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While it’s admirable that the film doesn’t take sides when pointing out where the real problem lies, Sikandar suffers from the sudden shift in tone – it goes from a standard morality tale in its first half to a cheesy thriller in its second. There is also the issue of the unforgivable, over-simplistic climax in which the leads are absolved of responsibility for their crimes.What’s more the film’s jarring background score and sluggish pace also act as party poopers.On the up-side, Sikandar is memorable for its compelling cinematography of this scenic land in all its lush beauty. But sadly that is not enough to do the trick. Both leads – Parzaan Dastur and particularly Ayesha Kapoor – appear too raw to pull off consistent performances, and the plot holes are too many to ignore.
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Ratings: 1.5/5 Reviewer:Taran Adarsh Site:BollywoodHungama
SIKANDAR has a refreshingly different story to tell, since themes like the one here have rarely been told on the Hindi screen before. But how one wishes the screenplay would do justice to the thought. For, the film holds your attention in bits and spurts, not in totality. Also, the culmination to this story falls short of expectations. In a nutshell, SIKANDAR had the potential to strike a chord, but it leaves your hand midway.The problem is that the story suddenly moves into the suspense-thriller genre and that robs the film of its originality. Even before you’re told who the culprit is, you’ve guessed it already thanks to the been-there-seen-that kind of situations that this film relies on.
Ratings: 3.5/5 Reviewer:Nikhat Kazmi Site:TimesOfIndia
Kashmir is changing and so is the cinema around it. Of course, you do have mandatory militants, the army, peace battering politicos, religious heads in a small town of J&K, but you also have fourteen-year-old Sikandar Raza. No bhashan on cross border terror, war, militancy. Watch it for the strong message summed up in the final act with simplicity: say no to guns. Watch it for the fast paced and conclusive second half. And finally, watch it for the special bonding between the tussi-ja-rahe-ho charmer (of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai fame) turned into a curious teen with a dark side, Parzan, and his conscience keeper, Nasreen.
Ratings: 2/5 Reviewer:Raja Sen Site:Rediff
The film’s plot is engaging, and most of the twists are genuinely authentic. However, far too much time is spent on building up silent moments where nothing really happens. As a result, when the plot does eventually unfold, it seems rushed. The climax is quite a doozy, the final twist really not clicking into place, being untrue to its characters, and leaving you with far more unanswered questions than answers. And as for the final sequence with all things returning to normal and football as usual, it boggles the mind.That can be said about all of Sikandar. While the film is pretty by default and has a few pleasant moments, it seems far longer than it is and doesn’t quite add up. Clearly Piyush meant well, though, and it is always good to see Bollywood experimenting with children’s cinema — I just wish they wouldn’t keep treating kids like kids.
Indeed Kashmir has a multitude of issues that need to be resolved. Among them is the alienation of young school-going boys and girls in the face of the ongoing anarchy in the state.Sikandar, directed by Piyush Jha, hopes to address and tries to tackle the politics behind this rather sensitive issue. This is probably where the film fails – because it is far too slow for a suspense movie and has too many loopholes for its human-interest angle.Sikandar could have been much better had it stuck to its human-interest angle.
The film attempts to be a suspense thriller under the garb of social drama. But somewhere the suspense treatment is marred with too many loopholes while the social theme is too shallow. Though it had good scope, the narrative doesn’t delve deep into the history of Kashmir leaving its characters one-dimensional. With the Kashmir issue being blared up in dailies, one is expected to have a basic understanding of the political backdrop.