Shiddat (2021): A Journey Beyond Love

If you have ever fallen in love, you would agree to the quote, “Love has no limits, and knows no boundaries”. Director Kunal Deshmukh along with co-producer Bhushan Kumar brings an intense and tragic love story to the big screens titled Shiddat, which means “Passion”. Co-written by Dheeraj Rattan, Shridhar Raghavan and Pooja Surti, Shiddat tells the story of intense love and passion between a hockey player named Jaggi and his girlfriend Kartika. The film features Sunny Kaushal and Radhika Madan in the lead roles. Supporting cast includes Mohit Raina and Diana Penty. Shiddat streams on Disney+ Hotstar.

One fine day while working in the Indian Embassy of U.K., Gautam Sehgal (Mohit Raina) , an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer came across a hockey player named Joginder Dhillion a.k.a Jaggi (Sunny Kaushal) who was caught by the Embassy officials for being an illegal immigrant. Jaggi wanted to reach London as soon as possible as the love of his life, Kartika Singhania (Radhika Madan), was there.

Jaggi started narrating his story to Gautam and the movie takes a flashback three months ago. He being a hockey player, met Kartika, who was a swimmer. They had a rocky relationship which involved teaching each other their own sport and having sex at parties. Time was fun until one day Jaggi came to know that Kartika is getting married to some other guy. He was heartbroken and asked her why she hid this news of her marriage from him. Kartika tells Jaggi that her marriage to that guy was fixed before she had even met him. Kartika was leaving for London. However, she consoled him by saying that if he truly loves her, he should come to London within three months and then she would cancel her wedding. This was the reason Jaggi was going to London by illegally barging into the British territory as his visa for London had failed to get approval.

Radhika Madan as Kartika Singhania and Sunny Kaushal as Joginder Dhillion a.k.a Jaggi in Shiddat

Gautam told Jaggi that as he was an illegal immigrant in the U.K., he would have to be deported to India immediately. Hearing this, Jaggi got excited and tried to escape from the Indian Embassy by getting into a scuffle with the officials there. Due to the heavy scuffle, Jaggi suffered injuries. After he was brought under control, his deportation paperwork began. However, due to the scuffle and the due paperwork, he missed the flight on which he was supposed to be deported to India.

The next flight was after two days. Now Gautam had no other option other than keeping Jaggi with him in his home for those two days. While the two were going home, they passed by the side of the English Channel. Seeing the vast English Channel, Jaggi asked Gautam what lied on the other side. Gautam told him that Kartika resided on the other side of the English Channel. Jaggi laughed and told him that he would swim and cross the English Channel in order to reach her.

Mohit Raina as Gautam Sehgal in Shiddat

Jaggi phone called Kartika and told her that he was in France and he would come to her within two days. He also told her that he had bought a beautiful dress for her. Meanwhile, Gautam was undergoing divorce with his estranged wife Ira (Diana Penty). Jaggi advised him to mend his relationship with her. However, things turned worse between Gautam and Ira and their relationship seemed to be on the verge of its end. Gautam had gone to meet Ira at a restaurant on Jaggi’s advice where she demanded him to sign the divorce paper. This angered Gautam and he signed the paper and left the venue.

Jaggi accompanied Gautam while he was returning home. On the way, he saw a swimsuit and told Gautam that he would swim the English Channel wearing that swimsuit to reach Kartika. At this Gautam got angry and took him to a nearby swimming pool and made him swim continuously. He told Jaggi that the English Channel is about 20 miles long and it would be a suicidal attempt to try to swim and cross it.

Next morning, Gautam woke up and found Jaggi missing. He also found Ira at his doorstep. Jaggi had made a call to her and asked her to reconcile with Gautam. He had also left a letter for Gautam where he wrote that he will reunite with Kartika, no matter what.

Gautam and Ira set on their search for Jaggi but failed to find him. He had already entered the waters of the English Channel and had begun swimming in an endeavor to reach the other side of the U.K. where Kartika resided. Kartika was worried as she knew that Jaggi would come to her after crossing the English Channel but she could never in her life imagine that he was coming by swimming through it!

Diana Penty as Ira and Mohit Raina as Gautam in their marriage scene in Shiddat

Meanwhile, Jaggi started losing energy in the middle of the sea and fainted. Before drowning, he was saved by some strangers on a boat. Gautam informed Kartika that Jaggi was safe and he had tried to swim across the English Channel in order to reach her. Upon hearing this, she called Jaggi and told him that she loved him and demanded him to come and pick her up fast before her parents get her married to the other guy.

