Friday, April 1, 2011

Shakti Movie Review

in the film Shakti, Pragati offers her husband Sayaji Shinde who's panting and puffing on the treadmill a glass of milk. Ileana freaks out on a cup of hot tea in the desert, we'd recommend the audience to drink either of them or err perhaps a bottle of chilled water to sit through the 15 reels of Shakti. Water will just revive you from unconsciousness but some tender coconut water will replenish you with some Shakti, the electrolytes.

Now that one has been warned let's know what Shakti's all about. It is synonymous with power, with strength and anything omnipotent. With such a heavy title and a cash rich producer who is dedicated and passionate about translating the inanimate stuff to reality on screen, the director is a really lucky man. The director too is known for his style that he displayed in Kantri and Billa but did he learn from his mistakes from those two movies or did he pick up some not to do's from Khaleja that played with saints and a superficial story line? Did he remember to put that soul and not get carried away by the attractive and wonderful packaging?

The first thing wrong about the story is the casting, very clearly the hero. He definitely has it to carry off this story, his dances, his acting skills, he has the warmth and heart at work but the simple truth is that it didn't suit him, not even the second role, the double role. Wish he gives more importance to the stories rather than the directors. Next, the memory of the audiences is fresh, they are also suffering from a sense of déjà vu and haven't forgotten the interval twist in Pokiri when the character is revealed as a police officer.

Two many plots, two many items to be retrieved, interlinking of a period drama with not so contemporary story that is difficult to believe. Nothing about the script that will hold your attention, the first half is atleast tolerable and will raise your curiosity levels but post interval it pulverizes. We may have the best actors in the world but if they are not supported by good writing they have lost the battle, there isn't a single line that will make your memory jog or that will propel you to remember some thing because despite all the expressions and distorted looks, the emotional connect goes missing, not a tear drop to move you.

Finally what you don't complain is the awe-inspiring background, the glorious sets that look so genuine that you'd really wish the writing is as authentic as the visual beauty.

Keeping all the richness, grandeur aside, did the filmmaker make an effort to know if such sort of stories work these days? Manjari Phadnis' make-up is loud, the rest of the characters play their part technically. Ileana looks like a diva, she should stress on asking for roles that give her more scope to emote rather than just fretting, frowning or smiling. The first few scenes has NTR speaking hindi, he looks a natural; we have seen many heroes come up with a few Hindi dialogues to show their prowess in languages but they all looked artificial, a put on.

Pooja Bedi returns and this time not as a temptress but an empress. She does something that would put an ophthalmologist to shame. The best part of the film is a quick tour that the crowds are taken to from Egypt to Jaipur, to Kashmir, Haridwar and to Hampi atleast the shift in locations and images keeps you seated for a while. There is hardly any entertainment, there is only a kettle that boils on the desert sand i.e., without a stove which amuses you but there are far more people who go through similar heat while seeing the screen. A good April fool joke by Meher Ramesh and a double one at that!

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