Shahid, with his family of three brothers and his mother, lead a troublesome life with constant fear during the infamous communal riots in Mumbai. His misfortunes even drive him to join the militia to fight for his community, but he retreads back on realizing that the militia are no different from the rioters. But this short deviation is enough for the cops to trace him and jail him for treason where his fellow inmate War Saab enlightens him to take up college education and mentors him within the prison. Once acquitted, he takes up Law studies and starts defending innocent who are wrongly accused and denied justice. His rosy life with his own lady love hits rough roads due to his profession and the ensuing situations are presented in a gripping narration in this biography of Shahid Azmi.

Running Time:
123 min
Release date:
18 October 2013

Directed by:
Hansal Mehta
Produced by:
Anurag Kashyap
Sunil Bohra
Ronnie Screwvala
Shailesh R Singh
Siddharth Roy Kapur
Written by:
Sameer Gautam Singh
Hansal Mehta
Based on:
Shahid Azmi
Rajkumar Rao
Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub
Prabhleen Sandhu
Kay Kay Menon
Music by:
Karan Kulkarni
Shot by:
Anuj Dhawan
Editing by:
Apurva Asrani
Distributed by:
UTV Motion Pictures

What’s Hot

  • Rajkumar Rao has to be appreciated for his guts for accepting to play such a challenging role early in his career. The output is equally good and it gives you the sense of completeness and that no one else would have been able to do it so perfectly. His courtroom arguments and the way he develops his style with time is so natural and convincing.
  • The crucial aspect of any courtroom drama is its dialogues which have to be engaging enough in the wake of fixed frames focussing much on the characters. Sameer Gautam Singh and Hansal Mehta have put in invaluable effort in penning the dialogues which elevate the film several notches. The ones around Shahid’s struggling personal life with Mariam and of course the arguments in court stand out from the lot.
  • Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, who plays Shahid’s brother, just nails the character that always supports Shahid no matter what, especially when he bursts out at the overwhelming burden of running the family. Prabhleen Sandhu, who plays Mariam – Shahid’s wife, simply stuns with her attitude to not always agree with whatever Shahid wants her to do, but always stands by what Shahid does. The guest appearance of Kay Kay Menon as ‘War Saab’ is truly a powerful act, the way he commands respect from the inmates.
  • Hansal Mehta has done a remarkable job bringing Shahid Azmi to life. His conscious decision to keep his personal affairs simple and to the point except when it threatens to alter his professional life, deserves to be applauded as it helps to concentrate on Shahid the lawyer and also keeps the run time down to just about two hours. The way he has depicted the metamorphosis of a meek lawyer to a voracious messiah of justice to the innocent, is simply spine chilling and clearly evident in each progressing courtroom hearing.

What’s Not

  • Shahid’s meteoric rise amidst other established lawyers is not emphasized as much it should have with no events depicting his struggle to become a standalone lawyer. This gives a much rosier picture of his rise that what might have been the reality. Similarly, the final verdict pronouncement of the first acquittal he earns for his client and the scenes after that seems a touch downplayed considering the importance it had in his career.


Screened at

Cinema Rendezvous

To rejoice & to reflect with the world of Cinema - A Chennai based Film Club. Showcasing films with fine discussions.The club meets once a month on Second Saturdays by 9.45 am @ Hotel Savera. Each date has a screening followed by an informal discussion with a distinguished guest.

Event Info

Date of Screening : 13-Sep-2014
Venue and Time : Hotel Savera, 9.45 AM
Guest: Dhananjayan Govind (Chief – South Business UTV)

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Verdict Stamp

Heroes are not always born out acts of physical valor – Shahid had undoubtedly saved the lives of almost a dozen innocents from the hard end of the judicial system, ultimately to lose his own in the process. This movie is a fitting tribute to this ‘unsung’ hero with powerfully emotional performances from the cast enabled by some realistic portrayal by the director – definitely one to cherish and preserve!