Gautam had to give in after seeing the intense love between the two. He decided to drop his plan of deporting Jaggi to India and instead planned to help him reach Kartika. Gautam resorted to illegal means and finally was able to get a passport for Jaggi with a U.K. visa. Ira asked him that why he was risking his job and career for Jaggi. Gautam told her that it was his “guilt feeling” which made him help Jaggi.

Now that the U.K. visa was done, Gautam was supposed to board the plane along with Jaggi and travel with him to help him reunite with Kartika. But things didn’t go the way they should have. Jaggi had made a friend named Bilal (Chirag Malhotra) and told him everything starting from his love life to his illegal immigration in the U.K. Bilal betrayed him at the last moment and informed the cops that Jaggi had boarded the plane with Gautam’s help.

Jaggi was about to board the plane when the cops surrounded the airport bus which was transporting him to the plane. He somehow managed to hide his face and get down along with the other passengers. He had to get in the plane, no matter what! He just couldn’t let the love of his life get married to some other man. So, he applied the wild trick and hid inside the landing gear of the plane!

The landing gear of the plane had enough space for a person to somehow accommodate himself. However, it had a disadvantage as well. As the altitude increases, the temperature drops and a person sitting within the plane’s landing gear can freeze to death!  The only way to survive the harassing cold at that altitude was to become unconscious. However, the worst part was that the person becoming unconscious has to regain consciousness before the plane lands and landing gear opens, else he may fall from the plane! All this was told to Jaggi by Bilal when they used to chat.

Jaggi took his position and somehow accommodated himself in that compact space of the plane’s landing gear. He grabbed the bar of the landing gear to support him as under his legs it would be bare sky and clouds when the plane reaches altitude! The plane took off and the temperature started falling and slowly it got ice cold. Jaggi lost consciousness due to the cold and in his dreams he saw himself reuniting with Kartika.

But destiny had something else written for him. He failed to regain consciousness when the pilot was preparing to land the plane. The landing gear slowly opened up and the unconscious Jaggi fell into the open skies to his death from an altitude of thousands of feet.

Kartika finally had realized her love for Jaggi and had called off her wedding. She was eagerly waiting for his arrival. However, no Jaggi came and it was only Gautam who reached the venue. Gautam informed her about Jaggi’s accidental death. Kartika was traumatized as she had talked to Jaggi just the previous night when he had told her that he was coming to her.

The ending shows Gautam reconciled with his wife Ira. While remembering Jaggi, Gautam narrated this intense love story to his friends and concluded that, every person in this world has his or her own love story, but the common factor that binds two people is the intensity of that love because “love is forever”.

Shiddat (2021) Trailer:

The Good:

A Terrific Tragic Love Story

Jaggi pursues his journey to reach his love Kartika

The emotions shown between Jaggi and Kartika within their love story are bound to make you sentimental. Still, in spite of all the sentiments attached, you will be amazed to learn that Shiddat is basically a one-sided love story! You read that right!

In Shiddat, apart from seeing Jaggi’s painstaking journey to meet the love of his life, you will be taken aback when you learn that Kartika was actually “not sure” whether she would cancel her wedding if Jaggi reaches her. In fact to be precise, Kartika was “not sure” if she really loved Jaggi. A scene in the movie showed her telling this to Gautam over a phone call. Kartika’s uncertain attitude towards Jaggi clearly depicts that her love as well as emotions were not as strong as his. In fact, she just wanted Jaggi to prove his love to her which ultimately cost his life.

When Ira asked Gautam as to why he was risking his career and helping Jaggi, he replied that “This guy travelled 6000 kilometers to reach the love of his life, but myself; I couldn’t cover even 40 feet to bring you back to my life”. The essence of guilt can be clearly seen within Gautam’s words and perhaps this guilty feeling was the reason he decided to accompany Jaggi and help him reunite with Kartika.

A tragedy involving friendship and betrayal also comes into play within Shiddat’s story. You can very well see how Bilal betrayed Jaggi by informing the cops that he was boarding the plane. It was solely due to Bilal’s betrayal that Jaggi had to hide and pursue his journey to his love inside the plane’s landing gear. Bilal had betrayed him in return for a house, a job and the legal citizenship of the U.K.

The ending scene where Jaggi falls off from the plane while still unconscious is direly emotional. If you happen to be a sentimental individual, I bet this scene can make you cry! Shiddat is indeed a tragic love story to shove you into an ocean of emotions.

