Shakti : Even Shaktimaan needs glucose!
Release date: 01 April 2011.
123Telugu.com Rating : 2.25/5
Director : Meher Ramesh
Producer : Ashwini Dutt
Music Director : Mani Sharma
Starring : Jr. NTR, Ileana, Pooja Bedi, Jackie Shroff and Sonu Sood others...
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What makes a film captivating? Is it the action, drama or the scale which a story tries to achieve? When does a spellbinding film trigger a mass hysteria? Itís just not fair to say that some of the earlier blockbusters had a stroke of luck. There are umpteen reasons behind success of films, but most importantly, films in the past have avoided falling prey to lack of logic, vision to depict something grand. With Shakti, it doesnít seem like any of these things have been taken into consideration. Itís also a fine example of what may happen to a film which solely banks on the heroís charisma to save the day. Directed by Meher Ramesh, the film has Tarak, Ileana, Prabhu, Nazar, Jackie Shroff and Pooja Bedi in lead roles. Aswini Dutt produced the film on Vijayanthi Movies banner with a budget pegged at Rs 45 crores.

 Dongala Mutha The film opens with an introduction to the core concept of the film. Itís 1984 and the Pharaohs in Egypt hatch a plot to steal a Ďmahasakthií (Trishulam) from India which would give them power to conquer the entire nation. Back home, a girl child is born in Mahadevarayaís (Prabhu) house. Sheís named Aishwarya and a yogi foretells her future and claims that she holds the key to change the future. However, she has to be protected till the age of 21 and after that a protector would do rest of the honours. Years later, Aishwarya (Ileana) is sick of her life where sheís guarded all the time for no apparent reason. She manages to escape for a tour across the country and so, she lands in Jaipur. Everytime she lands in trouble, Shakti (Jr.NTR) is right around the corner to save her. Elsewhere, the wife of the slain Egyptian king prepares his son to avenge his fatherís death. She sends a team to capture Aishwarya and hold the government at ransom. The rest of the story is about why everyone is after Aishwaryaís life and how Shakti saves the day.

Everything seems wrong right from the word go. To imagine and accept that Pharaohs were in existence in 1984 would mean that one knows nothing about history. And then it touches a new low when the kings in Egypt, who live amidst ruins of pyramids(!), get ready to wage a war on a specific part in India which holds the key to a celestial power. Letís keep the debate about how they traveled so far on horses aside, we have no clue how this tiny group from Egypt manages to come so far into the country. There are several other logical errors like this which make the film a laughing stock and itís certainly not without a reason.

Meher Ramesh, who also wrote the story, aims high and it shows when the central theme is revealed that itís about safeguarding the shakti peethams which are vital in maintaining peace and harmony in the country. However, the dream took him so high that he seems to have forgotten to see the crater sized flaws in his script. If only he had spent little more time in weaving a convincing storyline and taking extra history lessons, it would have made the story believable despite the fantasy element. In a way, Meher Ramesh seems to have realized it and so banks a lot on Jr.NTRís star power. The A1 Star tries his best to salvage the crumbling situation and is part of almost every frame. He takes the avatar of Shakti, Shakti Swarup, Rudra to add all the necessary twists and infuse life in this otherwise lackluster script. His energy is evident in his dances and action sequences and probably this is the first time where he has used swords and guns to this extent. His much hyped role as Rudra, although shortlived, hardly makes an impact. Despite all the effort he seems to have put in to his various roles in the film, Tarak is on the wrong side of the fence.

On the other hand, Ileana knows exactly what her role in the film is and she lightens up the frame with her ravishing looks. Seriously, can the choreographers ask her to do something else apart from shaking her hips like Shakira? Prabhu, S P Balasubramaniam, Manju Bhargavi, Sayaji Shinde and Pragathi are alright. Nazarís character, although crucial, doesnít quite make an impact. Itís a pity that Jackie Shroff, Pooja Bedi and Sonu Sood have the worst written roles in the film along with some ludicrous dialogues. The gaudy costumes and make-up donít help their case either. And you gotta be kidding when you see such monarchs trying to strike a business deal with a don based in Dubai! But no, everyone seems to have taken their roles so seriously that one can only wonder if they saw the film before its release.

The film was touted to be made with a budget of Rs 45 crores. The only lavish things about the film are the sets especially in the flashback and climax episodes & the song shot in Ladakh. Most part of the budget seems to have been spent on blowing up vehicles or perhaps the food bills of Daniel, the bodybuilder who plays the role of Raakha in the film. Heís probably the brawniest villain in a long time! In a nutshell, the film doesnít replicate the budget it boasts of, on big screen. Sameer Reddyís cinematography is alright and he took extra-care while shooting the songs to capture Ileana and Tarak in all their glory. Mani Sharmaís music is average, although songs like Thaliya Thaliya & Premadesapu Yuvarani do make an impact.

Shakti falls into the league of some of the most eagerly anticipated films which promised so much but delivered nothing. The theme had a lot of potential but it falls flat due to lack of logic and lackluster screenplay. Itís partly boring and completely ludicrous with a lot of honesty from Jr.NTR. Meher Ramesh and his team did put in a lot of effort, but sometimes, itís just not good enough to dream. Shakti needs a lot of shakti. If you are an aspiring writer or a filmmaker, there are ample aspects in the film which you might want to avoid if you make a film.

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123Telugu.com Rating : 2.25/5

Legend:    5 - Flawless
                4 - Must Watch
                3 - One Time Watch
                2 - Wait for the DVD
                1 - Stay Away
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