Movie: iSmart Shankar
Banner: Puri Connects, Touring Talkies
Cast: Ram Pothineni, Nidhii Agerwal, Nabha Natesh, Satya Dev, Puneet Issaar, Ashishi Vidyarthi, Tulasi, Shayaji Shinde, Gangavva
Music: Mani Sharma
Cinematography: Raj Thota
Editor: Junaid Siddiqui
Producers: Puri Jagannadh , Chamme Kaur
Story, dialogues, and Direction: Puri Jagannadh
Release date: July 18, 2019
After a long time, “iSmart Shankar” is one film that made a lot of buzz. Puri Jagan teamed up with Ram for the first time and the two trailers have provided enough mass masala.
Let’s find out how the film has shaped up.
Shankar (Ram) kills a politician after taking supari from his uncle but he later finds that his uncle is not fair to him.
Along with his girlfriend Chandini (Nabha Natesh), he goes to Goa to hide but the killed politician’s men are after him. Chandini is murdered.
Months later, the CBI officer Arun (Satya Dev) who is investigating the case is also killed in an attack.
Then high-ranking officials seek the help of a neuro-scientist Sara (Nidhi), who also happens to be the girlfriend of dead officer Arun, to trace the real men behind the politician’s attack.
She transplants Arun’s memories into the mind of Shankar and he becomes ‘iSmart Shankar’.
Ram has transformed his body and look for this role. Not only has his body language changed, but his performance is also different from his regular style here. While his Telangana accent is not that perfect, he has managed to evoke mass body language with élan. Ram’s acting in the role of the badass character is the main highlight of the movie. He has enjoyed playing it at the gallery.
Nabha Natesh as the typical Telangana girl and Nidhi Agerwal have provided eye-candy with their skins show.
Satya Dev in a crucial role as a police officer is impressive. In other roles, Shayaji Shinde and Ashishi Vidyarthi get noticed.
Mani Sharma has given some good tunes which are aimed at mass audiences and they have hit the bull’s eye. His background score, as always, is terrific.
Raj Thota’s camera work is good. Action stunts are another plus point.
Predictable revenge angle
Puri Jagannadh has been going through a lean phase and his recent films made critics declare that he is out of form and has run out of fresh ideas. To get his mojo back, he has taken the oft-repeated angle of bad-guy characterization to the lead hero.
In “iSmart Shankar”, Puri Jagannadh has presented Ram as a Hyderabadi local guy who is rough and tough in all his dealings be it human relations or his professional killings.
The total different outlook of Ram and this characterization for him is a first. On the surface, “iSmart Shankar” is an action-thriller with a science-fiction angle of transplantation of memories.
The film begins with Sara, a neuroscientist explaining the experiment of transplanting memories from one mind to another’s, and thereby it pretty early establishes that the badass character that Ram is playing will become a good one later. This has helped Puri Jagannadh go overboard in sketching Ram’s character.
While Ram is delectable with his performance, the scenes aren’t. They are too “oora mass” that cannot be liked all.
Despite the different theme of science-fiction, Puri has narrated the story in his time-tested manner with action stunts, romance with the heroine, songs and punch dialogues. Since this is first for Ram, he has put his heart into it and has tried to entertain us and engage us.
Despite not easily digestible romantic portions between Ram and Nabha, these sequences are engaging enough.
Ram terms Nabha as a Turkey that has slender portion front, a big rounded portion on the backside. He also likes to slap her face as he believes she looks cute when she gets enraged. This is the idea of Shankar and Chandini’s romance.
The dialogues they use while doing these scenes are obviously aimed for claps from the frontbenchers in B and C Centers. Puri has added such “mass” scenes to engage the movie.
Once the interval bang happens with memories of Satyadev planted to Ram, one expects that he would stop playing his badass style and would bring some classiness but he continues the same trend.
Post-interval, the film becomes more like a revenge drama, the action and chase sequences are handled well. The Varanasi episode and climax portions are good though middle portions are not that appealing.
In “Pokiri”, Mahesh Babu’s characterization becomes beautiful when the twist is revealed that he is an undercover cop and the emotional Nasser angle.
In “Temper”, NTR is presented as a corrupted cop but he turns a messiah in the second half for a powerful purpose. Such an emotional angle is missing here in Ram’s characterization in “iSmart Shankar”.
All in all, “iSmart Shankar” has some ‘smart’ plotline but the presentation is full of mass, mass, and mass. The film is clearly made to target this section of audiences. It is entertaining and bland in equal measures. This will mostly appeal to those who like an overdose of mass sequences.
Bottom-line: Double Dimaak
(Venkat Arikatla can be reached at email@example.com)