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Shahid
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61 out of 63 people found the following review useful:

Shahid ! Nice movie after a long time

10/10
Author: Hasib Fakih from Mumbai
22 October 2013

Watched this movie recently and i was simply too much impressed with its script, acting, and direction all were just too natural, real and perfect, hardly i realized in 150 minutes that i am watching a movie.

The story was very sensitive as it was based on real life of Late lawyer Shahid Azmi who known for his high acquittal rate specially of terror accused who are falsely implicated in terror cased being poor and helpless, he was gunned down by unknown men in his office on Feb 2010 as he was defending the accused of 26/11 Fahim khan.

The story is portrayed in such a gripping, yet responsible manner that it makes you hold your attention right from the beginning where we first meet Shahid as a young boy scarred by the barbaric violence during the communal riots of Mumbai in 1993. The devastating impact of those events prompts him to join a terrorist training camp in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. But in a terrific scene that illustrates the actor's ability to convey volumes without the crutch of words, he changes his mind and heads back home.

Shahid spent 6 years in Tihar jail along with the other terror accused, and kept hope and continued his studies being in Jail and latter was acquitted by the court after 6 years as there was no evidence found against him.

A scene that stings with honesty, Shahid asks a packed courtroom if an accused by the name of Matthew, Donald, Suresh, or More, would be singled out and subjected to the same injustice as his client Zaheer, who has remained in jail for a year-and-a-half although no evidence could be gathered against him.

This film has remarkable cast and their perfect performances. Particularly worthy of mention: Prabhleen Sandhu as Shahid's wife Mariam, who brings depth and real feeling. Also, Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub (last seen playing Dhanush's friend in Raanjhanaa), wonderful as Shahid's trusted sibling Khalid. Expectedly it's Rajkumar Yadav who provides the soul of this fearless film. Relying on minimalist instinctive acting over loud theatrics, he delivers his second winning performance this year after Kai Po Che.

Shahid according to me is GEM of a movie produced in recent years. Its hard to find such movies these days , where a good movie is only defined by how much money it has made.

My rating 10/10

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51 out of 54 people found the following review useful:

Gripping, simple and Real!

8/10
Author: vikas menghwani from India
20 October 2013

The movie follows the life of the controversial criminal lawyer Shahid Azmi, who was murdered a few years ago. It highlights the hypocrisy of our legal system, without trying too hard. The best things about the movie are the cast, the setting and the dialogues. The movie shows couple of court room trials - and they were never anyway close to what we have seen before. I never thought that the court trials (for serious crimes also) can be so funny - and after watching the movie I now know that in reality that is how they are. The dialogues are amazingly real and simple. I understand that the movie has been shot without studio lights and any special direction efforts - it was quite evident and it felt good.

Rajkumar Yadav - playing Shahid is superbly convincing, and so is every other character. Biopics are rare in Bollywood, specially of the ones related to sensitive issues. This is stands out and will set a high benchmark! Respect!

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42 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

A strong evidential piece of cinema that enlightens!

9/10
Author: gaurav-rai from noida
22 October 2013

I feel ashamed of myself for not knowing Shahid Azmi- a slain lawyer and an altruistic humane activist before Hansal Mehta came up with a strong evidential piece of cinema that does not merely solve the purpose to entertain but also dares to enlighten our unresponsive- unsympathetic minds confined into its own safe but scared place to stay put. We probably have become either numb to whatever happens in our neighborhoods or blatantly reactive about just anything that comes in way without assessing what is right and what is not.

'SHAHID' is the need of the hour. It demands and shows the guts to start a never-ending movement, if not on the roads, definitely in our heads, to bring change in the system by joining it and not wiping it out or denying its very existence.

Shahid, played by 'Kai Po Che!' fame Raj Kumar could be anyone of thousands who gets trapped into the torturous custody of Indian Police known for its tactical power-driven machinery and is thrown into Jail for beholding a name that comes from a certain section of people in minority…but where the most would disappear in the galore to turn radical against country & its governing bodies, Shahid decides to stand out. While his tenure in longing to get set free, Shahid keeps his conscience alive and opts to be a helping hand for those who have nothing but an assurance of not being guilty.

SHAHID is an extraordinary effort in terms of writing and direction. Based on the real-life criminal lawyer-cum-human rights activist Shahid Azmi, film amalgamates facts and fiction beautifully. It is a biopic that is handled with sheer honesty, clarity in thoughts, rightly positioned screenplay, brilliance in execution and a very very significant memorandum to all human beings. Hansal Mehta never and never loses his grip on the subject. He keeps it as real as it is happening in a gully adjacent to my living place. Special mention to the replication of Indian courts' undramatic-nontheatrical-dreary modus operandi where there is no usual Bollywood 'order-order' but an actual exchange of verbal spats. Camera work by Anuj Dhawan captures the environs and the emotions equally good. Dialogues are crisp, colloquial and taut.

