Saga of ‘Shershaah’ Vikram Batra and Dimple Cheema

The Kargil battle was the most difficult mountain combat ever experienced. This historical conflict, fought at a dizzying altitude of 17,000 feet, had a lot on the line.

The Kargil battle was the most difficult mountain combat ever experienced. This historical conflict, fought at a dizzying altitude of 17,000 feet, had a lot on the line. Pakistani forces posing as Kashmiri militants invaded the Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC).

The conflicts rapidly developed into a full-fledged battle, and a soldier’s rise from Lieutenant to Captain was charted for his utter daredevilry and patriotic zeal in raising the tricolour at the highest point of combat. Even if it meant sacrificing his own life for the greater good.

‘Shershaah’, a biographical action film starring Sidharth Malhotra, was just released on Amazon Prime Video. Sidharth plays Captain Vikram Batra, a real-life Kargil hero who sacrificed his life in the service of the nation while recapturing Indian territory from Pakistani intruders during the Kargil War in 1999.

Vikram BatraDuring the Kargil War in 1999, Batra was elevated to the rank of Captain. Captain Vikram Batra’s Delta Company was instructed to reclaim one of the most difficult and vital peaks, peak 5140, on June 19 from the sub-sectors of Drass and Batalik. He and his Delta Company, known as Sher Shah, intended to surprise the enemy by attacking from behind.

They ruthlessly crushed the enemy forces and captured the Point 5140. Later, Vikram Batra and his team were assigned the the most difficult task of capturing the Point 4875, which they did with their valour and determination. But, in the process, Captain Vikram Batra laid down his lives.

Batra exposed himself to enemy fire to drag the injured soldier to safety, was hit on the chest and later succumbed to his injury. However, he ensured that the peak was regained from the enemy forces.  He was later awarded the Param Vir Chakra, India’s highest gallantry award.

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In “Shershaah’, Director Vishnu Varadhan and writer Sandeep Srivastava take things slowly. So we’re brought back to Captain Vikram Batra’s (Sidharth Malhotra) upbringing and shown his early childhood years, including meeting the love of his life, Dimple Cheema (Kiara Advani), before he’s eventually sent as a Lieutenant to the 13 JAK Rifles.

Filmmaker Vishnu Varadhan faced a tremendous challenge in bringing the vast quantities of data and milestones from the Kargil conflict to life, although the most of it is covered in the second half. In the battle sequences, Sidharth Malhotra impresses, and his acting develops throughout the film. His sincere attempts to capture the essence of his character’s demeanour are evident on screen, and it is one of his finest performances.

Kiara Advani plays Dimple Cheema, Captain Batra’s fiancée who chose to stay unmarried after he was martyred in the Kargil War. In an interview with PTI, Advani stated, “For me, Dimple is an unsung hero, who fought for her love and faced every challenge that came in her personal life with utmost strength.”

It was not easy for Vikram Batra to convince Dimple’s father, a Sardar who did not want to marry his daughter off to a Punjabi Khatri. Their college love story almost came to an end, but Dimple did not give in and stood firm while Vikram joined the Indian Army, which silenced Dimple’s father. Unfortunately, they could not marry as Vikram sacrificed his life for the nation.

Cheema, whom Advani describes as a modern-day Indian woman, inspires the 26-year-old performer. She embodies the modern Indian woman, who takes her own choices and stands firmly by them. Advani met Cheema before beginning filming for ‘Shershaah’ in order to get into character. “When I was listening to her, it was the feeling I had about him… (It was) almost like I knew him and he became my own. I felt I was part of his life and journey in my own little way through the film,” according to Advani. 

Captain Sanjeev Jamwal is played by Shiv Panditt, who is stern on the surface but emotional on the inside. Major Ajay Singh Jasrotia, played by Nikitin Dheer, and Col. Yogesh Kumar Joshi, played by Shataf Figar, are both remarkable.

The source material for this film is so powerful that you will be sucked in once the men in uniform take it it on themselves to chase out the invaders and recover our homeland. The entire tone of the film is unmistakably patriotic. Many of the battle sequences don’t represent the film’s wide canvas, and are maybe better suited to a big screen experience. Vikram Batra and his sacrifice will live on in our hearts forever.

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