Shorgul: Movie Review

A Pertinent Political Thriller Inspired by 2013 Muzaffarnagar Riots

By Murtaza Ali Khan (@apotofvestiges)

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews

Shorgul, Movie Poster, starring Ashutosh Rana, Jimmy Shergill, Hiten Tejwani, Eijaz Khan
Shorgul (2016) By Jitendra Tiwari

Shorgul is an Indian political drama film directed by Jitentra Tiwari Produced and distributed under the banner of 24 FPS film Pvt Ltd., Shorgul stars Jimmy Shergill, Ashutosh Rana, Hiten Tejwani, Suha Gezen, Narendra Jha, Anirudh Dave and Sanjay Suri in the major roles. The film is loosely based on the infamous 2013 Hindu-Muslim Muzaffarnagar riots. Owing to its controversial subject, the makers faced strong opposition from both Hindu and Muslim leaders with multiple PILs being filed and a fatwa issued.
Jimmy Shergill as MLA Ranjit Om in Shorgul
Jimmy Shergill as MLA Ranjit Om in Shorgul

Our Rating: 6.0
IMDb Ratings: N/A
Genre: Drama
Cast: Jimmy Shergill, Ashutosh Rana, Suha Gezen
Country: India
Language: Hindi
Runtime: 132 min
Color: Color
Shorgul is a potent political thriller that’s highly relevant to the times we live in. Set in the city of Malihabad (instead of Muzaffarnagar), Shorgul depicts the dark side of communal politics practiced in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The movie doesn’t back down from taking swipes at the unscrupulous religious leaders who use religion as a mere tool to realize their evil designs. Shorgul underscores the importance of unity and peaceful coexistence in a democratic setup. It reminds us that there is good and bad on both the sides.
Ashutosh Rana as Chaudhary in Shorgul
Ashutosh Rana as Chaudhary in Shorgul
The movie features memorable performances from Ashutosh Rana and Jimmy Shergill. While Shergill is at great ease playing a politician who thrives on the politics of divide and role, Rana reminds us of his remarkable range as an actor. His screen presence is still as commanding (and his gaze as piercing) as it used to be when he did films like Dushman and Sangharsh -- easily the best works of Rana's chequered career. They are well backed by the rest of the cast with Eijaz Khan, Hiten Tejwani and Narendra Jha leading from the front. Suha Gezen, the pretty actress who plays the central character Zainab, reminds one of a young Tisca Chopra. Shorgul's screenplay is quite predictable and suffers from pacing issues. It seems to have drawn heavily from the recent riots in certain parts of UP. Even the names of some of the pivotal characters are directly based on famous politicians hailing from Uttar Pradesh. Alas, it reflects lack of thought and laziness on the part of screenwriters.
Narendra Jha as Home Minister Alam Khan in Shorgul
Narendra Jha as Home Minister Alam Khan in Shorgul
Overall, Shorgul makes for a decent watch. It scores heavily on the acting front and performances alone make it watchable. Kudos to the movie's ensemble cast! Lalit Pandit's music adds soul to the film. Shorgul's strong socio-political commentary succeeds in depicting the dirty side of vote bank politics and in raising pertinent questions about the lack of tolerance that engenders communal hatred. More importantly, it tries to teach us the true meaning of humanity.

Readers, please feel free to share your views/opinions in the comment box below. As always your insightful comments are highly appreciated!


Shorgul (2016) Trailer (YouTube)

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