An unattended promise? | Film Review- Shikara

Yashi Jaiswal
2 min readDec 6, 2020

Film review of Shikara in 300 words: Promising to serve the story of a tragic event- The exodus of Kashmiri residents from their own country, the movie Shikara fails to do so and diverts from the main subject. The movie is set in the 1990s and is based on a real story with fictitious characters, Shanti (Sadia) and Shiv Kumar Dhar(Aadil Khan). The film is directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra and the screenplay is written by the director along with Rahul Pandita and Abhijat Joshi.

The film speaks the language of blossoming and retentious love between Shanti and Shiv who meet out of their interests for poetry and then they get married in a purely Kashmiri way. While they were all set in their new home, Shikara, tragedy knocks on their door.

The breathtaking exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits takes place (on 19 January 1990) and the couple has to unwillingly leave their home behind and is made to live as refugees in their own country. However, the exodus of 4,00,000 Kashmiri Pandits stays as a background element and the focus is shifted upon the displacement of the couple from Kashmir.

Instead of putting the light on the tragic events of death, loss, rape, murder, and evacuation of the Kashmiri Pandits from the valley, the movie remains more as a grander scheme of representation of the strong bond between the couple and how they manage to live happily through thick and thin.

However, the couple pays a visit to the valley after 18 years but only to return back. This scene triggers the emotions of the audience with spellbinding poetry. The movie ends on the note where Shiv manages to fulfill the wishes of Shanti where she rests forever in his arms.

The setting, time, and costumes reflect a match with that of the 90s Kashmir scenario. It’s a film that makes you feel good but does not deliver the exact theme that it promises to present in the film poster, “An Untold Story of Kashmiri Pandits”.