Banner: Abhishek Pictures
Cast: Bellamkonda Sai Sreenivas, Pooja Hegde, Sharath Kumar, Meena, Jagapathi Babu, Ravi Kishan, Ashutosh Rana and Vennela Kishore.
Dialogues: Sai Madhav Burra
Music: Harshavardhan Rameshwar
DOP: Arthur A Wilson
Art: AS Prakash
Editor: Kotagiri Venkateshwara Rao
Action: Peter Hein
Produced by: Abhishek Nama
Written and Directed by: Sri Wass
Release date: July 27, 2018
Touted to be one of the costliest movies in Tollywood with whopping budget with an upcoming hero, “Saakshyam” has been carrying very good strong buzz.
The film is said to be having unique concept as it is made on the nature’s five elements and Karma theory. The trailer and songs have garnered terrific response as well. Added to this, the presence of Pooja Hegde as the female lead has added more value.
Let’s find out how this film has shaped up.
Munu Swamy (Jagapathi Babu) and his three brothers kill Swastika Nagar’s landlord (Sharat Kumar) and his family members as he is playing spoilsport to their business plans.
The landlord’s baby boy is saved by a calf and the boy is raised by child-less couple (JP and Pavitra Lokesh). 20-years-later, the boy Vishwa (Bellamkonda Sai) grows up to take up the business empire of his foster father in New York.
In New York, he meets and falls in love with an Indian girl Soundarya Lahari (Pooja Hegde) who does religious discourse.
When she comes to know that her father in India has met with an accident, she heads to Hyderabad and Vishwa follows her. Munu Swamy’s brothers are killed one by one with the involvement of Vishwa.
Why and how does this happen?
Bellamkonda Sai Srinivas is perfect in the role of a billionaire business man who is fascinated about creating video games. In the first half, he comes across as a lover boy and in the second half, he does his typical mass action stunts. He has improved a bit in acting skills.
Pooja Hegde as spiritual woman is just okay. In some places she is beautiful, in most other places she looks out of sync with the movie.
Jagapathi Babu as Munu Swamy is villainous, has looked hard cruel but his characterization lacks punch. The three brothers are like cardboard villain characters. Vennela Kishore as hero’s friend is okay.
The film is made with huge budget. The grand visuals, high-end production values are example that how much money is spent on this to make visually alluring. The camerawork by Arthur Wilson is first rate. He always is good at action-packed movies.
The visual effects too are okay. The music by newcomer Harshavardhan Rameshwar lacks kick. Only two songs are worth. However he is good at background score.
Editing should have been taut. Dialogues by Sai Madhav are effective in key places.
High Production values
Lack of right emotions
Sri Wass directed ‘Saakshyam’ starts off with a prologue. It begins with the killing of Sharat Kumar 20-years back and is narrated how a villain destroys a family. The villains think that they have killed everyone, removed all the evidence (Sakshyam) of this carnage.
However, much like in ‘Baahubali’, the baby boy is saved by the mother and he miraculously travels to Benaras. With the blessings of Lord Shiva, the boy is adopted by a rich couple. Then comes the voiceover of Prakash Raj announcing that people think that no one is watching their cruel acts, but there is an eye above in the sky, that witnesses everything.
Stage is set for a riveting drama, we assume. But soon, we come to know 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 portions are like NTR’s ‘Shakti’ or Nagarjuna’s ‘Damarukam’.
Once the title roles end, we come to see the regular sequences of hero introduction with an action stunt in Dubai, his love story with a beautiful girl Pooja Hegde in New York, some misunderstandings between hero and heroine, couple of songs and heroine leaving to India without informing him and hero following her to win her love… all these happen in the first half.
Such an old-style and rehashed scenes come when the beginning promises something else. Luckily, the film comes back to the original point just before the interval bang. Here the ‘pancha boothalu’ concept is introduced.
There is also a sub plot. A creative director who works in hero’s company prepares a game in which hero doesn’t know who killed their parents but he starts killing them while the villains aren't aware who is behind them. He also informs him that in the game hero kills the villains with different elements like water, fire, air, and earth.
This is interweaved to hero’s real life incidents. Once hero lands in India to meet his lover similar things happen. These are handled interestingly. This portion has brought novelty to an otherwise regular revenge drama.
The elements of pancha boothalu to a regular revenge story has given new dimension, but the problem here is that the director has written clumsy screenplay. He has relied more on grand visuals and action stunts than gripping narration.
Also the climax portions are not at all handled properly. Thus whatever the interest middle-portion has generated is spoiled towards the end.
Despite being regular revenge drama story, ‘Saakshayam’ has enough material to be a riveting masala movie but it is director Sri Wass’s lack of narrative skills that has spoiled the show. Moreover, the movie has too lengthy runtime.
The grand visuals, and some elements may appeal to action movie lovers and mass audiences, but it doesn’t entertain wholly and turns out to be over-the-top action drama.
Bottom-line: Lacks Punch