A decent effort!
When Sunny Deol decided to make 23RD MARCH 1931: SHAHEED his intentions were absolutely honest. However this movie fails to rise above just being a decent effort because of patchy screenplay and uninspiring acting. Also the factor that THE LEGEND OF BHAGAT SINGH was released on the same day and was a much better movie in every respect , shortened SHAHEED's stature quality wise .
The screenplay is patchy in the sense that it shows only the isolated instances from Bhagat Singh's life and the hunger strike part is stretched to the limit of patience. This is better than all other potboilers Guddu Dhanoa directed previously.
Acting wise Sunny Deol towers above all and his role is crowd-pleasing. However scriptwriter Sutanu Gupta extended the length of Chandrashekhar Azad's role beyond requirement simply to give Sunny Deol more screen time and gain from his popularity. Even Azad's introduction scene screams of typical Sunny Deol - Guddu Dhanoa style. Watching Amrita Singh playing Bhagat Singh's mother was a pleasant surprise. The characters of Sukhdev and Rajguru were denied whole justice and were reduced to mere backdrops. The biggest flaw was casting Bobby Deol in the title role. Even though he tried hard the performance was far from satisfactory and he simply lacked the fire in his eyes - something which Ajay Devgan managed so effortlessly in the other biopic.
Overall 23RD MARCH 1931: SHAHEED is a decent effort but stops miles short of being perfect or even great.
Rating: 2.5 / 5