You may argue with me praising Jaggi’s madness and illegal immigration shown in the U.K. as “good”. But let me tell you that, “There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in that madness”.

Sunny Kaushal And Mohit Raina Rocked The Adventure!

Sunny Kaushal as Jaggi and Mohit Raina as Gautam together pulled the show till the very end. I must say, Sunny Kaushal as the love-stricken Jaggi and Mohit Raina as the matured IFS officer did more than turning this love story into a thrilling adventure ride. Throughout the movie the desire for love can be seen in Jaggi’s eyes and his madness during his pursuit for his love was enthralling. I must also credit Mohit Raina for his awesome dialogue delivery in this movie which made the screenplay quite interesting.

Jaggi tries to swim across the English Channel to reach Kartika

I believe that Shiddat also portrays the essence of brotherhood that Indians have for each other. In a foreign land, it was an Indian who came to help another Indian. Bollywood often portrays this concept of Indian brotherhood in many films. In the last scene, when Gautam was sitting inside the plane and Jaggi was crouched inside the landing gear, as the plane was about to land, a perturbed Gautam stood up from his seat when the pilot switched on the seatbelt sign. He was worried about what would happen to Jaggi if he doesn’t wake up on time as the landing gear of the plane was about to unfold.

Astounding Cinematography

What a VFX masterpiece by cinematographer Amalendu Chaudhury! Starting from Jaggi swimming through the vast wavy English Channel to his falling down from the plane’s landing gear into the open skies, everything was shown with utmost precision. Such great cinematography coupled with the precise editing by A. Sreekar Prasad did amplify the overall viewing experience.

The Bad:

When Gautam Gave The News Of Jaggi’s Death To Kartika

Jaggi crouched in the plane’s landing gear

I feel that the filmmakers should have considered revising the ending sequence where Gautam came to Kartika with the dress that Jaggi had purchased for her to give her the news of his death. The dialogue delivery here was a bit unexpected to me. Gautam just told Kartika that Jaggi had met with an “accident” while he was coming to her. To this she started behaving abnormally over his loss.

Wait a minute! Just because a person had an accident doesn’t mean he or she is dead! It can be that the person is injured and is in a hospital. The ending didn’t show Gautam revealing to Kartika about Jaggi’s death or how he actually died. He just told her that Jaggi had an “accident”. This made me rather confused as to how Kartika could relate the term “accident” to Jaggi’s death.

Radhika Madan As Kartika

This is my personal and honest opinion. The opinions of others may vary. I feel that Radhika Madan by no way suits the lead female character Kartika in Shiddat. She lacks the appeal that can persuade a man to “die for” her. Besides, her voice lacks femininity as well. I believe the filmmakers should have also considered revising the lead female casting in this movie.

As the plane’s altitude increases; the temperature falls and Jaggi gets frozen and unconscious

Rated PG-13!

Kids watch out, because parental guidance is advised! I assure you that you won’t be able to watch the beginning sequences of Shiddat along with your family unless you are very broad-minded. Nudity, random sex scenes, use of abusive and vulgar language, multiple smoking and drinking scenes are all there in this movie.

The Verdict:

The supporting cast in Shiddat included Vidhatri Bandi, Atul Kumar, Hoomayun, Nazneen Madan, Diljohn and Floriane Andersen who carried out their character roles quite well. The songs in Shiddat are average except for the title track composed and sung by Manan Bharadwaj which was somewhat appealing.

Shiddat
The ending scene where an unconscious Jaggi falls from the landing gear of the plane to his death

The most important aspect which Shiddat portrays is the commitment within a relationship. I must admit to the fact that there can be no relationship unless there is a commitment. That commitment towards his love can be seen within the frantic lover character of Jaggi. If you desire to watch a love story which involves thrills as well as heart wrenching emotions, I suggest you go for Shiddat.

While concluding, I am reminded of the quote, “Our sweetest songs are those which tell of saddest thoughts”. Upon watching Shiddat, I must tell you that its ending is going to leave a mark within your hearts. This tragic love story may be one-sided but is sure to leave you emotional. Even if Jaggi loved Kartika with all his heart, she never realized that love until it was too late. A story of love and passion did end with love meeting its own destiny.

Shiddat

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Overall
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8.8/10
  • Acting - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 9/10
    9/10
  • Setting/Theme - 9/10
    9/10
  • Watchability - 9/10
    9/10
  • Rewatchability - 8/10
    8/10
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About Subhadeep Ganguli

Meta film critic. Posting on behalf of Nirmal Word Services, content service agency in India.

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