Shakuni is intended to be a political satire with the hero turning into a political king maker after getting insulted by the politicians including the chief minister when he approaches them to save his ancestral property.
Kamal Krishna (Karthi) from Samalkot comes to Hyderabad to save his ancestral property from being acquired by the Railways. All his attempts fail as he is pushed around by the politicians and insulted by chief minister Bhupathi (Prakash Raj). Kamal feels that unless he gains political mileage he will not be able to save his ancestral property. He stays back in the capital and gets a sidekick Rajini (Santhanam) an auto driver. He also meets his aunt (Roja) and develops a love interest in his cousin Sridevi (Praneetha).
Kamal makes pawnbroker Ramanakka (Radhika) as the mayor of Hyderabad. Then he turns a Baba (Nasser) into a powerful godman. He motivates opposition party leader (Kota Srinivasa Rao) to be a contender for the CM post by winning the elections. But then corrupt Bhupathi is not an easy target and he has his own plans to chekmate Kamal and keep his post as CM. The rest of the story deals with the cat-and-mouse game between Bhupathi and Kamal leading to a predictable climax.
Karthi essays his role with consummate ease. Praneethi doesn’t measure up to the elan of Karthi. Prakash Raj is at his villainous best. Radhika has her moments of glory. Nassar and Kota Sreenivasa Rao are convincing. Santhanam does his comic antics. Anushka and Roja are cute in their cameos. All others fit their roles.
The premise of the story is the weakest point. A young man unable to save his ancestral property trying to pull down a political party in power is too far fetched to be credible. Moreover, Railways is not a state subject.
Director Shankar Dayal’s attempt to fit a political thriller in the mainstream cinema format appears to have backfired. There is neither a thrilling political drama nor a stream of pleasing entertainment.The narration is bereft of a good screenplay drive.
The dialogues are ok. Music by GV Prakash disappoints. The song sequences in fact derail the story telling momentum. Muththiah’s camera works wonders. Sound design leaves a lot to be desired.
Those who have seen Sekhar Kammula’s Leader, Prakash Jha’s Rajneeti and Dibakar Banerjee’s Shanghai will not be able to savour Shakuni. The basic idea of the film that one has to be politically powerful to protect his/her properties is unethical, outrageous and unacceptable.
This theme does not differentiate the protagonist and the antagonist as their motives appear to be similar.
Shakuni is strictly for Karthi’s numerous fans.
The Cast and Crew
Karthi, Praneethi, Prakash Raj, Kota Srinivasa Rao, Radhika, Chandra Mohan, Santhanam, Nassar, Kiran Rathod, Anushka (special appearance) and others
Music Director: G V Prakash Kumar
Cinematography : PH Muththiah
Editor : Sreekar Prasad
Producer: Gnanavel Raja, Bellamkonda Suresh
Director: Shankar Dayal
2.5 out of 5
Review by Deen Kumar
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