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‘Shaurya’ Kya Hai (What is ‘Shaurya’)? A direct meaning is gallantry, heroism or bravery. However, Samar Khan’s analysis is what constitutes a feeling of bravery. The maker draws an obvious contrast between bravery and seeking vengeance. Heroism is not about overpowering the minority and seeking vengeance; in contrast, it is about standing up for what is right and doing what is right. That is the essence of Shaurya. A story about the real meaning of “shaurya” or “gallantry” that is, the power and courage to do the right thing. Yeh Shaurya hai. (That is Shaurya)

Major Siddhant Chaudhary (Rahul Bose) is an army officer who cannot get enough of the adventures of life. Living on the edge and being as adventurous as possible is his way of seeking fun. However, fate has a much higher purpose for his adventures. Under unusual circumstances, Major Siddhant is transferred to a sensitive military zone in Srinagar where he is to represent accused officer Javed Khan in his court martial as his defence lawyer. The traditional army way of life that Major Siddhant is accustomed to dictates that you do what you are ordered to do and only ask questions of “where” and “when”; however, what happens when questions of “why” are raised? It is when, Major Siddhant starts to address the issues of why Javed Khan is being prosecuted and under what circumstances his offence took place, that the story of Shaurya starts to unfold.

Accompanying Siddhant on this journey to find the real story of officer Javed Khan is his good friend Akash Kapoor (Javed Jaffery) who is the prosecutor of the case and Kavya Shastri (Minissha Lamba) who is the journalist that prompted Siddhant to question the “why” in Javed’s case.

However, finding out the truth is not as easy as questioning a few officers and examining the crime scene. Things are far more complicated when army politics and hierarchical power are involved. Especially when all Siddhant was ordered to do by his seniors was to enter the court room and not defend the accused but rather simply plead guilty.

Afraid to divulge in further details that would constitute as spoilers, you’ll all just have to witness the rest of Siddhant’s story yourself. What I will divulge in is the details of a perfection that is on-screen in cinemas near you titled, Shaurya.

Director Samar Khan tackles a topic that may have been touched upon by makers in the past but never so thoroughly analysed and explained. The subject of the abuse and violation of human rights could not have been more relevant to the political situation of the world today, especially since the invocation of the Iraq war and the ongoing saga at Kargil. Samar Khan tackles a story that dictates what army values should be and what it is perceived to be. He sheds light on the concept of having an ounce of humanity with the patriotism that a soldier has toward his country and the respect he/she has toward their seniors. All three of these things combine to form the real values of a fighter and only with these values can one declare himself/herself to have true gallantry or “shaurya”.

Rahul Bose is, without a doubt, one of the finest actors we have amongst us. Initially he was thought to be just an “art house” actor however he proved his versatility time and time again with the roles he has delivered over the last few years. Shaurya is surely going to be remembered as one of his most outstanding performances and a performance that will take him to new heights. It is not a surprise to say that the actor delivered a performance that not only blew you away but also was absolutely flawless. However special mention also needs to be made to the writers who constructed the character of Siddhant so beautifully and Rahul just fit the role perfectly. An absolutely admirable performance!

Minissha Lamba also reaches new heights with this role. Her introduction scene leaves the most significant impact and you immediately fall in love with the character of Kavya Shastri. Her looks compliment the character beautifully and the actress is flawless in all areas of her performance. Definitely a remarkable performance that will stand out in her filmography.

After watching Shaurya, you realise how underrated Javed Jaffery has been in the last few years. With ridiculous (for the lack of a better word) roles such as those in Salaam Namaste and other titles, you simply are frustrated with directors for wasting such a talented artist once you witness his performance in Shaurya. The actor delivers a highly commendable and mature performance that deserves all the praises it can get! A real revelation considering his roles have been so juvenile in recent time.

Kay Kay Menon has a significant role that leaves more than just a strong impact despite only having a screen presence that is not quite lengthy. The actor simply leaves you shaken with his presence and dialogue delivery. Once again another flawless performance.

Amrita Rao is a pleasant surprise however, in a very important role. She delivers it with ease and perfection yet again. She proves that her versatility is unlimited and there is so much more of her talent that is yet to be showcased.

Samar Khan needs to also be congratulated on the perfect utilisation of the music. The music is beautifully incorporated and does not steal the limelight from the script nor does it hinder the flow of the movie. A very useful attribute for a movie of such a nature.

This review would be incomplete without special mention to Aparna Malhotra, who penned the dialogues for the movie. They are effective yet not dramatic and they are also the perfect balance between English and Hindi. The blend between the two languages is realistic and absolutely natural. Hindi was articulated in a way that is rare in today’s movies, especially in relation to the court proceedings scene and the scenes involving Kay Kay Menon.

To sum up the experience of Shaurya is a tough task. However, I can say with a guarantee that it is a movie of substance, powerful performances, well defined characters and a screenplay that flows beautifully. Now those are attributes that are very rare to find all in one movie! If you feel that Indian cinema has lacked any of the above attributes in its recent releases, then Shaurya is the movie for you.

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