The fans of Jr. NTR waited patiently for a long time for Shakti to hit the screens. The film directed by Mehar Ramesh did not generate a very positive pre-release response. Let us see if the move has what the fans of NTR want to see.
Aishwarya (Ileana) is the daughter of union home minister Prabhu. Aishwarya is guarded closely by Prabhu as she faces threat from some unknown enemies. However Aishwarya has this habit of giving a slip to his father and also the security personnel and go outwith her friedns.
Aishwarya sets out from home secretly with her friends and she first lands up in Jaipur. There she meets a guide Shakti. He accompanies her and her gang and there is some mild teasing between the hero and the heroine.
When Aishwarya is attacked time and again it is repulsed by Shakti. However, one day when they are in Kashmir a big attack takes place on Ileana. Some guys from Egypt are eager to trace her out and capture her. Who are they and why do they want to capture Aishwarya?
Shakti takes on the attackers and goes out full blast with machine guns and artillery. He is not a tourist guide as made out to be but a NSG Commando in a under cover operation to protect Aishwarya.
This is the interval bang. After this, we learn that there is a flashback to NTR. His father Rudra is the protector of the Mahashakthi Peetham. He dies while trying to protect the petham from attack from Sonu Sood who has come all the way from Egypt to grab the 'Jwalamukhi' as well as Rudrasoolam and destroy the 18 shakti peethams.
However he dies in the hands of Rudra, but Rudra himself is killed when Jackie Shroff a diwan in the family of Mahadeva stabs him from behind for money given by Sonu Sood. Rudra's wife gives birth to a son and he is none other than the present day Shakti.
Aishwarya's father Prabhu wants to perform a yaganm on the special 'Maha Sukra Grahanam' day but he cannot find the Jwalamukhi. It falls into the handbag of Aishwarya accidentally and then it reaches the hands of Shakti.
Prabhu wants to buy the Rudrasoolam that has been taken away by Jackie Shroff. Prabhu is ready to pay any amount by Jacki shroff sells it to Behara (Pooj Bedi) wife of Sonu Sood for a bigger amount.
As the Maha Sukra Grahanam time arrives Prabhu along with the Swami and Aishwarya go to the place of the Mahashakti peetham to perform the puja. Behara arrives with her son Rakha, Rakha is the eldest son of Sonu Sood. Behara has trained him so that he can revenge of his father death. Behara also implants the eyes of Sonu Sood so that he can see the destruction.
How Shakti foils the evil designs of the evil Behara and sons is the remaining part of the story.
NTR is as expected the heart and soul of the film. NTR brings in the required energy and intensity to his role. NTR is good as Shakti. However, he is not that effective in his role as Rudra. His dances and fights as usual bring in cheer and applause from his fans.
Ileana is as usual in her glamour role. She is seen mostly in the first half only. She has very little role in the second half.
Jackie Shroff gets a lot of build up but he does not exactly rise up to the build up. He however is cool and suave quite different from the run of the mill villains.
Prabhu is okay. Sonu Sood is there for just 10 minutes. Pooja Bedi fits the bill as Sonu Sood's wife. Nazar as the swami is almost unrecognizable. Brahmanandam appears in a two-minute role. Ali evokes some laughter. Venu Madav, Krishna Bhagawan and others add their bit. Balasubrahmanyam and Manju Bhargavi appear in the flashback episode.
Shakti begins on a entertaining note with the comic scenes between NTR and Ileana and her friends. The story however does not move much. The interval bang when NTR's real identity is revealed raises the expectations of the audeince.
However, director Mehar Ramesh flaters in the second half. The flashback episode is supposed to be the highlight of the film. While it is okay, it does not exactly set the screen on fire.
The screenplay is not smooth and the story fails to excite you as much as it was intended. The songs are nice and NTR dances well. The fights are routine and production values are of high standard.
The director seems to have relied heavily on religious aspect to deliver the goods. He seems to have forgotten the entertainment aspect. The film entertains in the first half but the second half runs serious fashion.
Shakti is a big budget film but director Mehar Ramesh has not got it right fully. The film is also a bit too long may be 20 to 25 minutes longer than necessary.
Shakti is a standard Jr. NTR film but it is not a great film. You can watch it when you have free time.