But what make it an exceptional biopic are the performances. Shahid's fearless-in your face-uncomplicated character could never come so strong if Raj Kumar has not given it his flesh & blood. This man can make you laugh with his charmingly simplistic behavior, watch it when he is trying to be comfortable with his lady-love still unaware of his feelings, and also can make your heart bleed with his heartrending silence when attacked for his forgettable past. Extended applause for his bravura performance! Prabhleen Sandhu as his wife too is a gifted actor. She brings with herself an unpolished charm that hits every chord she aims to. Md. Zeeshan Ayyub here has not much like in RAANJHANAA to overwhelm you but still he keeps your expectations fulfilled. Kay Kay Menon and Tigmanshu Dhulia play their parts efficiently with a sparkling presence on screen.

After PAAN SINGH TOMAR, here comes an earnest biographical drama that I hope could change the way Indian Cinema thinks about our real life heroes. This is also a film that raises many a questions about humanity and its survival in today's times. It also shows our judiciary system in true lights. As said in the film by the character Kay Kay Menon plays, "It takes time but it works." Painfully correct!

On the whole, very few people dare to rise and take a stand to tell a story that might have been vanished from lives & in files if not attempted. Hansal Mehta joins the same league. Respect for giving us SHAHID- a film that will find a place close to your heart very easily but not without stirring-shaking & moving your soul. STRONGLY RECOMMENDED!

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46 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

style of Sinclair Lewis, or on a really good day, John Grisham

Author: FilmFest from India
27 February 2013

Hansal Mehta's SHAHID, in Hindi, begins with the murder of a lawyer in his office. His first name, Shahid, which also means 'martyr' indicates that he was Muslim. We flashback to the riots in the early 1990s in which he is caught up, causing him to train with Muslim militants in Kashmir. This is not the Kashmir of so many Hindi film songs and dances, but of narrow roads cut into enormous cliffs, the rocks overhanging them.

Shahid runs away from the training camp when he is forced to witness the beheading of a turncoat, is arrested in Delhi, and in Tihar Jail must choose between siding with terrorists again or continuing his former law studies.

He chooses the latter, but on release finds that the law is a double- sided game. So he starts his own practice and takes on only the cases he wants. One is of a woman whose mother-in-law wants her house; we learn later that she is divorced, has a child, and that Shahid wants to marry her. He does, and his family reluctantly agrees. But the majority of his cases favor Muslims who have been falsely accused of terrorism, as we move through more terrorist attacks over time, including the 26/11 attack on the Taj Hotel. In every case shown, including the one involving the house, he receives phone threats, until ... This is a very serious film, more like a novel that what we usually think of cinema, in the style of Sinclair Lewis, or on a really good day, John Grisham.

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42 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

A must watch for its superb performances and for the man, who never lived for himself.

9/10
Author: bobbysing from India
21 October 2013

A true story of a selfless protagonist, fighting for the freedom of falsely framed victims of a minority community, this is about SHAHID AZMI, a noted lawyer who was killed in his own Kurla office in February 2010 by some unidentified men. With a mix of more facts and less fiction, director Hansal Mehta makes this best film of his career in a pure realistic style, as an absorbing documentation of the life of Shahid Azmi which is going to be a fascinating yet disturbing cinematic experience for many. Shot at actual locations with an immensely likable touch of romance in this otherwise unkind portrayal, the film reaches its peak with all the gripping courtroom scenes filmed in the most authentic manner rarely seen before in a Hindi film in particular. SHAHID grabs you from the collars within the first 10 minutes itself, especially in the scene wherein even a mother is scared to open the door of their hideouts in the riots, listening to the voice of her son knocking at it constantly. And once you get into the grim, shocking world of Shahid's valuable life, Mehta never lets you move out of it even for a minute, in the next 100 minutes of his film very convincingly.

Apart from its scary & unbelievable kind of real life account of a lawyer, what makes SHAHID hit you hard is its sharp editing, flawless casting and superb, realistic performances from the entire talented cast. Perfectly played by Raj Kumar Yadav, the actor goes deep down the skin of his character and surely becomes a strong contender of many worth deserving awards this year. Such is the authenticity in his performance that after watching him, one feels like having met the real SHAHID and for that both the actor and his director truly deserve all the praises showered upon them in the last few months. Other than Raj, there are two names in the film playing the female Muslim characters perfectly and the ease, with which they play their respective difficult characters, clearly proves the true talent of these ladies undoubtedly. The names are Prabhleen Kaur and Baljinder Kaur (Shahid's mother) and they do provide a strong visible support to Raj Kumar's towering performance along with subtle Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub,silently playing his helpful brother. As the public prosecutor, Vipin Sharma once again proves that he is a remarkable actor. Plus Kay Kay Menon & Tigmanshu Dhulia, truly impress in their small cameos, as expected. Also Shalini Vatsa, Prabal Punjabi and Mukesh Chhabra turn out to be a very valuable addition to the supporting cast with their truthful acts.

