shaakuntalam Plot

Genre: ,
Release Date:

Cast: Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Dev Mohan, Sachin Khedekar, Kabir Bedi, Mohan Babu, Prakash Raj

Director: Gunashekhar

Producer/s: Neelima Guna


shaakuntalam Review

Shaakuntalam Movie Review Rating:

Star Cast: Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Dev Mohan, Sachin Khedekar, Kabir Duhan Singh, and ensemble.

Director: Gunasekhar

Shaakuntalam Movie Review
Shaakuntalam Movie Review ( Photo Credit – Shaakuntalam Poster )

What’s Good: A very brief portion of the background score that seems like it was made for an artistic film but landed in the wrong one. Samantha when she doesn’t have dialogues.

What’s Bad: Whoever was paid for managing the VFX and CGI department should be fined for doing the laziest job. Also, why did Samantha decide to dub her own Hindi dialogues for a period movie?

Loo Break: Please make up your mind if you want to really invest 2 hours of your life in this first.

Watch or Not?: My heart breaks to say a movie made at this scale is better given a chance on the digital front.

Language: Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada & Hindi

Available On: Theatres Near You!

Runtime: 149 Minutes.

User Rating:

Based on Poet Kalidasa’s iconic play Abhijnanashakuntalam, Shaakuntalam traces the love story of Shakuntala and King Dushyant as a sage’s curse tears them apart and the longing shapes one of the most legendary love stories of the Indian folklore.

Shaakuntalam Movie Review
Shaakuntalam Movie Review ( Photo Credit – A Still From Shaakuntalam )

Shaakuntalam Movie Review: Script Analysis

The technique of adapting Indian folklore and making visually scintillating films about it is a very rare occurrence. Not many filmmakers could do justice to the genre barring a few, including the legendary K. Asif, the maverick Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and Ashutosh Gowarikar. Shaakuntalam, that comes from one of the most celebrated Telugu filmmakers Gunasekhar is disappointing at its very opening. The welcome is so haphazard the hopes from what is packed inside die very quickly and never to rise back.

Adapted by Gunasekhar himself, Shaakuntalam opens to a bird carrying a baby across half the planet only to land it in a forest where a safe finds it and explains her arrival and how she was born. The girl, in no time, grows up into Samantha and begins the story that the makers are interested in telling. It is about a time that did reflect on our screens for years but definitely not a story that did. If a film opens up so vaguely that it believes the audience with suspend their disbelief on the basis of an animation about an ‘Apsara’ and her short-lived relationship, you are expecting a lot.

With no intent to belittle the mythology or the Indian Folklore, there is a lot that cannot be believed considering the human capacity. So technically, it is all magic, and magic cannot be fast-paced that it forgets that it has an entire hall that it has make believe in itself. Shaakuntalam is least bothered about its audience because it just chooses to run with all the convenient plot vehicles available. The fact that it is originally a play means that the scene were written in a way that actors standing in the aisles will enter the stage and play the parts. A movie can take the efforts to place the characters in a way that it resembles real geography. Everyone cannot just appear out of the blue the moment you take someone’s name.

Shaakuntalam highly lacks the glue or the conviction in binding the multiple stories it does and the time frame it jumps. The makers do not want to invest in marinating the audience in the flavour of their film. They do not feel the need to be a slow-burning love story that finds its voice in the moments. It is busy hopping from one sequence to another while creating no connect with itself or the audience that it is made for. The laziness shines too brightly when the writer chooses to place two female characters as Shakuntala’s friends and use them as Mythological Google for the questions the audience might have while watching. The two girls know everything, and they mouth lines like it is an annual school play.

The love saga is so magical. A lover who forgets the woman he fell in love like it was hypnotism, and a curse made him forget her only to realise that he insulted her in that phase. The longing that he suffers and the hardships laid of his love. Instead the filmmakers decides to completely rush through these moments without focusing on them.

Shaakuntalam Movie Review: Star Performance

Samantha is a great actor and knows how to make the silences talk. Very few actors cry as convincingly as she does, but the moment you realise she has dubbed her Hindi dialogues, she walks into the trap herself. A very good attempt to try something new, but a very wrong movies to begin with. It’s a period film dialect, and language is the strongest thing and when one messes up with that, you butcher your own product.

My heart breaks to call Dev Mohan’s performance a school play like. The actor was so good in his debut movie Sufiyum Sujatayam. The mystery that he brought with his gaze and his posture disappears completely in Shaakuntalam, where he plays the part like the emotions were being displayed on a placard behind the camera without any rehearsal.

Everyone else are paper thin characters that exist to take the story ahead.

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