Shaakuntalam

2023 [TELUGU]

Drama / Fantasy / Romance

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 20% · 5 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 33%
IMDb Rating 4.7/10 10 680 680

Plot summary



May 12, 2023 at 11:29 AM

Director

Gunasekhar

Top cast

Samantha Ruth Prabhu as Shakuntala
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1.28 GB
1280*534
Telugu 2.0
NR
24 fps
2 hr 22 min
P/S ...
2.62 GB
1920*800
Telugu 5.1
NR
24 fps
2 hr 22 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by vishalagarwal-52212 5 / 10

Changed Story

Why story was changed from original book by Mahakavi Kalidasa? Script writer thought he can do justice with story which Great Kalidasa missed, and with this sole of movie killed.

Shakuntala went to Shantanu with her son, and movie shows she went when she was pregnant.

Great Shantanu can't even think of insulting a woman that too when she was pregnant, but story did great injustice with history as well as movie.

Looks South cinema has started getting inspiration from Mumbai cinema, so sorry to say you are losing credibility when South cinema earned in last 2-3 years. Your choice, as this is your money and area.

Reviewed by SAMTHEBESTEST 4 / 10

Fascinating Story, Repellant Film

Shaakuntalam (2023) : Movie Review -

Gunasekhar brings a pan-India adaptation of Kalidasa's legendary play, Shaakuntalam, with Samantha Prabhu and Dev Mohan. You don't need to see or read Kalidasa's epic because the story has been seen in many films over the years. You just didn't know this because those films presented it in different manners and with different setups. There are like a bunch of adaptations of this iconic story, right from the silent era to the early talkie era to modern Technicolour filmmaking in the post-independence era. The films and plays that were adopted from the Abhijnanashakuntalam or Shakuntala's tale are: in 1920 by Suchet Singh and by Shree Nath Patankar, in 1929 by Fatma Begum, in 1931 by Mohan Dayaram Bhavnani and by J. J. Madan; in the talkie era we have: in 1932 by Sarvottam Badami, a lost 1932 Hindi film, in 1940 by Ellis Dungan, in 1941 by Jyotish Bannerjee, 1943 by Shantaram Rajaram Vankudre, 1961 by Bhupen Hazarika, in 1965 by V. Shantaram and then Kunchacko, 1966 by Kamalakara Kameshwara Rao, then a play by Vijaya Mehta, which was later adopted as a TV series etc. Now, after ages, the story gets a pan-Indian adaptation, only to do injustice to its legacy. Such a fascinating and powerful feminism story it is, but such a lame presentation Gunasekhar gave to it. It is so annoying to see one of the masterpieces of world literature getting destroyed in a sudden heat of pan-India projection.

Shakuntala (Samantha Prabhu) is the only daughter of the sage Visvamitra and the apsara Menaka. Abandoned at birth by her parents, she is reared in the secluded hermitage of the sage Kanva and grows up an innocent maiden. Set in a pre-Mahabharata era, Shaakuntalam is the love story of King Dushyanta (Dev Mohan), who possesses almost all the qualities of a brave and noble minded hero, and Shakuntala. Dushyanta falls in love at first sight, as does Shakuntala. They both have a Gandharva marriage, have a honeymoon, and then the king has to leave for his duties. He promises to come back, and he does when Shakuntala is pregnant with his child, but their expected reunion is abandoned by the sage Durvasa's curse. All the memories of Shakuntala fade from Dushyant's life, and she is humiliated at his court. Will she be able to grow up with her child all alone, and will Dushyant be able to get her back? Find out about it in the film if you are unaware of this legendary tale from our Indian literature.

Shakuntalam is a fascinating story, and I don't really think the story is at fault here. It is our history/mythology (choose your side), and we can't help it if things did happen that way in the ancient era and you can't find them reasonable enough in 2023. The problem is its screenplay, which is terribly outdated. Those TV serials we used to watch in the 80s and 90s on Historical/mythological epics were far more updated than this. What's that overly dramatic background score? What did that Hindi-dubbed dialogue actually mean? I don't see how an intimate honeymoon song can suddenly get crowded with 6 background dancers. I don't understand how some of those cheap misogynist terms remain safe in a hard-hitting feminist drama. I couldn't understand the time leap and the Hindi-translated songs coming in between when nobody was interested in watching them. Bal Gandharva's musical adaptation had 100x better songs and song videos in the 40s and 50s than this. Okay, so you have animals all around you to make it more emotional, but don't play with human emotions at least. The flaws in the screenplay can go longer than the film's runtime if I want, but let's stop now with just one word: Gruesome.

Speaking of acting, Shakuntala's role needed a beautiful face, and that's what Samantha Ruth Prabhu is. However, they forgot that it needed a powerful actor too. Shakuntala's monologue in King Dushyant's court is one of the major highlights of this classic tale, but see how mediocre it looks here with Samantha. I am saying it again: the 90s daily soaps were far more updated then than what Shaakuntalam does in 2023. One cannot imagine Dev Mohan as a muscular and brave king who fights elephants, tigers, wolves, and an army of a million because he doesn't have the required physics. Yes, the performance is somewhat applicable and sorted, but it doesn't make up for the whole thing. The supporting cast of Sachin Khedekar, Aditi Balan, Gautami, Ananya Nagalla, Prakash Raj, Mohan Babu, Jisshu Sengupta, Kabir Duhan Singh, Kabir Bedi, Subbaraju, and others is below average. Allu Araha and her chatterbox segments will be loved by all.

You can't go wrong with the language, particularly with a film based on an ancient tale. Shaakuntalam is weak at the base there. The first floor, I mean, the grandeur is somewhat watchable on the big screen, but 3D goggles for 145 minutes, and that too for a slow film like this, are entitled to make your head a bit heavy and restless. The film was delayed for visual effects, but even they are not worthy. Believe me, KV Reddy's Mayabazar (1957) had better effects than this. I never saw any legendary ancient tale going so melodramatic with known segments the way Shaakuntalam has gone. Take "Cleopatra" (1933), "The Ten Commandments" (1956), and "Ben-Hur" (1959), for instance. These films were made when Indian cinema was struggling for one big global sensation, and they still look better than today's films after 8-9 decades. What a shame for us! Gunasekhar's Shaakuntalam wants to look older, forcefully; so old that I thought it might go behind BC and then to the dystopian era, only to get close to the Mahabharata's period. Sorry, Guna sir-what a repellant film you have made on a fascinating story like this. Expected Shakun-to-come, but instead came Apshaakuntalam.

RATING - 4/10*

Reviewed by vkr-94825 2 / 10

Gunashekar wasted an epic

Direction is at its worst. Everything looks unreal.. Costumes, Visuals, Everything looks so cheap that they are brought from koti market.

It was an amazing play by Kalidasa, named Abhignana Shakuntalam and the narration by kalidasa is extraordinary. He made it's one of most powerful play of his works.

But Taking that story, this director almost done prostitution to the story and screenplay. It's shame on such people who wantedly degrade the culture of country.

Overall movie is at its worst. Samantha action and voice is the biggest drawback of the movie as she lost everything on acting as she can sell groundnuts on streets instead of wasting our time on screen. Coming to allu Arha... Is she really necessary? That idiotish behavior of Allu Arjun who arrogantly throwing money everywhere and wantedly imposed his pathetic acting daughter, as main character here made this a huge flop. For boy characters boys will be perfect fit. This is not Bhakta prahallada movie to act extraordinarily in such great roles.

Finally, don't watch this movie in theaters if you are expecting an Epic.

If you want 2 hours time wasting.. Then go.

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