Shiddat Review: Nothing to Love About This Sunny Kaushal, Radhika Madan Film
Shiddat is streaming on Disney+Hotstar.
Shiddat Review: Nothing to Love About Sunny Kaushal, Radhika Madan Film
You know how a good romantic film, love story or song makes us fall in love with the idea of love itself? Well, that doesn’t happen in Shiddat (released on Disney+Hotstar), because the film has the exact opposite effect. It will make us baulk at the very idea, given the sheer silliness with which this pristine emotion is ridiculed.
The movie opens on a promising note. A couple that's madly in love are getting engaged and making heartfelt speeches about destiny, lovers and soulmates. Then, we meet a group of young boys who are having a merry time gatecrashing the party. One boy, with a Cheshire cat’s grin and tipsy demeanour, seems to be the most taken in by the PDA. He swears then and there to find 'the one' girl to fall in love with. A lot of back and forth happens, from three years later to two months back, but eventually we meet the same guy at a detention camp. From Jalandhar to Calais and now in urgent need to reach London. But why? All for love.
The man on love steroids is Jaggi (Sunny Kaushal), who met Kartika (Radhika Madan) at a national sports camp. The little said about their dalliance the better because for a film that has such a poor understanding of love, romance and relationships, it's no surprise that it mistakes stalking and creepiness for attraction and desire. We are used to seeing how boys are rewarded for their obnoxious behaviour on screen, and the same happens here. Why fret when the worst is yet to come?
Jaggi’s life is inexplicably intertwined with that of Gautam’s, an Indian diplomat who soon finds himself chasing the very man who gatecrashed his engagement party. In one scene we hear Jaggi saying, “Paaji mujhe jaane do, mujhe jaana hai”. One can't understand if he is indeed in the throes of love or in a desperate need to relieve himself and answer nature’s call. The latter would make more sense as it's okay to urgently want to pee than wish to swim across the English channel for a girl who never accepted your proposal and expect her to cancel her wedding only because you turned up grinning.
Shiddat is trying to say something about modern day love and how we must strive to make the relationships work.
Gautam and Ira have hit a rough patch and Mohit Raina and Diana Penty, despite the shoddy writing, try to imbue some sense into the proceedings. However, guilt-tripping a girl into saying yes to a guy is just too much to deal with.
Kartika and Jaggi are two extremely flawed characters, but that isn’t the problem. In fact, that should make them more real and relatable. But the writing is so bad, and the film so hell bent on making a grand statement that it remains frustratingly oblivious as to how stupid everything around here is.
Radhika Madan and Sunny Kaushal try very hard, but their characters lack any sort of self-awareness, and the film's determined eagerness to take them all too seriously is exasperating to watch.
Shiddat remains a film about a guy throwing a massive tantrum and spoiling the party for everyone. Nothing to love here really, though it would be interesting to see more of Mohit Raina and Diana Penty in a better film.
Our rating: Half a Quint out of 5
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