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Movie Review - Shakti, The Power

Chitra
12/03/2002

Starring: Karisma Kapoor, Nana Pathekar, Shah Rukh Khan, Sanjay Kapoor, Deepti Naval, Aishwarya Rai (Special appearance.)
Music: Ismail Darbar, Anu Mallik, Naveen
Lyrics: Mehboob, Sameer
Produce: SriDevi Kapoor
Director: Krishna Vamsi

Shakti-the Power has an undeniable dramatic strength in structure and performances; it is impossible not to identify with the protagonist, and Karishma Kapoor is very effective as a brave, resourceful woman who is determined to free herself and her son from involuntary captivity.

It tells the story of Nandini (Karishma), who accompanies her husband Shekhar (Sanjay Kapoor) and son to Bihar, India from Canada and ends up enslaved in a violent and ruthless household.

Nana Patekar plays Narasimha, Shekhar’s father, a Village lord who is locked in an endless feud with a rival family. The dialogues are peppered with obscenities and there are graphic scenes of violence. Family feuds thrive, bullets and blood flow thick. Finding herself in a bit of predicament and worried about the effects the in-laws are having on her son, she asks her husband to leave India and return back home. Nandini’s disgust and revulsion at the violent ways of the family results in several face-offs with her father in law. Narasimha, however is indifferent to her, choosing instead to shower attention and affection on his young heir, Nandini’s son. Nandini is willing to go along with this for her husband's sake, though she looks forward to the end of their vacation. Meanwhile her mother in law (played by Deepti Naval) begs the family to stay in India a little while longer.

Tragedy strikes when the rival family kills Shekhar and Nandini is put under virtual prison for wanting to leave the household to return to Canada. The rest of the film deals with her various attempts at escape. Shah Rukh Khan plays a brief cameo as a lovable thug who is resolved to help Nandini escape.

Nana Patekar turns in a brilliant performance (marred only by some over-the-top mannerisms that he never seems to shake off), Deepti Naval and Sanjay Kapoor are commendable too. Karishma, striking a balance between toughness and vulnerability is believable.

The film is not without flaws, it gets Bollywoody at certain instances (SRK’s swaggering and staggering come to mind) but it refreshing to see an honest and edgy film come out of Bollywood..

There are profanities and several instances of physical violence.If you like gripping dramas with lots of bloodshed then this is the film for you. Otherwise, give it a miss!

Shakthi - The Power marks Sridevi Kapoor's debut as a producer. Director Krishna Vamsi who made the original Anthapuram in Telugu, which was loosely adapted from Brian Gilbert's Not Without My Daughter. Shakti extracts poignant performances from the cast.



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