Considering the film from a general public viewpoint, one might find few glitches in it related with Shahid's Pakistani training camp days and his escape from there, shown in just a few scenes. Moreover Kay Kay simply vanishing from the story progression to never return later may also tease many (like myself). But these few points are not solid enough to bring down the excellence achieved by the team in its overall depiction and thus need to be ignored to attain a bigger and much important social objective as desired.

Personally, more than the film, it is the message, the purpose and the mission of the man named SHAHID, which forces me to include it in my must see movies list right away, particularly for the Indian viewers, who are facing this religious clash everyday like an inseparable issue of our multi-cultured society.

Specifically talking about the unsung hero of many victim families from the minority, SHAHID is an important document bringing to us an iconic name of our social system, not known to majority of people living in the other parts of the country. And the reason for this shameful mass ignorance ironically lays in the way our media works, which actually holds back the positive news for their obvious reasons and always spreads the negative word around in a much stronger and deliberate manner to gain some instant attention. Probably that is the reason why we very well know about the men who made important arrests at those crucial times of crisis but don't really know about the man who got many innocents out of the jail after few years, rightly fighting the court of law with his own sincere efforts.

For instance, be it Mumbai, Kashmir, Punjab, Gujarat, Assam or any other region of our country, we always get to hear and read the news of suspected terrorists arrested from anywhere and it's at once all over the media as their main focus. But whenever the same court serves justice making those 'framed people' free after having proved innocent, very seldom we get to hear about them on the channels or respectfully mentioned in the headlines on the first page. The poor coverage of such cases, don't let us know about many courageous and human right activists like SHAHID AZMI and therefore the film presented on his life is indeed a very vital and major contribution made by Hansal Mehta and his team to Indian Cinema as well to Indian social system, embracing diverse religious beliefs since centuries. Practicing as the lawyer for such special framed cases, Shahid had an astonishing record of getting 17 acquittals from the court in his short career span of only seven years. And even thinking about those 17 families greeting their wrongly framed members back in home is enough to make you realize the relevance & importance of this historical achievement made by the makers of SHAHID.

So if you are willing to see a rare kind of alarming as well as enlightening biographical film made on a true fighter who always fought for others in his forcibly shortened life of only 32 years, then do watch SHAHID as a must and celebrate this new triumph of Indian cinema made for a cause.

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40 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

A movie made honestly.

10/10
Author: bluecrims from United States
23 October 2013

When i went to this movie in NJ, the theater was empty. The show was only for me alone. But i am glad that i haven't missed this movie. This is a honest attempt to make a nice movie. All the characters were well chosen for this movie and they played there part. Its a good movie for every country that had been target by terrorist attacks. And this is a movie for those extremists who are making normal people life a big hell. A must watch movie. Thanks to the director for showing true things that happens after attacks which majority of the people don't know. Wish more movies of this kind are produced and directed. You need lot of patience to watch this movie and this is not your regular masala entertainment.

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38 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

Hansal Mehta's film on the real-life slain lawyer Shahid Azmi is fearless work

10/10
Author: shak777 from Sydney
18 October 2013

Shahid is a must-see film with an absolutely impeccable sub text that can be read as an urgent warning against the politics of isolation practiced by many political parties.

watched the movie last night and thought this is one of the best movie i have seen in a long time.... a true story of a person fighting for truth.... a must watch for sure..... just amazing to see there are people like this in this world who would dedicate their life for justice and in their quest they will stop at nothing..... my salute to shahid azmi about i did not know before i saw this movie.... salute to hansal mehta for daring to make this movie..... a good quote made by the movie reviewer

"Shahid deserves more than just a standing ovation. It deserves accolades for standing up to be counted and narrating the kind of story that is usually buried under mainstream media cacophony.

The fact that Shahid has got to a multiplex near you should also be applauded and made the most of. Go and watch the film – it is one of the most important films to come out of Mumbai in a long, long time" Best tribute to Shahid Azmi by Hansal Mehta, very inspirational true life story.

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40 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

The best film I've watched recently!!!

