Banner: Pictures of Abhishek
To throw: Bellamkonda Sai Sreenivas, Pooja Hegde, Sharath Kumar, Meena, Jagapathi Babu, Ravi Kishan, Ashutosh Rana and Vennela Kishore.
Dialogs: Sai Madhav Burra
The music: Harshavardhan Rameshwar
PDO: Arthur A Wilson
Art: AS Prakache
Editor: Kotagiri Venkateshwara Rao
Action: Peter Hein
Produced by: Abishek Nama
Written and directed by: Sri Wass
Release date: July 27, 2018
Considered one of Tollywood’s costliest movies with a huge budget with an upcoming hero, “Saakshyam” has garnered great buzz.
The film is said to have a unique concept as it is made on the five elements of nature and the theory of karma. The trailer and songs also garnered tremendous response. Added to this, the presence of Pooja Hegde as the female lead added more value.
Let’s find out how this film took shape.
Munu Swamy (Jagapathi Babu) and his three brothers kill the owner of Swastika Nagar (Sharat Kumar) and his family members as he plays spoilsport to their business plans.
The owner’s little boy is saved by a calf and the boy is raised by a childless couple (JP and Pavitra Lokesh). 20 years later, boy Vishwa (Bellamkonda Sai) grows up to take over his adoptive father’s business empire in New York.
In New York, he meets and falls in love with an Indian Soundarya Lahari (Pooja Hegde) who makes religious speeches.
When she learns that her father in India has had an accident, she heads for Hyderabad and Vishwa follows her. Munu Swamy’s brothers are killed one by one with Vishwa’s involvement.
Why and how does this happen?
Bellamkonda Sai Srinivas is perfect as a billionaire businessman fascinated by creating video games. In the first half he comes across as a boy in love and in the second half he does his typical mass action stunts. He has improved a bit in his acting skills.
Pooja Hegde as a spiritual woman is doing well. In some places she’s beautiful, in most others she’s out of step with the movie.
Jagapathi Babu as Munu Swamy is mean, looks cruel but his characterization lacks punch. The three brothers are like cardboard villains. Vennela Kishore as the hero’s friend is fine.
The film is made with a huge budget. The great visuals, high end production values are an example of how much money has been spent to make this visually appealing. Arthur Wilson’s camera work is top notch. He’s still good at action movies.
The visual effects are also decent. Newcomer Harshavardhan Rameshwar’s music lacks punch. Only two songs are equal. However, he is good at background scoring.
The assembly should have been tense. Sai Madhav’s dialogues are effective in key places.
High production values
Lack of right emotions
Long run time
Sri Wass directed ‘Saakshyam’ begins with a prologue. It begins with the murder of Sharat Kumar 20 years ago and tells how a villain destroys a family. The wicked think they have killed everyone, taken away all the evidence (Sakshyam) of this carnage.
However, just like in ‘Baahubali’, the little boy is saved by the mother and he miraculously goes to Benaras. With Lord Shiva’s blessing, the boy is adopted by a wealthy couple. Next comes Prakash Raj’s voiceover announcing that people think no one is watching their cruel deeds, but there is an eye above the sky, which witnesses everything.
The stage is set for gripping drama, we suppose. But soon we learn that the prologue is just a well-cut trailer, the real movie is anything but the prologue.
The beginnings are as ambitious as ‘Baahubali’, but the later parts are like NTR’s ‘Shakti’ or Nagarjuna’s ‘Damarukam’.
Once the title roles are over, we come to see the hero’s regular intro sequences with an action stunt in Dubai, his love affair with a beautiful girl Pooja Hegde in New York, some misunderstandings between the hero and the heroine, some songs and the heroine leaving for India without informing her and the hero following her to win her love… all this happens in the first half.
Such old-school, revamped scenes come when the beginning promises otherwise. Fortunately, the film returns to the original point just before the interval shot. Here the “pancha boothalu” concept is introduced.
There is also a subplot. A creative director who works at the hero’s company prepares a game in which the hero doesn’t know who killed his parents but he starts killing them while the villains don’t know who’s behind them. He also informs her that in the game the hero kills the villains with different elements like water, fire, air and earth.
This is intertwined with real-life incidents of the hero. Once the hero lands in India to meet his lover, similar things happen. These are treated in an interesting way. This part brought some newness to an otherwise regular revenge drama.
The pancha boothalu elements to a regular revenge story gave it a new dimension, but the problem here is that the director wrote a clunky script. It relied more on great visuals and action stunts than gripping storytelling.
Also, the climax parts are not handled properly at all. So whatever interest the middle part generates is wasted towards the end.
Although a regular revenge drama, ‘Saakshayam’ has enough material to be an engrossing masala film, but it was director Sri Wass’ lack of storytelling skills that spoiled the show. Also, the movie has too long a runtime.
The awe-inspiring visuals and some elements may appeal to action movie lovers and general audiences, but it doesn’t fully entertain and ends up being an over-the-top action drama.
At the end of the line : Lack of punch
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