Hansal Mehta, the director of Shahid was on a sabbatical, I guess. Why, isn’t difficult to guess. He was delivering one bad film after another. And then he returns all charged. If this is the result of all that soul searching, then I suggest he share his secret with Ram Gopal Varma pronto. For me, it is extremely important to analyse the maker and the circumstances which led him to make a film like these because such films are extremely difficult to make and even more difficult to find a commercial release.
But Oh boy, am I glad or what that Shahid found a release for itself. It is a riveting film which delivers a solid punch at the end of it all. Shahid is the story of noted criminal lawyer Shahid Azmi who was nothing short of a messiah for individuals wrongly accused of crimes and branded terrorists. In a career spanning 7 years, Shaid secured 17 acquittals. Which is an unbeatable achievement considering the slow pace of Indian judiciary and for this reason alone, his story had to be told. But what led Shahid on his quest for justice was the 7 years he spent in Tihar jail before he was acquitted as the police clearly did not have a shred of evidence against him.
This led him to decide to save others from a fate like his and he lost his life,but never gave up on his principals. And the film narrates it as it is and this ensures you are gripped from start to end, which isn’t really easy while making a bio pic.
One of the key strengths of Shahid is its fantastic music score. This helps to accentuate several scenes and takes the drama a notch higher. The performances are all uniformly terrific. Rajkumar as Shahid is perfect. Kay Kay Menon in a small role leaves an unforgettable impression and Mohd Zeeshan Ayub as Shahid’s brother is very very good. The girl playing Shahid’s wife Maryam left me stunned in some of her scenes.
It is not everyday that I come out of a film trying to find faults, but not able to find any. The pace, the dialogues and every other aspect is bang on.
If films are your first love, Go watch Shahid before it is taken off theaters. As Shahid says never give up on justice. ” Der lagti hai, par ho jaata hai”.