First things first. By all means, this must be the toughest role for Sidharth Malhotra to enact. While he has been a part of several popcorn entertainers as well as intense action thrillers, the closest he has come to delivering a flawless performance has been in Kapoor & Sons. Well, here is the (not so) news (anymore): Shershaah is his best act ever and the reasons are aplenty.
First and foremost, he is required to play multiple roles in the same film. To be a gawky college youngster who is still figuring out a way to propose to a girl to someone who is fidgety about his career choices to someone who is a rookie in the army to the one who starts getting a hang of what this world means to and then going ahead and leading the show in the biggest war that the current generation has witnessed, there was a lot that he was required to bring on the table.
So how does he go and do that? He amalgamates all the innocence that he has retained from the days of Student of the Year, stays on to be a charmer as he has been from the times of Hasee Toh Phasee, unloads his action persona from the likes of Brothers, gets the filmy dramatic quotient going a la Marjaavaan, doesn’t let go of his naughty side which was on display in A Gentleman, says a few things in a matter of fact tone as he did in Aiyaary, demonstrates the kind of no nonsense swag which won him fans in Ek Villain, and then adds on a lot more.
That’s what makes Shershaah a lot more special since for Sidharth, this was truly a passion project and one can see that in the way this two hour long film unfolds. There is a definite vision that the team had and with Vishnu Vardhan calling the shots as the director and Karan Johar backing it up well as a producer, the end result has emerged as the kind which plays on as a solid entertainer.
There are number of other producers involved in the film; the one who spearheaded it all being Shabbir Boxwala, and typically in such cases there is always a risk of too many cooks spoiling the show. However none of that actually happens here since it is evident that as the man who wanted to bring it all together, Sidharth Malhotra, there was definite control on display.
This is what ends up making Shershaah a complete film (from the entertainment perspective) as it doesn’t just play on as a war film but then adds on many other elements to it. The romance between Sidharth and Kiara is just balanced, the bond which he has with his parents and friends isn’t overdone, the subtle humor quotient even on the battlefield doesn’t make the war drama frivolous, while the technical details are the kind which are just apt instead of being overwhelming. As for the action that plays on, it is definitely exciting with the sound of guns and explosions been truly authentic.
As a result, Shershaah turns out to be the kind of entertainer which is truly balanced and only ends up making you ask for a lot more. You want to know more about any fears that Shershaah faced. You want to delve deeper into whether he ever doubted his own abilities. You want to get insights into whether his decision making was always well thought or did impulse play a larger role. As a result, while this two hour long film turns out to be a crisp affair, somewhere you equate this to being more of an entertainer than a timeless epic.
Perhaps that was not the idea either for Sidharth, which is to make an epic of gigantic proportion. Perhaps all he wanted was the story of Captain Vikram Batra to be brought to the audiences, so that they can pay their respect to the man who laid down his life for the country.
Well, in that aspect, he along with the team succeeds, and how.