Shiddat (2021/ Romance/ Disney Hotstar)
The story revolves around a man whose love for the concept of love, his obsession for his love interest and his bright, sunny and brash streak changes his course of life and those of others involved.
Director – Kunal Deshmukh
Writer – Sridhar Raghavan, Dheeraj Rattan
Cast – Sunny Kaushal, Mohit Raina, Radhika Madan, Diana Penty
The story opens to show much-in-love couple Gautam (Mohit) and Ira (Diana) getting married.
Jaggi (Sunny) is a happy-go-lucky boy who gets so motivated by their love and so obsessed with the concept of love that when he meets Kartika (Radhika) he refuses to see that the chemistry between them is not love.
Sunny’s obsession takes him across oceans and this surge will change the course of life, his and others.
Had been reading umpteen feedbacks about this film and quite some polarised ones too.
And it’s quite clear why and where the conflict is.
The whole stalker concept where the boy is so delusional that he refuses to accept the glaring fact that the girl doesn’t love him is problematic. But what actually is the saving grace is the way Jaggi’s character has been sketched and portrayed. The makers give his personality a genuineness of intentions despite his shenanigans.
Instead of the aggressive machoism, there’s a tenderness and disarming charm about him. This golden hearted boy makes us feel for him even though his foolhardiness is exasperating.
I don’t see it as validation of toxic stalker syndrome or romanticisation of the sick and aggressive romeos pestering the girls. It was Jaggi’s inherent goodness and innocence that made the connect.
I think it’s possible to just enjoy a character and story and leave it at that. Not all stories are meant to imbibe from or validate behaviours.
The film has its share of flaws and lags but overall redeems itself and the cast and performances had a lot to do with it.
Sunny Kaushal’s portrayal brings an adorable tinge to Jaggi. The actor is fluid, natural and looks confident in his debut. Will look forward to seeing his next.
Mohit Raina brings a superb brooding gravity to Gautam. Many of his scenes sans dialogues, with complex emotions and subtle expressions stood out.
Radhika gives a good performance as Kartika. Though I find a lot of similarities in her expressions and mannerisms in her different roles but this time, I found her efforts and nuances stepped up.
Diana looks good in her small role. Maybe I am biased but I really like her subdued portrayals.
I found the film engaging and Sunny and Mohit’s performances impressive. Together they make the film a pleasure to watch. Even though the film lags in places, it strikes a chord.