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The Sikh Soldier

average rating is 4 out of 5


Jason Knight


Posted on:

Apr 2, 2023

Film Reviews
The Sikh Soldier
Directed by:
Sky Cheema, Joseph Archer
Written by:
Sky Cheema, Joseph Archer
Sky Cheema, Raj Bajaj, Irvine Iqbal, Praveen Riat-Sond

An Indian soldier goes of to fight in World War I, however he ends up battling his allies and himself.


This emotional short war film tells a dramatic and powerful story through the perspective of a young Indian man who deals who deals with inner struggles as he tries to determine whether risking his life in order to help the British fight the war is the right thing to do. The film addresses the ungratefulness, injustice and atrocities that were committed by the British during and shortly after the First World War. Mohinder, the main character,is treated with hostility by British soldiers, who view him as a bad person and he is even assaulted. And the final scene is an obvious reference to the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre. The film heavily points out Britain's wrongdoings towards them, however through the words of a British army officer, it also suggests that India's contribution during the war was also acknowledged.


The screenplay mixes reality with fantasy. While Mohinder is at the trenches, with the enemy nearby, he keeps seing visions of his parents and their constant appearances provide an insight into the hero's troubled mind but at the same time, they offer an escape from the terrible battlefield.


Cheema portrays Mohinder as a determined and strong individual, who believes (or at least wants to believe) that siding with Britain during the war is justified. He does his best not to show aggression towards British soldiers who insult him and even saves one of them. He supports the idea that fighting the war will be beneficial to him, however that is challenged by his mother who (in contrast to his father) is totally opposed to India supporting Britain.


The mise-en-scene deserves significant praise, as it effectively brings the viewer to WWI trenches. The Sikh soldier uniforms and British army uniforms and gas masks look great and so does the weaponry. The lighting effects are quite creative and the presence of hazardous gas is rather menacing.


As the director of photography, Matt Riley does a splendid job with the cinematography and the film also gains significantly from a dramatic and dynamic score.


This short could be categorised as a war film and a rather tense and emotional one that contains the dread of combat, the loss of life and different cultures colliding. More significantly though, it draws attention to Britain's brutality towards India during the First World War era, and simultaneously, it points out the sacrifices that were made by the Sikh military for the British Empire.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film
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