Shaakuntalam Movie Review
Shaakuntalam Movie Review
Telugu360 Rating 2/5
Gunasekhar is one of the directors who paved the way for the Telugu film industry toward big films. He is a director who is tempted to show the movie to the audience with emotions. He also has a good grasp of mythology. At the very beginning of his career, he received the National Award for Bala Ramayanam. Later he did a historical film like Rudramadevi. His latest film Shaakuntalam is based on a Sanskrit play Abhignana Sakuntalam written by Kalidasa. Abhignana Saakuntalam is a classic in Indian literature. Kalidasa’s writing style captivated the readers. But bringing such classics to the screen is also a challenge. Has Guna Sekhar succeeded in conveying the feeling of this love poem to the audience?
Story: Menaka, who came to break Vishwamitra’s penance on the order of Indra, comes physically close to the sage. As a result, a girl child is born. But that child conceived by humans has no entry into the divine world. With this, Menaka leaves the child in the asramam. A group of birds called Sakunthalamus abandons the child in the Kanvashram area. Kanva Maharshi (Sachin Khadekar) names the child Shakuntala (Samantha) and adopts it. The king of Hastinapuram is Dusyanta (Dev Mohan) comes to Kanvasrama while hunting wild animals. Seeing that Shakuntala is like an apsara, he falls in love at first sight. Shakuntala also likes Dusyantha and both get married in Gandharva style. Dusyanta promises Shakuntala that he will invite her to the kingdom with royal courtesies and introduce her to the people as a queen, gives her a signet ring, and leaves for the kingdom. Shakuntala becomes pregnant and after waiting months to see Dushyanta she goes to the kingdom of Dusyanta. But when she goes to Dushyanta’s kingdom, she faces an unexpected defeat in a full house. Seeing Shakuntala, Dusyanta says that he does not remember who he really is. At the same time, Shakuntala also loses the ring gifted by Dushyanta. As a result, everyone marks her as conspiring to bring disrepute to the Maharaja. How did Dushyanta forget Shakuntala? Why did he forget? How did Shakuntala lose her ring? Did Dusyantha remember the past again? That is the rest of the story.
Original story writer Kalidasa’s writing style is amazing. His imagination, narrative style, the sculpture makes the reader mesmerized. Abhignana Sakuntalam is also a wonderful work. Director Gunasekhar’s effort to capture such a work with the camera and unveil it on the silver screen is commendable, but it seems that the director’s imagination and skill are not enough to bring that work to the screen and mesmerize the audience. While filming such a classic as a movie, the judgment of what should be shot, what should be shown, and what is necessary for the movie should be very strong. Gunasekhar faltered in many places in this regard. The story begins with the episode of Chinnari Shakuntulam. The visuals of Kanvashram are impressive. The sage Kanva who saw a child in a tree bush tells the story of Menaka and Vishwamitra. But this story has been adjusted with sketch images.
The key moment is supposed to be the introduction of Shakuntula and Dusyanta. One gets the feeling that Gunasekhar has shot this scene very regularly. The depth of their love does not connect with the audience. Dushyanthu looks like a hero in an average commercial movie, but the sentimentality of the writing does not come across. The next scenes were stretched. In the middle, the track of Asura Mooka KalaNemi, and the anecdotes told by the friends in the ashram reduce the intensity of this love poem. The story takes a turn after the debut of Mohan Babu as Muni Durvasa. But it is not very impressive to show that this character’s entry is just for a twist. The major flaw in the movie is the audience will not connect with her pain and sorrow. The humiliation meted out to the Shakuntis in a full house is heartening. After knowing the truth, Dusyanthu’s search for love is not impressive. The track Menaka, who is moved by the sufferings of her daughter on the earth reminds us of a daily serial scene. The war between the Asuras and the Gods is also very cheap. Allu Arha’s presence before the end is impressive.
Performances: Carrying mythological characters is not easy. Samantha, who played the title role did her best. The emotional scenes are well done. But even in the love scenes, there is some pain in her eyes. This gives the feeling of the same expression in many places. Dev Mohan is good in the role of Dushyant but his chemistry with Samantha did not work. The love story would have been more connected if a star with some image was taken that role. Ananya, Madhubala, Sachin, Gautami, Shivabalaji all the other actors are adequate. Allu Arha looked good. Many of the 3D effects look erroneous. Especially the heads coming forward like a stork made it difficult to see. Mani Sharma’s songs are dull but the background music is good. The dialogues are not very impressive.
Original Sakunthulam is a beautiful love poem. Gunasekhar failed in making it a visual poem on the silver screen.
Telugu360 Rating 2/5
Director : Gunasekhar
Music director: Mani Sharma
Cinematography: Sekhar V Joseph
Producers: Neelima Guna