Kay Kay Menon performs with such intensity that the force of his belief in the character he portrays hits you with the power of a sledgehammer. He goads you to loath him so much that you sit terrified in his presence even though he is just on screen. As Brigadier Rudra Pratap Singh, he has his set of beliefs on how the army should function. His performance is so cunningly menacing that it even puts a real life Adolf Hitler to shame! I can safely say that he is the Al Pacino of Indian cinema.
To get back to SHAURYA, Captain Javed Khan (Deepak Dobriyal) is charged with killing his superior. He is also charged with mutiny and treason. And even though the case appears to be an ‘open and shut’ one with the army just following proceedings of the Court Martial with a Defense and a Prosecution lawyer appointed, things do not look so simple as they seem. For one, Javed does not make anything easier because he prefers to stay silent. For Major Siddhanth Chaudhary (Rahul Bose) who is appointed to defend Javed, life is one big excursion in the wild. As for Major Aakash Kapoor (Jaaved Jaffery) who is the prosecuting lawyer and Siddhant’s best friend, conviction for Javed Khan is just a matter of procedure. But there’s more, and there in lies the intense courtroom scenes which is the highpoint of the movie.
The script could have been tighter; like what for instance is the role of journalist Kaavya Shastri (Minisha Lamba)? Clearly, it’s just a garnish, which does well in masala movies. This here is a taut courtroom thriller. Also, are journalists really allowed during a Court Martial? But Kay Kay Menon along with Rahul Bose and the supporting cast rise up to nullify the effect of a weak script to tighten the loose ends towards the end with electrifying performances.
Rahul Bose’s metamorphosis from the fun-loving major to one pulled into the vortex of the case he is handling is exceptional. He shows maturity in both his phases. And to stand against the talent of Kay Kay Menon does take some doing. But he gives it back to the Brigadier in his sensible cross-questioning in the courtroom which takes the film to its climax. In the bargain, Bose comes out unscathed.
Jaaved Jaffery is quite comfortable in a serious role while Deepak Dobriyal lets his silence do most of the speaking. Amrita Rao in a special appearance leaves her mark as the widow of the murdered officer.
TO GO OR NOT: Certainly, if you do not wish to miss out on Kay Kay’s performance and electrifying courtroom moments. In the end, this movie makes you think about killings and communalism. It also makes you think about life in the army.