Behind The Movie Jagadguru Adi Shankara: Noted dialogue writer, JK Bharavi, who earlier worked for the movies such as 'Annamayya', 'Sri Ramadasu', 'Sri Manjunadha' etc. has turned out to be the director and directed this movie. The makers have reportedly invested huge amount on this movie. Let's see how well this movie was made.
In The Movie Jagadguru Adi Shankara: Shankara( Kaushik Babu) is born at Kaladi of Kerala state to a Brahmin family. Soon his father is died. Shankara shows his remarkable power in acquiring mastery over four vedas at the age of eight. When he is caught by a crocodile in Purna river, he seeks the permission of his mother to become Sanyasi and then only the crocodile leaves him. Reluctantly, his mother accepts his proposal and then the crocodile disappears. In search of a guru he leaves for North India. Then he finds his guru, Govinda Bhagavadpadula( Srihari). The guru teaches him 'Jalasthambana', 'Agnisthambana','Vaayusthambana' and 'Parakaya Pravesha'( leaving one's own soul and entering others) etc. skills. Soon, Shankara decides to preach his Advaitha philosophy to the people who are quarreling among themselves in the name of castes and religions. Shankara teaches a lesson to one such person, Kapalikudu( Suman), who is responsible for the quarrels among the people. In another sequence, a Chandala( Nagarjuna) proves to Shankara that all the people are equal before god. During his philosophical tour, Shankara gets a chance to debate with Mandana Misra( Sai Kumar). While Misra i about to give up, his wife( Kamalini Mukherji) challenges Shankara by asking some question on sex and related questions. As he being a Sanyasi, he can't answer her questions. He then asks for a recess of 15 days. He later, do parakaya pravesha and enters the dead body of a king( Sriram Chandra). He then, makes love with the king's wives( Kamna Jethmalani and others) and learns and gets the answers for the questions posed by Misra's wife. Although being a sage, he performs the rituals of his mother. This factor irks the elders of his religion. However, they repent for their act later. Finally, having occupied 'Sarvagnapeetha' of Kashmir, he gets salvation and disappears in lord Shiva.
Values of the Movie Jagadguru Adi Shankara: JK Bharavi, the debutante director seems to have been inspired by K.Raghavendra Rao's 'Annamayya', 'Sri Ramadasu' and 'Sri Manjunadha' movies as the screen play of the movie goes on similar lines with the above movies. Music by Sai Srivasta was good and apt. Songs such as 'Changubala', Sriram Chandra-Kamna's duet song and the climax song are good. Background score is okay. Dialogues by JK Bharavi are excellent and show his command on Sanskrit language.
Performances wise, Kaushik Babu, the debutante hero has shown very good performance. He has been a perfect fit to this role. Incidentally, though he is a sanyasi, he utters some powerful dialogues like a mass hero, at times. Nagarjuna was terrific in his five minute role while Srihari was aggressive and wonderful in his 'guru' role. Nagababu's dubbing was done by some other artist. Suman was handsome as a villain. Mohan Babu as usually tries to show his mesmerizing dialogue delivery in his limited role. Saikumar and Kamalini generated sufficient laughs. All others have done their job well.
Out of The Movie Jagadguru Adi Shankara: The movie starts with the narration of Megastar Chiranjeevi about the birth of Adi Shankara and the social discrimination of then society. Though the first 45 minutes of the movie runs with a slow pace, it picks up momentum when Shankara and Kapalika's clash happens. In the second half, romantic track between Sriram Chandra and Kamna Jethmalani is dominated rather devotion. On a whole,the performances of the artists and good screen play are good. On the flip side, some of the cinematic liberties have been taken by the director. For instance, Chandala has not been accompanied by four dogs, as in the original story their role is important. Moreover, Shankara's philosophy of 'Advaitha' should have been conveyed well. In the second half, it appeared, romantic track is dominated rather devotion.
Commercially, 'Jagadguru Adi Shankara's fate depends on the lovers of devotional movies and family audiences.
Cinejosh Verdict of the Movie 'Jagadguru Adi Shankara': Philosophical Guru as well as Romantic Guru
Cinejosh Rating: 2.75/5
Reviewed by VJM