After making comedies like Chalo America and The King of Bollywood, director Piysush Jha returns with suspense-thriller Sikandar. Releasing Friday, the film is about the tensions in Kashmir seen through children's eyes.
Set in Jammu and Kashmir, the film has Parzan Dastur and Ayesha Kapoor in lead roles along with R. Madhavan and Sanjay Suri. It revolves around teenage boy Sikandar Raza (Parzan), who dreams of playing football at the national level, and his friend Nasreen (Ayesha). But things take an unexpected turn when he finds a gun on the road.
Sikandar's parents were killed by militants when he was four years old. And now he lives with his foster parents and he is only concerned about their happiness and football.
One day, on his way back home from a school football match, he finds a gun lying on the road. Despite warnings from Nasreen, he picks up the gun and his life is never the same again after that - he enters into the darker side of his nature.
The quiet yet strong Nasreen becomes Sikandar's conscience keeper and also tries her best to pull him out of the murky goings-on. But to her dismay Sikandar has sunk so deep that things go beyond his control.
Jha says Sikandar is not a children's film despite having children as protagonists.
"Sikandar is not a children's film at all. It just has two important characters as children but it's for everyone. Just like Taare Zameen Par which had a child protagonist and still appealed to people of all ages, this film too will appeal to one and all," said Jha.
"Sikandar basically reflects the situation of Kashmir seen through the eyes of children... It's a film full of hope but told in a manner that is not preachy. It is involving and intriguing and connects at an emotional level. The underlining theme is about fighting against the odds, living up to expectations and coming out with a clear conscience," he added.
Produced by Big Pictures and Sudhir Mishra, Sikandar has already garnered its share of positive reactions when it travelled to festivals like the Bollywood and Beyond Film Festival in Stuttgart, Germany, and the Los Angeles Indian film festival.
Earlier slated for a March release, the film was delayed by the tussle between producers and distributors over revenue-sharing of forthcoming releases.