Despite recent flop record for hero Ram and director Puri Jagannadh, iSmart Shankar is carrying extreme positive buzz, thanks to electrifying promotional content. Will this movie end the flop streak of Ram-Puri?
Small time rowdy Shankar (Ram) is assigned a life settle assignment of killing an anonymous person who happens to be former Chief Minister (Puneet Issar). But, this murder lands Shankar in big trouble with police on chase. He even loses his girlfriend Chandini (Nabha Natesh) in the process of escaping from police and discovering the real culprits behind it. On the other side, CBI officer Arun (Satyadev) investigating the former CM’s murder case is trapped and killed. Higher officials with help of Arun’s girlfriend Sara (Nidhi Agerwal), a meuroscientist transfers Arun memories to Shankar’s brain to crack the murder case and motive behind. Is this memory transfer process successful? How exactly Shankar behaves like... Shankar or Arun? Will Shankar aka Arun punish the culprits?
Known for making hero centric films, incorporating all commercial ingredients, director Puri Jagannadh has come up with yet another mass masala entertainer which typically revolves around protagonist. Unique thing in the story is concept of memory transfer from person to person. Though Puri took lots of cinematic liberty and twists in the wafer-thin predictable story, he convinced us with ‘iSmart’ writing and taking. Puri very well knows the pulse of mass audience integrated all the elements in high dose. Dialogues by Puri have repeat value. Though he is a master at exploiting and exploring the heroines, it's fresh maal and a feast here. Mani Sharma rightly read the mind of Puri, gave suitable tunes. Few songs are full of mass and the other are ‘highly’ romantic, all targeted at masses. Background score is equally appealing. Cinematography by Raj Thota elevated heroism to the core. Junaid Siddiqui’s editing work needs a special mention for smooth transitions and for locking ideal runtime. Production values of Puri Jagannadh Touring Talkies are good in standard.
Onto performances, Ram cake walked the role as a Hyderabad Gully Guy with tremendous ease. His mannerisms, dialogue delivery and attitude heightened the character which required him to behave differently, speak in typical Hyderabad dialect which he didn’t try before. The kind of performance and energy he has come up with, we could only find the character traits of Shankar. His stunts and dances will please masses for sure. Nabha Natesh looked ultra glamorous but the slang looked forcible yet glamour wise killed it. Nidhi Agerwal too oozed enough oomph in songs. Satyadev is cool in a brief role. Deepak Shetty looked strong enough for villain role but he wasn’t given much scope. Ashish Vidyarthi and Sayaji Shinde are regular.
Strictly For Masses
Puri doesn’t think much about stories, since he is well aware of limitations and capabilities. With dialogues and characterization of protagonist, he used to create magic and engage audience. Of late, failed as the characters went repetitive. The ‘iSmart Shankar’ character and story is a different creation from Puri. He rightly utilized the concept of memory transfer which drove entire second half.
First half begins on curious note with few foreign scientists and Nidhi explaining the concept of memory transfer, followed by introduction of Ram with a fight. Romantic track of Ram and Nabha Natesh is too wild given that both characters are ireful in nature. Things turn serious after the high profile murder. CBI officer investigating the case killed, forcing higher officials to take a risky decision is well said. Intermission with Ram's escape from CBI is bang on.
Latter half too starts on interesting note with Ram’s memory juggling between original character and Arun. Without his knowledge, investigating the case is over cinematic. Finally, Varanasi last fight is well choreographed. Movie ends on suspicious note prompting on a possible sequel.
All in all, iSmart Shankar is a typical Puri mark mass action entertainer with new story line and regular screenplay. The film is strictly for those who love regular commercial entertainers. CJ goes with 3 stars and the film has high chances to shine in mass centers. With no big competition this week, the film is likely to do well in urban centers as well.