Saakshyam - Movie Review

Friday, July 27, 2018 - 13:30
Saakshyam (2018)
Cast & Crew: 

Film: Saakshyam
Bellamkonda Sai Sreenivas, Pooja Hegde, Sharath Kumar, Meena, Jagapathi Babu, Ravi Kishan, Ashutosh Rana, Madhu Guru Swamy, Jaya Prakash, Pavithra Lokesh,Vennela Kishore and others
Dialogues: Sai Madhav Burra
Music director: Harshavardhan Rameshwar
Lyrics: Anantha Sriram
Cinematography: Arthur A Wilson
Art: A S Prakash
Editor: Kotagiri Venkateshwara Rao
Action: Peter Hein
Banner: Abhishek Pictures
Producer: Abhishek Nama
Story, screenplay and Directed by: Sriwass
Release date: July 27, 2018
CBFC Rating: UA
Runtime: 2 hr 46 mins

What’s it about!
A landlord's family in fictional village Swastik Nagar is massacred by Muni Swamy and his brothers as the landlord is creating obstacles to their illegal mining. A baby boy is saved and eventually adopted by a rich NRI family. The boy Vishwa (Bellamkonda Srinivas) is now running a company that is into video games and he falls in love with a beautiful Desi girl Soundaryalahari (Pooja Hegde). This love story takes him to India. And in India, the nature's five elements have their own course of action plan for him.
The massive success of ‘Baahubali’ paved way to think directors about the subjects that demand moments of visual spectacle. Director Sri Wass, who has so far directed typical action dramas, has tried to tell a revenge story mixed with fantasy elements. His latest film ‘Saakshayam’, starring Bellamkonda Sai Srinivas, a revenge drama mixed with nature’s five elements begins much like 'Baahubali'- a baby boy being saved from the villains who are on the mission to kill everyone in the family. The boy is saved and raised by someone else. Much like 'Baahubali'. In 'Baahubali', the junior Baahubali eventually takes revenge on Bhallaladeva for killing his father and putting his mother as captive. Here in 'Saakshyam', the protagonist Vishwa unknowingly takes revenge on his family's killers. Unlike 'Baahubali', this is not period or folklore movie. It is set in today's times. However, the concept of Pancha Boothalu is added here to give the scale for the visuals and lavishness.
According to the Hindu philosophy, Pancha Boothalu (five elements) play key role in human’s lives. They are – earth, water, fire, air and the sky. Each villain - Muni Swamy and his three brothers are killed by these nature's elements. And the sky is the witness, like a CC-camera that captures evidences. On paper this sounds terrific. However, on screen, this has not translated well, it has ended like routine revenge drama. Ambition is not important, narration, execution is what matters. This is where director Sri Wass fails. His 'pancha boothalu' concept is incongruous to the main plot. He seems to have confused whether nature should take its own course or should he make protagonist taking revenge. This confusion has led to unconvincing sequences in the second half.
Pooja Hegde is introduced as a girl who tells pravachanalu two scenes later she is just like another mass-movie heroine. Jagapathi Babu is introduced as menacing guy in the beginning but he turns into clueless person later. All the four villains have dhum-less characters.
The director has heavily relied on grand visuals, action stunts and spiritual angle rather than getting coherence in script and scenes. This why the film begins on a terrific note and ends as a regular revenge drama.
Bellamkonda Sai Srinivas is good in the role of a youngster who takes revenge. Interestingly, he is at ease with his role unlike in other movies. He has also put in lot of effort for this character. He has improved his acting skills too. Pooja Hegde is beautiful and but lacks performance skills. Jagapathi Babu as the main villain is looming, but his characterization is uninteresting. Ravi Kishan and Austhosh Rana’s roles are very typical and they have played them in routine manner. Senior actress Meena has played hero’s mother role and hers is a brief one. So is Sharath Kumar's. Vennela Kishore as hero’s sidekick provides some gags. Anantha Sriram as video game concept guy is good. JP and Pavithra Lokesh have lengthy roles.  
The film has stunning visuals thanks to cinematographer Arthur Wilson and the VFX team. Wilson has captured varied locations beautifully. His work has lent the film a rich color and style. The VFX is pretty good. Songs like “Soundaryalahari” and “Cheliya Choode” are good from the new composer Harshavardhan Rameshwar but rest of the songs don't impress. The dialogues by Sai Madhav Burra are meaningful at places, and routine at other places.
Production design and production values are first rate. The action stunts deserve special mention. Director Sri Wass has come up with an unconvincing storyline and screenplay but he has designed action sequences well.
Bottom-line: 'Saakshyam' is regular action revenge drama with elements of 'pancha boothalu'. The film has rich production values and visuals but it is more of routine masala drama than a fantasy flick.

Reviewed by: 
J Gudelli