Amazon Prime Video’s ‘Shershaah’ narrates the gallant story of Kargil War hero, Captain Vikram Batra, who was a vital asset for the Indian Army in recapturing two very important peaks during the conflict in 1999 — Points 5140 and 4875.
The film opens in Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, where young Vikram gets into a tussle with a boy elder to him over a cricket ball, while his twin Vishal tries to stop the fight. After a light scolding from their father, the two rush out to look at the neighbours’ television from their window and watch their favourite show, Param Vir Chakra — a Doordarshan series depicting lives of real life gallantry award winners.
What follows is a montage showcasing Vikram’s fuelling patriotism for his country and his passion for joining the army as he grows up. At the age of 23 in 1998, an elderly Vikram (Sidharth Malhotra) gets commissioned into the 13th battalion, Jammu and Kashmir Rifles (13 JAK RIF) and arrives at Sopore in J&K for his first posting as a Lieutenant.
After all the pleasantries, he gets allotted the Delta company and starts partaking in operations across the valley that range from observing surrendered terrorists and neutralising active militants. When the Army gets a tip-off from an informer about weapons being transported, they set up a check post to search cars for them, which results in a shootout with the perpetrators.
Though Vikram acts a bit rashly, he disposes them off and saves the life of his immediate senior, Lt. Sanjeev Jamwal aka Jimmy (Shiv Panditt), and they even manage to capture one of the militants. Though Jimmy chastises Vikram’s reckless approach, he warms up to him eventually and the two become best buddies.
Back at base, Vikram receives a letter from his fiancé, Dimple Cheema (Kiara Advani). This is where the plot gears into a flashback depicting his life as a college student in Chandigarh where he falls head over heels for this beautiful girl. After a lot of hanging out in groups, he finally manages to talk to her in private and the two start dating.
Eventually, he asks her for marriage and she agrees. However, Dimple’s father notice them together and invites Vikram for tea. During the conversation he subtly yet sternly hints that due to them belonging from different casts, the match won’t be possible.
This is when the passionate to be soldier considers joining the merchant navy instead to be financially secure and ask for Dimple’s hand in marriage then. However, his best friend, Sunny (Sahil Vaid), reminds him of his true goal and makes him see sense. He admits to Dimple that he has to join the Army at all costs, which she is visibly upset by but agrees to wait for him until he succeeds.
Shifting back to Sopore, one of Vikram’s known local tea vendor admits that his son has become involved with a wanted terrorist, Haider (Mir Sarwar), who wants to send him across the border for training. He promises to keep the boy safe and uses his position to get information and plans a major operation.
How does he execute the task and when do the events for the Kargil War get into motion?
Here is the Shershaah ending explained in detail:
As Vikram uses information from his informer to raid hideouts and confiscate weapons, their convoy gets attacked after one such raid. In the tussle, he loses a close comrade, Naib Subedar Bansi Lal Sharma (Anil Charanjeett) and vows to never let another soldier of his team perish, except himself.
He tracks Haider with newfound vengeance and the unit’s commanding officer, Lt. Col. Y.K. Joshi (Shafat Figar) agrees to a lethal operation to take him down after his location is confirmed. However, he tasks Vikram to lead it since he cannot risk sending more officers for such a high risk mission.
As the 13 JAK RIF team encapsulates the house where Haider is touted to be, Vikram takes the call and barges in with his men, killing several terrorists and saving numerous civilians. He eventually locates the target and neutralises him. The mission’s success garners him praise and he finally prepares to go on leave as the days of the Kargil War near.
Vikram’s leave is short lived when he gets the news of potential war breaking out. He spends a few days with Dimple as well as his parents but leaves soon after, promising the former to return for a longer duration, after the conflict, to get married properly.
Meanwhile, the Pakistani army captures Lt. Saurabh Kalia (who also hails from Palampur and was Vikram’s junior in school) and five of his men, violating the Geneva treaty. They then move their forces into Indian bunkers in winter, violating the Shimla Agreement — that states both countries will withdraw from and will not encroach upon each other’s higher posts during peak winters — as well.
As Vikram heads back, the bodies of the captured soldiers are returned to the Indian army in gruesome conditions, infuriating the population. This move forces then Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, to greenlight Operation Vijay. The unit then moves to the war base in Ghumri, where multiple battalions from various regiments are present to acclimatise and prepare for attack.
13 JAK RIF is just a reserve force initially and is expected to be prepared when called upon. As the soldiers gather, the base experiences artillery shelling by the enemy forces that results in various causalities, including Vikram’s senior, Maj. Ajay Jasrotia (Nikitin Dheer).
In the third week of fighting, Lt. Col. Joshi informs the unit that they will be taking over from 2nd Rajputana Rifles and be responsible for recapturing Point 5140, a vital feature to prevent further shelling and death. This is also where Vikram gets assigned the codename, Shershaah, for radio communication.
Jimmy and Vikram lead the Bravo and Delta companies respectively through two sides of the peak and manage to capture it without any causalities, marking a huge boost for the Indian Army.
The next target for the unit is the most crucial Point 4875 which overseas National Highway 1 from Dras to Matayan. Vikram and Jimmy are told to recover and recoup but the former insists on going.
Lt. Col. Joshi pays heed to his request and allows him to prepare for the assault. Delighted, Vikram uses a media personnel’s satellite phone to call Dimple and tells her to prepare the wedding dress as he’s about to return home soon.
The following day, the battle for Point 4875 begins but this time, the enemy, with rougher terrain, multiple bunkers, and strategic vantage points is at an advantage. There are many causalities during the assault but they manage to destroy the four bunkers initially to have been there.
Unfortunately, the men aren’t aware of a fifth camouflaged bunker, and suffer more heavy firing. Vikram asks Rifleman Yashpal (Pranay Pachauri) to fire an RPG lying nearby at the bunker. As he is about to, he gets hit and collapses. Vikram refuses to let him die and runs forth to drag him to safety.
This is when a hidden sniper takes the opportunity to shoot Vikram as he saves Yashpal. He manages to bring him to safety but gets hit by oncoming fire multiple times. The sniper then lets out a final lethal shot before being blown by an RPG. As he collapses, Vikram witnesses his men take the final bunker and hoist the Indian flag on the peak.
The last few minutes of the film show Vikram’s funeral in Palampur in the presence of his entire family, his comrades, the locals, and a distraught Dimple. The film then informs the viewers about all the gallantry awardees of 13 JAK RIF with their actual pictures from the war before the credits roll.