Shareek helmed by Navaniat Singh rakes up the age old but pertinent issue of family feuds owing to land disputes albeit in able, entertaining and thought provoking manner. There's no denying the fact that several sons have lost their fathers and several mothers have lost their sons because of land disputes in hinterland of Punjab. Possession of land to plough has been a bone of contention between extended families leading to rivalries between them. These rivalries get passed on from generation to generation with court cases pending in the court related to land disputes. Several members of these families opt to take law unto their hands and don't shy away from killing members of their extended families for the sake of land. This very scenario has been ably captured by Navaniat Singh and his team on the celluloid. It's not that this subject is new to Punjabi celluloid. In fact, this issue used to be the favorite subject of Punjabi film makers, a couple of decades ago. But, what sets Shareek apart from films of its ilk is its treatment and the way it sticks to its chosen path without any deviations. When you walk-in to the theater to watch a Punjabi movie made on this subject, you expect lot of blood savagery coupled with choicest of abuses, gory violence, heavy duty melodrama. But thankfully, Shareek sails smoothly avoiding cinematic cliches. It's not that these elements are not there in Shareek, they are, but in measured and restrained quantity. The movie definitely makes you ponder with respect to sibling rivalry which has made brothers kill their own brothers for the sake of land. Well written detailed script, powerhouse performances and eloquent direction make Shareek a must watch movie for Punjabi cine lovers.
The story as well screenplay of the movie has been penned down by Dheeraj Rattan who has done a swell job at it. He has ably etched out a collage of characters, each having his/her own distinguished traits and it is through these characters that Shareek offers its most plausible moments. Dheeraj has ably painted the grim side of Punjabiyat where brothers are fighting and killing each other just for the sake of land. He has not only explored the depths of this issue but also has highlighted the need for its eradication. The story revolves around rivalry between members of a clan over a piece of land. While one family comprises of two brothers namely Guggu Gill & Jimmy Sheirgill, the other family is represented by Mukul Dev, Kuljinder Sidhu and their other two brothers. Rivalry becomes more fierce when Mahie Gill enters the scene as Kuljinder Sidhu proposes Mahie for marriage and she accepts. But later, she falls in love with Jimmy Sheirgill and decides to tie nuptial knot with him. So, the rivalry which was restricted to land now involves a woman also. One fine day, while diverting water to their fields Kuljinder & Mukul kill father of opposite clan. In retaliation, Jimmy Sheirgill beats Kuljinder Sidhu to death. To prevent situation from getting worse, Guggu Gill sends Jimmy along with one of his sons to England. After 10 years, Guggu Gill's other son gets married. They also win the case filed in the court pertaining to land. Mukul Dev is not able to digest the happy fortunes of his Shareek's family & gets Guggu's son killed in a road accident. After hearing this tragic news, Jimmy returns back to his village from England. I won't like to spill the rest of the beans as what happens thereafter is for you to go and watch at a theater near you.
Major impetus to Shareek has been provided by its talented and well cast actors who have portrayed their respective characters to the hilt. Leading from the front is Jimmy Sheirgill as Jassa who has ably carried the movie on his shoulders. It was not an easy character to portray as Shareek illustrates Jassa's journey from being an exuberant youth to matured wise person. To portray this journey, an actor needed to display gamut of emotions which Jimmy has done with remarkable ease. Jimmy literally enlivens his character on celluloid which speaks volumes about his acting skills. Be it as doting brother, affectionate uncle, jilted lover or a brooding person, Jimmy has hit the right notes every time. Jimmy has enacted the movie's principle character with panache and delivered an exemplary performance. Matching Jimmy step by step is Mukul Dev. With his brilliant performance in Shareek, Mukul Dev has shown us the actor he can be. I've always held Mukul in high esteem as an actor & knew he would nail it if given an well etched out character to portray. And, Shareek gave him that opportunity which Mukul didn't let slip away from his hands. As the Shakuni minded antagonist, Mukul lends a certain aura to his character. He has ably emoted myriad number of emotions in Shareek proving his versatility as an actor. His frequent banters with Jimmy lend several plausible moments to the film. Kuljinder Singh Sidhu who proved his mettle as an actor in 'Yoddha' is back with a bang in Shareek. He has ably essayed the character of 'Pali' who is the most short-tempered member of his clan. With his apt face expressions and body language, Kuljinder breathes fire into his character proving his prowess as an actor. Though, Kuljinder's character is restricted to the first half of movie, yet he manages to leave a lasting impression. Mahie Gill not only looks ravishing but has also portrayed her character in the most effective manner. Guggu Gill has given an apt performance as elder brother of Jimmy. Simar Gill & Oshin Sai have played their respective characters with conviction.
Another highlight of Shareek is its melodious music composed by Jaidev Kumar. The songs come at the opportune moments during the on screen proceedings, hence never hampering the narrative. 'Dil Kafira' and 'Mere Saiyan' stand out amongst others in the soundtrack. The cinematographer of the movie is Harmeet Singh who has done an excellent job of capturing the visuals with roving eye of his lens. His cinematography is plush,passionate, heightens the kitsch of the settings with warm-hued interiors as well as captures the outdoor locales of London with aplomb. The movie has been edited by Manish More who has kept the run-time of the movie to 141 minutes. Manish has done a descent job by maintaining the tempo of the movie at a constant pace throughout its run-time. As a director, Navaniat Singh has hit the right chords with Shareek. With his deft & adroit direction, Navaniat etches out and develops the characters in such a way that audience are able to relate to them. Navaniat has done a swell job of portraying the screenplay unto on-screen and in the process has also extracted the best out of his cast and crew.
Shareek stands tall amongst mindless entertainers being churned every other week in Pollywood and is a descent watch for thought provoking message ably infused in the film.
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