iSmart Shankar review: A loud, over-the-top mass action-thriller
iSmart Shankar's director Puri Jagannath has scripted an interesting storyline for the film
Critic's Rating: 2.5/5
Thursday 18 July 2019
Ram Pothineni, Nidhii Agerwal, Nabha Natesh, Satya Dev
Shankar (Ram) who does settlements in the old city in Hyderabad falls in love with Chandini (Nabha Natesh). He takes supari and kills a politician. The politician's men attack him when he is hiding in Goa with Chandini and in the ensuing fight, she gets killed. This is Shankar's back story. In the present time, a CBI officer Arun (Satya Dev) tracks the case of the politician and finds that there is a bigger person involved in the case but he soon gets killed. Now Arun's girlfriend Sara (Nidhhi Agerwal), who is a neuro-scientist, transfers memories of Arun to the mind of Shankar, to find out the real culprit. The rest of the story is Shankar with his double memories finishing the job.
With trailers, it was pretty evident that Puri Jagannadh's iSmart Shankar is loosely based on Hollywood films iBoy and Kevin Costner starrer Criminal that dealt with the point of a device or chip embedded in the head of the protagonist. Puri has taken this plot point of transferring memories from one mind to another one's and has written in his unique style.
The characteristic style of Puri Jagannadh is, presenting his protagonist as some sort of a carefree guy with shades of grey initially. Later it is revealed that he's actually doing good or a good guy or a cop. iSmart Shankar has a similar pattern but the thread of 'chip' embedding in the brain of the protagonist which results in duality is something novel and he narrates this story in a straight forward way without holding any twist about the protagonist.
While the angle of transplanting or transferring the memories of a dead man into the mind of a living one is engaging, it is the narration and the over-the-top scenes that have gone bad. The track between Ram and Nabha lack all sensibilities. Puri's idea of romance – hero trying to convince his love forcibly by being on her top and she slapping him and slowly liking his aggressive attitude – would definitely infuriate women activists. Such tasteless scenes are aplenty in the name of 'mass' scenes.
To bring in more mass appeal, Puri has also written situations like hero dreaming of his dead girlfriend with the current memories as it would allow him to sing and dance with two heroines in skimpy dresses.
The first half of the film goes on rapid pace but post-interval the finding of the main villain is pretty predictable and plain.
Ram has played the role of Hyderabad local boy Shankar with a new approach. While there is nothing to fault his sincerity and his performance, it is his dialogue delivery that is totally bad. He was not able to get the Telangana accent right, his fake accent not only is irritating but also sounds vulgar at times. He has infused energy into his character but his dialogues and accent are unbearable after a point.
Nabha Natesh as the Hyderabadi girl has indulged in heavy skin show and her dialogue delivery with Telangana accent is equally bad.
Nidhii Agerwal as neuro-scientist is plain okay. Both the heroines have provided enough glamour show in the songs. Satya Dev as a police officer is good. Ashish Vidyarthi and Shayaji Shinde have repeated what they have been doing in umpteen movies.
Music by Mani Sharma is massy but they are catchy as well. His background score is good. Action episodes are good. Puri Jagannadh has written Hyderabadi-dialogues in his typical style.
iSmart Shankar is aimed at frontbenchers. Despite the idea of transplantation of memories being new, the rest of the story and its treatment are over-the-top and too clichéd. This is a loud mass action-thriller.