Review by : Manjari Hegde
Starring: Parzan Dastur, Ayesha Kapoor, Sanjay Suri, R Madhavan.
Direction: Piyush Jha
Music: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Production: Big Pictures
‘‘Sikandar’ unwraps with the innocence of a child with Kashmir’s complicated situations as the backdrop. Many films have been made on children’s dilemma, their suffering and how they have been affected by poverty, terrorism, to name a few. Let’s see how Piyush Shah who is inspired by such films puts his vision on screen.

‘Sikandar’ focuses on how a child becomes part of terrorism and loses his innocence. ‘Sikandar’ is played by Parzaan Dastur who is a school going boy and dreams of being a famous football player. His parents were killed in a terrorist attack and since then he has been staying with his uncle and aunt in a small town in Kashmir. One day when he was returning home after his game he finds a gun on the street. Despite Nasreen’s (Ayesha Kapoor) warning, he picks up the gun and thus begins his journey in to the dark side of life. Later, the film revolves around a political leader Mukhtaar Mattoo (Sanjay Suri), Lieutenant Rajesh (R Madhvan) and a militant Zahgeer Quadir (Arunoday Singh).

It is a social drama with some attempts of suspense
thriller but it has not brought out the suspense very well. It has many loopholes and the theme of the film is uni-dimensional. The story of the film apparently has been inspired by the recent situations of Kashmir, which is neither balanced nor peaceful. Such types of stories have been told before and hence there is nothing new about it.

But still one realizes that ‘Sikandar’ is not a usual film which is based on terrorism. When Parzaan kicks the football and a bomb explodes, everything goes beyond the boy’s control. He is a mere victim who is being played by the politicians and the militants. Similar theme has been used in ‘Tahaan’. ‘Sikandar’ starts off very well. The innocence of the protagonist is remarkable but slowly it loses the hold. The viewer gets very confused by the flips between the politician, army and Sikandar. The climax is predictable and still there are unanswered questions at the end. Attempt of a thriller takes the film away from its originality.

All the actors in the film has performed very well. Madhavan has done justice to his short role and impresses one and all with a matured portrayal of an Army General. Sanjay Suri underplays his role very beautifully, an actor of immense talent, Arunoday Singh makes an impressive debut. The child prodigy Parzaan Dastur acts amazingly well, and is a complete natural, This young actor has a bright future ahead of him. The girl who impressed in the movie Black, Ayesha Kapoor fails to grab attention this time around. She is plain mediocre and the accent is very evident.

Piyush Jha has to be complimented for presenting unforgettable scenic beauty of Kashmir. Cinematographer Somak Mukherjee makes sure the viewer takes home beautiful memories of Kashmir. The editing could have been a little crisper. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music is soothing.

On the whole ‘Sikandar’ does not strike the goal despite good performances and cinematography.

Verdict: Old wine in a new bottle

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