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Shikhar Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Friday, December 30, 2005 • Hindi ]
Shikhar Review
Ajay Devgan, Shahid Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Amrita Rao
John Mathew Matthan
Mani Shankar and P. Sameer

The story of Shikhar unfolds promisingly enough in a sound 3-Act structure.

Act I establishes the premise of two different worlds -- the first of ambitious greedy builder GG (Ajay Devgan), whose every move is that of a gambler who plays blind to win at any cost and who is determined to grab a pristine oasis of green land and hills three hours from Mumbai, on which to build and rule over a mega city at any cost. To further his aim, GG exploits the demands of political agendas, and enlists the support of a crooked politician.

The second world we're taken into is that of Guruji / Shridhan Vardhan (Pakistani star Jawed Shaikh), a wealthy industrialist who found life's true calling after a terrible mishap and has been using his wealth for the general good through his charitable ashram Rishivan, which protects the environment and nurtures orphan children and the advises for a better life. (Sounds a bit far fetched, to think that a millionaire industrialist would forsake worldy wealth and go singlemindedly after the cause of general good, but there is a plausible explanation to it .)

The two worlds are set to collide over the land that houses the Ashram. Power, money and greed versus Values, uprightness and concern. The age-old battle of good against evil. So far, not bad at all.

GG is in a desperate hurry to scale the peaks of mega success the ends justify whatever means that can be used. And Guruji like the still waters of the huge lake his environmentally conscious efforts have created runs silent, strong and deep. His only shield against GG's greed? The values that have created his Ashram and which he has instilled into each inmate. And into his young son, Jai (Shahid Kapoor). The sincere, simple minded and trusting Jaidev Vardhan, whom GG will soon zero in upon, first trying to suck him into his own way of smoking-drinking-gambling way of life, and then to use him as a pawn in his greater scheme to build his mega city. Act II.

Which Shikhar does Jai ultimately choose to scale? That of GG's unethical greed or the other made by the Values of his father? Jai's final decision, how he makes the choice, and what follows, is Act III for you.

Together, Acts I, II and III make for a strong story outline. And it moves ahead at two levels dealing with the personal ambitions and struggles of each main character and also providing telling social comment not by editorializing, but by showing bits of life as it really unfolds around us. Scenes like a young wife forced into prostitution a young lad thrashed by a cop who drags him away even as his destitute mother pleads a drunk thrashing his wife are slices of the villagers life in the city slums. The film also touches upon a key cause of most hardships faced by common people, when GG says Politicians don't cheat they just take decisions, or when crooked politician Amrit Patel says to an aide about the poor hapless 'janta' : Just keep showing them the carrot of (false) hope, and you will have no problem.

But alas, a story moves ahead primarily through the way its characters behave in and react to situations, and this, in the second half, is one important lacuna in the film. Jai, who realizes that GG's friendship and concern are a fake, and that he's actually been played for a sucker, is obviously furious. Worse, he was beaten up by GG's goons, and one would have thought that the realization would transform Jai from a caring buddy of GG's to a shoot-at-sight kind of enemy. But Jai seems unmoved when he sees GG in the ashram after that, and GG too is quite nonchalant about the fact that he is walking literally into Jai's den, the ashram, in the pre-climax scene. And although the climax is a really well choreographed and shot scene, the summary way in which the Judge announces his judgment without a trial, is implausible, and p

Rating: 0 / 5.0

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