Shakti has created lot of hype just before the release and it is touted as a film that is made with highest budget in TFI. It was interesting to check out how it would fare in the background of big budget films like Komaram Puli, Khaleja and Orange failing last year. Let me tell you guys what my opinion on the movie is.
The film is a fantasy subject about a savior who has to save the country from the enemies by saving the maha shaktipeetam. It takes us to two periods and shows us NTR in two different roles. The fantasy subject is definitely a very difficult one to write as the same has to be convincing and narration holds the key for the success of such subjects. As far as story line is concerned, this is not something new and we have seen in many films from the old pathala bhairavi to the latest Anji. And when the subject is seen by viewers’ time and again, the director has to do a lot of job and focus on narration. I should say that Meher Ramesh failed in this department. The point about evil forces trying for divine power is fine and seen enough but I didn’t understand why Egyptians? If Egypt is taken to add grandeur, the director succeeded but he failed to work closely on the script and too many glaring mistakes make the film look awful. For example- he starts the movie with a disclaimer that the characters in the film talk in telugu irrespective of place they live and in the first scene itself, pookthan’s son asks her if his father is coming in Hindi and in many scenes, the Egyptian villains speak in Hindi. Who speaks Hindi in Egypt? Is the director ignorant or if he had thought that audience won’t care. There are many such scenes in the first half which make people lose interest. The film starts with introducing pooja bedi and then the story moves to India with Ileana’s introduction. She is from the family of central home minister and wants to lead a very free life. She is locked up in house after an attack on her is foiled. She runs away from her house on a trip with her friends and she decides to land in Jaipur where she meets NTR and the travelogue starts. There are two scenes worth mentioning here. One, the scene where Ileana was attacked and the same is seen foiled by NSA commandos. Now the taking of this scene is so amateurish and the commandos suddenly spring from the dark and keep shouting Fire…Fire. This is definitely poor portrayal of how commandoes work. The second one is when Ileana runs away from the home. In the dark of the night, she jumps the wall (only 4 jokers and 1 leader securing the house of central home minister…can u believe?) and she decides to go to jaipur. In the next scene she is shown on the roads of jaipur next morning and in immediate scene, her mother and security in charge find that she has run away. I didn’t understand how she could reach jaipur from Hyderabad in one night and if I am asked to stop asking such stupid questions, I would laugh. I should talk about NTR’s introduction and characterization here. This was one of the weakest introductions of a hero; leave NTR in the recent times and NTR displayed a very subdued action in the first half. He lacked energy and he was seen sitting on a box on the top of a van for most of times blabbering the mundane Tommy dialogue. Ileana falls for him after being saved and wait…I can’t move ahead without talking about this scene and I though how amateur and careless the director is. Just like 1980s films, Ileana wants to take revenge on NTR as she thinks he is fooling them and making money. She fakes that she is in trouble but she falls in a pit herself. NTR runs around and finally finds her and feeds her vodka and the minute she opens her eyes, she looks at NTR with an admiring look and smiles and followed by a dream song. Which generation are we in Mr. Meher Ramesh? He didn’t work in developing the characters at all and finally they land in Haridwar where the diamond was anyways supposed to reach. There is another scene here where NTR lists names of 18 shaktipeethas to MS Narayana and MS Narayana looks at him, holds hands and tells others that NTR is not normal and blessed person. If telling names of 18 shaktipeethas or something can be called abnormal then even my daughter can be called blessed. With few scenes following the scene above, interval bang is revealed where NTR opens his box and pulls advanced guns to face the goons. It is revealed that NTR is a NSA commando and he is on undercover mission to save Ileana.
The second half proceeds fast and the flashback episode is revealed and then NTR is put in action to save the country from Egyptian villains. Flashback episode is decently made but again director didn’t establish even Rudhra’s character. The grand set made up for the inept characterization but not really working on hero’s character is really sad. Rudhra is shown as a savior who is saving Indian temples from invaders in his introduction song. Now that flashback episode is shown as 27 years ago, I wonder which foreign invader was destroying our temples then and did you people fighting with swords 27 years ago? I guess director wanted to show it as 27 years ago just to connect both NTRs and keep prabhu common element in both the generations but I guess he fails at this point. He should have maintained time gap and used something like what was used in arundhati to explain time gap to make it more believable.
In such films villain is also very important and that is a big minus. Sonu sood is like a guest appearance and the guy who played Raakha was dumb though good in body. Another funny scene is when a SUV slams into the villain and flies into air to turn into bits and pieces.
Actors: NTR was his usual self but both his characters lacked his usual energy. Except for couple of scenes, he is shown very subdued. He carried the film on his shoulders. I always loved NTR dances but I should say I’m disappointed. There are no energetic dances except for the last song. I couldn’t comment on Mathileka song as somehow it was cut abruptly in between and I am not sure if it is an issue in only this theatre. Ileana is looking very beautiful and you shouldn’t miss her. She has enough space and she used it to her advantage. Nasser did well and pooja bedi was OK. Jackie Shroff, Prabhu, Vinod Kumar and Sayaji Shinde didn’t have much to do and ali could bring some smiles. Venumadhav and Brahmanandam had small roles and didn’t work. Krishna Bhagavan and Srinivasa Reddy were Ok.
Technicians: Two people who deserve appreciation are Anand Sai and Mani Sharma. Anand Sai designed beautiful set which I am sure would have costed big money. Manisharma’s BGM was good at times and quality of his work is seen in the movie.
Producer Ashwini Dutt didn’t compromise and the production values reflect the producer’s commitment.
On the whole you can watch once for the set and few scenes.
by Brahma Mahesh
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