Cast: Samantha, Dev Mohan, Prakash Raj, Mohan Babu, Aditi Balan, Ananya Nagalla
Produced By: Neelima Guna
Release Date: 14th April 2023
Samantha’s Shaakuntalam has finally hit the screens after months of delay. Gunasekhar’s comeback after 8 years and Samantha’s unique choice of role have created some intrigue. But, the film’s promotional content and trailers have not managed to create a great buzz amongst the audience. It needs to be seen if the content of the film can pull the film lovers with solid word of mouth.
Story: Shakuntala (Samantha), a woman of unparalleled beauty resides at Rishi Kanva’s ashram. On his hunting expedition, King Dushyanta (Dev Mohan) runs into her and falls head over heels in love. Shakuntala reciprocates the feelings and the couple gets married. Dushyanta leaves to attend to his royal duties but promises to come back to get her and parts with a ring. Shaakuntala is faced with a curse given by Durvasa (Mohan Babu) who says she will be soon forgotten by her most loved thing. What happens when Dushyanta forgets Shaakuntalam due to this curse and how Shakuntala fights against the odds is what the movie is about.
Performances: Samantha in the titular role has got the tough job of handling the film which has several loopholes and poor production quality. She does a good job but overall poor experience of the film overshadows her performance. Dev Mohan looks elegant as King Dushyantabut when it comes to action sequences, the shortcomings are quite visible. Mohan Babu is terrific as Durvasa Muni and his diction and screen presence provide the only standout performance of the movie. Prakash Raj, Sachin Khedekar, Ananya Nagalla, Aditi Balan all have limited screen time but don’t have anything special scope for performance. Allu Arha is the surprise package of the film and gets and does a good job as Prince Bharat.
Analysis: The film is plagued by poor making quality. Shoddy VFX, badly executed war scenes, and forced emotions on the side. Poor narration, unengaging screenplay, and forced emotions on other, Shaakuntalam as a film offers nothing to take back. The film is loaded with an extremely talented star cast but with its basic plot and flat narration, it offers very few moments of joy to the viewers.
- Samantha’s look
- Allu Arha’s scens
- Slow narration
- Dull screenplay
- Shoddy VFX
- Badly sketched war scenes
Gunasekhar’s idea to bring ‘Abhijnana Shaakuntalam’ is a novel one. He is loaded with a terrific starcast who all bring loads of talent. However, the inability to sketch out the drama in an engaging way along with the visibly poor quality of filmmaking has let the idea down.