is strictly suited for romance. To make it more realistic, director Kunal Deshmukh has also touched on the issue of illegal immigration in it but it is actually for cosmetic effect. He’s gotten credible performances from the lead actors, but it’s a really big advantage. If he had worked harder on the script …
Ronak Kotecha, October 1, 2021, 3:30 AM IST
3.0 / 5
Story: A young lover who diligently changes the course of his life follows the girl, whom he thinks is his soul mate. But his journey across the continent is full of problems, reality checks and seemingly one-sided obsessions. Will he find love or be destroyed in search of love?
Revaluation: It is love at the first sight of Jaggir (Sunny Kaushal) when he sees Kartika (Radhika Madan) coming out of the swimming pool. But the sparks don’t fly away instantly, as follows a broad ‘hate pair what pehli beej hai’ type process, trying every technique in the book to attract the awake girl. There’s something fun here, as director Kunal Deshmukh takes us to 90’s brand movies that run in a modern environment. It’s a bit of a problem to see a very inspired young man who is obsessed with a girl and doesn’t take any answers – something that was not only adopted in the 90’s but also celebrated with songs and dances. ‘Shiddhat’ moves dangerously close to this but fortunately, the writers (Sridhar Raghavan, Dheeraj Ratan) give the girl enough agency, who is free enough to take a stand on her own. As a passionate love story, ‘Shiddhat’ is entirely directed from the perspective of her male protagonist Jaggi, who is given enough time to develop a manic obsession. The whole first half is light and airy with campus romance, flirting and lots of dance music – basically everything except academics. What works here is the cause of the unpredictability, because you wonder what this impossible love story will be like.
There aren’t many characters in ‘Shiddat’ that are refreshing, but their individual arcs could be defined more intensely. The story of Mohit Raina and Diana Panty has very few suffixes that seem to exist only to aid the central story, which is fine, but it doesn’t seem biological. Sunny has the most difficult time playing the role of a bouncy boyfriend-boy with serious boundary issues, and when the actor tries his best to make it believable, his character graph becomes very difficult to believe. Radhika Madan struggles to effectively portray Karthik’s internal conflict on screen, for the most part, resorting to trouble to express her concerns. Mohit Raina has played the role of Gautam, a fair Indian immigration lawyer in a foreign country, but many movies have the freedom to take him seriously. Diana Penty looks gorgeous as an independent young Ira, but her character could have evolved more effectively. For a love story, ‘Shiddat’ has average music (Sachin-Jigar) that grows on you and is used to effectively improve the narrative. Rich films (by Amalendu Chowdhury), the film shows visual subtlety.
The main problem with ‘Shiddat’ is that it is an exciting concept on paper that tends to drag into implementation, especially in the second half. The story is sometimes highly unrealistic and irrational, but what goes on is a sense of instability and suspense. However, it is true that in today’s realistic movie world we often don’t see completely insane, raw and abusive love stories. This one goes there with intensity, but doesn’t move you deeply.