Saturday, July 2News That Matters

The cast and crew of the film Shershaah share how they have closely stuck to details of martyr Captain Vikram Batra’s real life

Gurnaaz Kaur

The bravery of Captain Vikram Batra (PVC) and his sacrifice during the Kargil War is known to many. There’s much written about him and now we also have a biopic that not only showcases his legendary act on the battlefield, but also gets one acquainted with his larger-than-life persona.

Directed by Vishnu Vardhan, Shershaah has Sidharth Malhotra in the titular role along with Kiara Advani, who plays his beloved Dimple Cheema. Titled after Vikram Batra’s codename during the Kargil war, Shershaah, this is a special film for many reasons. It is a dream-come-true for Vikram Batra’s family, as in 2015 they were approached for a film. Vishal Batra, Vikram’s twin brother, says, “Shabbir Boxwala from Kaash Entertainment proposed the idea. That was also the time when we already had a dream to make a film on the life of Vikram. Dharma Productions came in later and I am delighted that together they have showcased Vikram’s story on the big screen.”

Special role

It is the first time that Sidharth is essaying a real-life character on screen. He says, “Makes it all the more special and also brings with it a lot of responsibility because he is someone who is really revered in the Army.”

Kiara, on the other hand, spent time with Dimple and learnt about the many memories she had with Vikram. “It was the best thing to meet Dimple and hear from her first-hand all the moments that they had shared with each other. It’s so beautiful and also a very unique relationship to be with someone who’s serving the nation. You don’t get to meet each other so often. Their courtship was of four years and during that time they must have met each other not even for 12 months. Back in the 90s it was so difficult to communicate. But it just seemed like such a pure love story to understand why someone would then take a decision to remain unmarried for the rest of their life!”

After many successful Tamil films, to debut in Hindi cinema, that too with a biopic, normally brings with it a lot of pressure but director Vishnu calls it a lifetime opportunity. “It couldn’t have been a better start than Shershaah. A film based on Indian Army and that too on a hero like Captain Vikram Batra,” he beams.

Charming person

Both Kiara and Sidharth say Captain Batra was a very passionate man, According to Sidharth, “He was this very charming, lovable, good-hearted Punjabi boy who used to exude positivity.” And after knowing the love story so closely, Kiara says, “The things that he did charmed her and everyone around him. She was very gracious to share all of that with us. And through her I also experienced what the partner of someone who is serving the nation would go through.”

Many of the dialogues and situations in the films are what happened in real life. So, whether it is yeh dil maange more or Vikram’s promise ‘to return after either hoisting the flag or being wrapped in it’ are originally said by him. “We just had to enact it and I think Vishnu and Sandeep have done a fabulous job. It is extremely challenging to tell somebody’s story in two hours. But we hope people get the essence of who Captain Vikram Batra was and why he is so celebrated within the Army,” Sidharth sums it up.

(Releasing on Amazon Prime Video today)

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