Bravehearts Sidharth Malhotra and Kiara Advani turn coverstars for Filmfare, talk about bringing 'Shershaah' Captain Vikram Batra to life
It’s seldom that we see our stars looking forward to their film with genuine pride and patriotism. Sidharth Malhotra and Kiara Advani are two such actors who are excited about their film Shershaah as it brings to light the sacrifice of the Kargil Martyr Captain Vikram Batra who gave up his life to secure a crucial enemy post during the Kargil War and was posthumously awarded with India’s highest military honour, Param Veer Chakra for his heroic efforts. While Sidharth plays Vikram, Kiara Advani essays the role of Dimple Cheema, his fiancé who chose to live her life as his widow after his death. The film honours their commitment, their sacrifice and showcases their love which was not bound by lifelines but was there for all eternity. The two stars featured on the cover of Filmfare and spoke about the film at length.
Sidharth’s grandfather was in the army and felt a certain amount of pride while donning the uniform. Sidharth said, “One more similarity between Vikram Batra and my family would be that my Dadu was in the Indian Army. My dad went into the Merchant Navy after wondering whether to join the Indian navy. Vikram Batra was deciding whether to go in the army or the Merchant Navy at the start of his career. My Dad especially got excited to see me in uniform.” He looks forward to seeing the reaction of the Batra family, especially Vikram’s twin brother Vishal, who is also being essayed by Sidharth in the film.
Kiara interacted a lot with Dimple Cheema to get under the skin of her character and is in awe of her strength and determination. Says she about Dimple, “She still remembers him with so much fondness and she speaks about how they are going to meet soon. She believes in eternal love and romance which is just so beautiful and really tugged at my heart. It is amazing to see somebody who is so strong and who’s stuck by her decisions and made the choices she’s made and still leads a happy life. Just having him in her heart and memories is enough for her.”
The two stars talk at length about the high they felt on being part of a period war film. Kiara was just eight when Kargil happened and doesn’t remember much of the conflict. Sidharth, who was 15-16 then, remembers watching the war with his elders on TV. He says saying iconic lines like, ‘Yeh dil maange more,’ which were said by Vikram Batra on a TV interview, were goosebumps inducing indeed. “It is a surreal experience today to actually play that character that we all were sitting at home in Delhi watching, and to say that iconic line,” says Sidharth in the cover story. Kiara agrees and says their film will bring people closer to a slice of recent history. “This is one way of paying homage to Captain Vikram Batra in an entertaining way and also making people aware of the war and of everything that took place at that time.”
Shershaah released today, August 12, 2021 on Amazon Prime Video.