Shiddat: Journey Beyond Love presses the eternal question: Is love really destined to be? With a storyline, that sometimes makes sense and sometimes doesn’t, the new Disney+ Hotstar release is filled with a plethora of memorable songs and some groundbreaking performances. Director Kunal Deshmukh tries to retain the essence of his previous films like Jannat and Tum Mile through his new project and, to an extent, it really touches you.
The cast is led by Sunny Kaushal as Jaggi, Radhika Madan as Kartika, Mohit Raina as Gautam and Diana Penty as Ira. With a run time of 2 hours 25 minutes, Shiddat tries to be a tale of both love and stupidity.
– Shiddat review contains mild spoilers –
Shiddat: An Insane Love Affair
At the very beginning of the film, we find Jaggi gatecrashing Gautam’s wedding for free liqueur but, ends up being drunk in Gautam’s speech about love that he delivers for his wife, Ira. Inspired and moved, Jaggi is determined to swim oceans if required for the woman he falls in love with.
The next segment of the film starts three years later where we get a look at Jaggi, tired but hopeful, embarking on an illegal journey to London but ends up being caught and detained where he meets Gautam (a government official)- the guy whose wedding he had crashed. Jaggi narrates Gautam his story of falling in love with a girl named Kartika, in hopes of touching Gautam’s heart. But, the flashback only encourages Gautam to showcase how love is frail and people fall apart with time, exhibiting the example of his marriage with Ira.
Thereon after, Shiddat follows the journey of Jaggi to met his Kartika, constantly toed by Gautam at the hem for deportation. As time passes, Jaggi and Gautam develop a bond, both of who fell in love by chance but still choose to have different opinions and perspectives on love which serve as the central theme to the entire film.
However, the overall premise of the film does not sit right in the light of the 21st century. Jaggi comes off as offensive and obsessive with his actions. Kartika feeds on duality as she tries to be practical by hiding her emotional side. Few instances in the film, such as Jaggi trying to cross the English Channel by simply swimming is impractical and throws this film under the light of what mainstream Bollywood films are like. Although, the dialogues, camaraderie and jokes all fall right into place to polish the delivery of the film.
Shiddat: A Shinning Cast
If there is one thing that makes Shiddat stand out, it is its cast. Sunny Kaushal’s Jaggi shines in the film and keeps the audience attached to the screens from the start till the end. Our tragic in-love hero is another talented face on the rise it seems. Radhika Madan as Kartika is a powerhouse and delivers her best.
Mohit Raina as Gautam, who was also recently seen in Mumbai Diaries 26/11, retains the same vibe of an angry young man but melted and moved by the zeal of love. It will not be wrong to point out that he carried the film as much as Sunny Kaushal. Diana Penty was pleasantly executing her role as Ira to perfection.
Shiddat: Final Verdict
Shiddat is a film that leaves you with the hopes of true love and makes you believe in the existence of soulmates but, it also misleads you into illogical ways to go out of the way just to prove it. It plays on both the good and bad aspects of an Indian film. However, if you are someone who loves to watch sappy but, layered romantic tragedy this might just be the right pick for you.
Shiddat (2021) is now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.