Film Shikara, focusing on the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits, has released across India on Friday. The Vidhu Vinod Chopra's directorial film will be clashing with 'Malang' starring Aditya Roy Kapoor and Disha Patani and Vikram Bhatt's 'Hacked'.
Shikara: The Untold Story of Kashmiri Pandits, caught huge media attention and that of netizens as well after its trailer came out on January 7. Shikara is set against the backdrop of Kashmiri Pandit exodus from the Kashmir Valley in late 1989 and early 1990, in the wake of violent Islamist insurgency. The trailer received both praise and backlash, owing to its controversial theme.
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court against Shikara, demanding a stay on release and the deletion of certain scenes. The petitioner alleged that the film portrays untrue facts about Kashmir and Kashmiri Pandits.
However, Chopra has constantly defended his film by saying, "The message of Shikara is very clear and simple - 'Todo Nahi Jodo' (unite, don't fight). The world needs it and so does India". Chopra, a resident of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state, said it took him 11 years to make the film.
Shikara marks Vidhu Vinod Chopra's comeback to Bollywood as a director after 17 years. His last directorial venture was 2007 release, 'Eklavya', starring Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt and Saif Ali Khan.
Shikara box office prediction: According to film analyst Sumit Kadel, Shikara would earn around Rs 1 to 1.5 crore on its opening day. Early reviews of Shikara are largely positive. Therefore, strong word of mouth might benefit the film during the weekend.
Shikara trailer: The film's trailer briefly showcased, the life of young newlyweds, Shiv Kumar Dhar (Aadil Khan) and Shanti Dhar (Sadia), who flee their homeland and take refuge at a camp in Jammu, with the promise that they will return home someday. Shikara's trailer has garnered 32 million views in one month.
Shikara cast: With Shikara, Sadia and Aadil Khan have made their debut in Bollywood. Sadia originally hails from Kashmir. She has played the character of 'Shanti Dhar' in the film. On the other hand, Aadil Khan, who is also known as Nasar Ulla Khan, has played the character of 'Shiv Kumar Dhar' in Shikara. According to media reports, before entering the film industry, Aadil Khan was a radio jockey.