10/10
Author: ragafundoo_37 from India
19 October 2013

Saw this film today and couldn't resist coming to IMDb and look at this movie's page.I was shocked to see the 6.7 rating and read the 3 reviews which give 7 stars(hopefully that will change).Now,it could be just that not everyone likes this movie as much as I do.But,when I think about it there is not a single thing about this movie that you can criticize.This movie is as underrated as you can find.Acting by every actor in the film is top-notch.But,the acting of protagonist's mother and Kay Kay Menon are something exceptional.Cinematography is also good compared to other Indian movies.If this movie had a more famous actor like Aamir Khan or Akshay Kumar,I am sure I wouldn't have write this review.Story is both cruel and sweet. If you have not seen it till now and you are reading this then STOP AND WATCH IT NOW.You will not regret this.I know you have read previous two lines in reviews of almost every random movie but I really mean it.Even though I have viewed it only once,I can tell you that this movie will be among my favorite films. A must watch for every Muslim brother in India,Pakistan and Bangladesh. In fact,a must watch for anyone who can understand Hindi.

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34 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

Shahid, Law aur Gangster.

8/10
Author: Charles Britto from Chennai, India
14 October 2013

'Shahid' is about the life of the controversial lawyer Shahid Azmi who was assassinated in 2010. Directed by Hansal Mehta, produced by AKFPL, Bohra Bros, and distributed by UTV Motion pictures . The film is set to release on the 18th of October after its world premier at the 2012 TIFF. The movie stars Raj Kumar Yadav in the title character and the story revolves mainly around him. Hope the producers and the director join again to make a biopic on the life of Narendra Dabholkar(Another Marathi icon who was recently assassinated). The story opens with Shahid being shot point blank at his office and it continues linearly otherwise. The opening immediately reminded me of 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' and 'Jobs'. Is it a necessity that biopics should begin very dramatically or with a possible ending of the life of the person depicted? Is it because there are many milestones in the life of icons that its difficult to create an apt ending to these sort of movies? The movie showcases more of a rather sweet life of Shahid in the first half and gains momentum in the second half where the major drama occurs. Pre-interval drama is more of Shahid's own upcoming and the people he meets while post-interval is full of courtroom drama. The interval was placed exactly at the mid point of the parabolic life story of Shahid Azmi. I wonder how Raj Kumar was chosen to play the role of Shahid when he looks nowhere close to the man he's portraying. Apart from the looks the guy was very comfortable in his role. Actors should take up biopics seriously as it has more scope for them(Take Ashton Kutcher as an Inspiration). Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub as Arif, he's one actor to look out for his subtle reactions. He made us realize that if not for Arif, Shahid wouldn't have accomplished so much. Prabhleen Sandhu(Mariyam), K K Menon(War Saab), Tigmanshu Dhulia(Maqbool Menon) in their respective small roles made the story complete. Very few people knew about Shahid Azmi and I think that this man should be made known to everyone. I've not lived when there was a Gandhi but was alive when Shahid was fighting for the lives of the innocent in a polite way. There's a point in the movie where Shahid is being provoked by a prosecutor about his dark past and this is what he says to her "I can sue you but I won't". Such a remarkable character he should have been. His record of 17 acquittals in a short span of time is indeed a great achievement so people please watch this for sure, Shahid will not disappoint you. I hope more such biopics should be made and the patronage for such genre will increase. In a country where iconic people are made gods, a film made about them will be a blessing. It will take time but it will happen.

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31 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

Untold saga of a brave person, who fought and died for justice

6/10
Author: dineshprakash from India
18 October 2013

Hats off to Director Mr. Hansal Mehta, who had chosen this story to be told and the senior actors, who had given priority of subject above remuneration and length of roles otherwise this low budget movie could not have accommodated them and without good actors there were chances of movie going misinterpreted. I salute all the actors for their support to this movie. Respect for all them has been increased in my core of heart. Director Mr. Hansal Mehta approach towards subject is very balanced. He never tried to make the subject sensational by unnecessary pressing the hurting nerves. He has shown the things only for the need of story. Writer, Sameer Gautem Singh and co writer Apurva Asrani work is impressive. I believe there are only two religions in this universe are by virtue, one is good and other is bad. These two religions of good and bad community do exist within every religion. Our by birth religions are taught and learned. Prejudice about any religion is not good. Performance wise Rajkumar as Shahid is simply adorable. Very soon, you start believing that he is Shahid only. Prabhleen Sandhu as Mariam is very good. Md Zeeshan Ayub as Arif is very balanced. Tigmanshu Dhulia, K.K.Menon, Vipin Sharma all are fantastic actors and done the full justification to the characters. Baljinder Kaur as Ammi is good enough.

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