Shorgul review: It’s a disappointing film on communal riots

Updated on Jul 02, 2016 02:23 PM IST

Before Shorgul was released, it kicked up an interest. After all, it is centered on the communal riots that broke out in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar in 2013, one of the worst episodes of violence in the state. However, despite an army of terrific actors, Shorgul comes off as a shallow attempt to dig deep into issues behind such uprisings.

Shorgul has good actors, but they remain under-utilised due to a lousy script. (YouTube)
Shorgul has good actors, but they remain under-utilised due to a lousy script. (YouTube)
Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi

Shorgul
Cast: Jimmy Shergill, Ashutosh Rana, Suha Gezen
Directors: Pranav Singh, Jitendra Tiwari
Rating: 1/5

Before Shorgul was released, it kicked up an interest. After all, it is centered on the communal riots that broke out in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar in 2013, one of the worst episodes of violence in the state. Some political parties and individuals were unhappy as the movie makes indirect yet obvious references to names that made headlines during the time.

However, despite an army of terrific actors, Shorgul comes off as a shallow attempt to dig deep into issues behind such uprisings.

Jimmy Shergil plays MLA Ranjit Om in Shorgul. (YouTube)
Jimmy Shergil plays MLA Ranjit Om in Shorgul. (YouTube)

Jimmy Shergill stars in this socio-political drama as Ranjit Om, an ambitious MLA who tries to wield the political volatility of the state to his benefit. Ashutosh Rana, as Chaudhary, is a Western UP strongman who doesn’t support Om’s ideology. The two are at loggerheads, but things take a wild turn when Chaudhary’s son Raghu (Anirudh Dave) falls for Zainab (Suha Gezen).

The narrative allows three parallel story arcs to unfold. If Jimmy and Rana are parts of the first, Narendra Jha (Alam Khan) and Sanjay Suri (CM Mithilesh) form the second. Dave, Suha and Hiten Tejwani (Saleem) constitute the last.

Read other film reviews here

Read: A fatwa issued against Jimmy Shergill

But, many sub-plots barely give any of the characters a chance to build the momentum and establish a clear story graph. Predictable and one-liners – that have become signature of films based in UP – make for stale plot props. The treacherous politicians appear straight out of George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones, and behave as if they never heard of subtlety, in acting and otherwise.

Lack of resources can be blamed for dubious sets, but unintentional screaming can’t pass off as acting, not all the time. There is an overflowing love for melodrama that goads the characters to talk unto eternity, even when stating the obvious.

Read: Shorgul character inspired by Akhilesh Yadav, PIL seeks stay on release

While Jimmy, Hiten and Jha shine in patches, their roles are frivolous and crave substance, making Shorgul a lost opportunity.

Watch Shorgul trailer

If you aren’t familiar with what happened in 2013, or were looking for a new perspective on the incident, Shorgul isn’t for you. The movie is a disappointment.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Rohit Vats is a film journalist who loves to read in between the lines. He can spend hours watching films and cricket matches. Also a script consultant.

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