After a long hiatus, director Chandrasekhar Yeleti dishes out an adventurous thriller. Owing to its theme, there was lot of hype surrounding the film. And an unforeseen delay of its release spiced it up. I walked into the cinema with huge expectations. To my surprise, what I got is a half-baked cookie. That’s how the cookie crumbled. That’s how Sahasam tasted.
The movie explodes in Pakistan and the smoke trail leads to India, and finally fizzles at Pak. Different timelines were established in the narration that track the nerve centre of the follow of events. What starts to be a treasure hunt loses its steam midway and takes the story to a different terrain. The premise is strong, but the way the plot is driven seems very artificial.
The protagonist Gowtham (Gopi Chand) is introduced as one who believes in luck and always dreams to become rich the easy way. Suddenly his character takes a volte-face and he is seen as a man with conviction. This character reversal was unpalatable. He earns the wrath of a staunch devotee Nidhi (Tapsee) in a chance meeting. From here, every moment is staged. A set-up of a photo exhibition, a trip to Pakistan, a naïve girl travelling with a stranger to an alien land, one after the other things were made to fall forcefully in place. First of all, the entire motive of the treasure hunt seemed to be baseless.
Even when the movie shifts it gears to Pakistan, for most of the time the hunt is for Gopi Chand. This was done in an archetypal Okkadunnadu style. The hero lives to his name of a hero when he effortlessly plays the sport of Buzkashi. He doesn’t know the rules, he doesn’t know how to ride a horse, but still emerges as a winner. This offers some visceral delight to the viewer. Can we call it inducing some forceful adrenaline-rushing moments? Yes, the movie has many such loose ends that need to be fastened.
Passing through many lanes and by-lanes, the movie reaches its high-flying zone – the 30 minute power play that leads to climax. The art director must be applauded for creating such an aura. The massive set pieces make for the nail-biting moments the movie offers towards the end. But, the point here to ponder on is that the director, who is known for his artistic flair, along with four writers couldn’t pen an engaging screenplay. The void was felt all through the film.
One thing that shines all through the film is its technical brilliance. The breath-taking visuals of Ladakh are to die for. The accentuating background score of Sri took the movie to a different altitude. It’s difficult to imagine the film without that. The performances of the lead characters were perfect. Shakti Kapoor never looked so menacing on screen. Over all, the movie is not worth the hype it created, but makes its place in coming of age Telugu cinema. It’s time Chandrasekhar Yeleti should pull his socks and make a more intelligent and immersive film. Sir, please respect the genre.
My Rating: Expectation – 8/10; Reality – 4/10view less