Shahid is based upon the real-life story of human rights lawyer Shahid Azmi, who was assassinated in Mumbai in 2010. Rao plays the lawyer, and we see his beginnings and his development as a person with a goal, through his varied experiences.
Initially Shahid believes himself a radical and joins a militant-training camp in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. He cannot however stomach the violence required of the job, and soon runs away. In Mumbai, he is picked up by the police and imprisoned. In jail, he is influenced by War Saab (Menon in a short role) to continue his education and takes up law once he is released. Soon he is fighting for wrongly imprisoned under-trials, which earns him praise as well as brick-bats.
Rajkumar Rao brings Shahid’s story to life with a superb, understated performance. The film itself is strong on story, pretty spare, and simply told. Mehta manages to convey to us Shahid’s hard-won convictions, and the man’s struggle to do the right thing in spite of the toll it takes on his personal life.
This is a fantastic watch on Netflix Instant for US viewers. Highly recommended.
Kidwise : This is not a film for the (younger) kids. Contains some scenes of police brutality, as well as some adult situations.