Excitement and expectations of Tollywood Queen Samantha Ruth Prabhu and her fans from Shaakuntalam were quite high. Though Sam nailed Shakuntala’s character, it seems, all other things fell apart turning the movie into a kid’s affair.
Directed by Gunashekhar, Shaakuntalam is an Indian epic, based on Kalidasa’s Abhignyana Shakuntalam. The story narrates the eternal love story of Shakuntala and Dushyant from the Mahabharata era.
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The story begins with an infant baby, the daughter of Vishwamitra and Menaka, being abandoned as humans are not allowed in heaven. Kanva Rishi adopts her and names her Shakuntala. She grows up at his ashram surrounded by Mother Nature and wild animals. She befriends nature and animals and soon, she grows into a beautiful maiden.
Years later, King Dushyant of the Puru Dynasty accidentally trespasses into the premises of the ashram while chasing wild animals in the forest. However, he meets Shakuntala and both instantly fall in love. Shakuntala agrees to marry Dushyant as per Gandharva Vivaha (a marriage based on mutual acceptance with no rituals or witnesses). After his short stay, Dushyant leaves promising to come back and take her to his kingdom with pomp and splendour. However, he never returns and in course of time, forgets her.
Meanwhile, after discovering about her pregnancy, Shakuntala briefs everything to her foster father.
Later, while suffering her woes, gives birth to a son and names him Bharata. Bharatavarsh was named after this mighty king.
Though the tale is quite prevailing, moviegoers can witness the story and presentation of the epic after watching the movie.
Samantha as Shakuntala steals the show with her stellar performance, as ever. However, the first half of the movie seems to be quite slow. Moreover, Sam is seen in fewer scenes though the story is completely focused on her. On the other hand, with poor story narration, the approach is also quite confusing as it is narrated by others around her in bits and pieces.
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Moreover, poor animation is another reason the movie lost its grip on the audience. Moviegoers might get confused with the feeling of an animated movie for children. However, the second half of the story serves decent visuals and storyline. Also, other characters in the movie didn’t get justification for less onscreen time.
Shaakuntalam is simply an average-performing movie.
However, apart from Sam, Dev Mohan also performed well. And, Allu Arjun’s daughter, Allu Arha, is a delight on screen, who portrays the character of Prince Bharata.