iSmart Shankar movie cast: Ram Pothineni, Nidhhi Agerwal, Nabha Natesh
iSmart Shankar movie director: Puri Jagannadh
iSmart Shankarmovie rating: 1 star
iSmart Shankar, the movie, is stupid. iSmart Shankar, the character, is slow-witted. There is not a single thing in the movie to justify why the film attributes smart, the adjective, to its hero.
Puri Jagannadh made a career by creating peculiar characters that did not fit into the traditional mould of the ‘hero.’ His protagonists embraced the bad personality traits and wore them like a badge of honour. His heroes were bonafide bad boys, but they were fun, dynamic and very entertaining. Jagannadh has milked his canon of ill-mannered, uncouth, disobedient and headstrong heroes to the maximum that it is no longer fun or entertaining. It is just repetitive, tiring and even punishing.
The plot of iSmart Shankar has been lifted from Hollywood movie Criminal (2016). Jagannadh has taken the mediocre plot and turned it into a rotten film.
The movie opens with iSmart Shankar (Ram Pothineni) escaping from jail to avenge his girlfriend Chandini (Nabha Natesh). But, he ends up with a chip in the head that replaces his memories with that of a CBI agent Arun (Satyadev Kancharana). How come you ask? It just happens. Arun happens to have a girlfriend Sandhya (Nidhhi Agerwal). Sandhya happens to be a neuroscientist. She happens to be researching on transferring memories of one living being to another. The head of the CBI department happens to have seen her presentation on memory transplant on a television channel. If she retrieves Arun’s memory, the details of the case that he was investigating can be secured.
When Arun’s boss asks a grieving Sandhya to remove the memories from the head of her deceased finance and install it in the head of an uncouth criminal, she agrees to do so without batting an eye. No time to grieve when national security is at risk. No, wait, scratch that. The nation was not at any risk. Then why would the Prime Minister’s Office be keen on the investigation led by Arun? You don’t ask such questions in a Puri Jagannadh film. All you have to know is the hero takes off his shirt and flexes his lean muscles in the climax fight. There, you got your money’s worth.
iSmart Shankar is another film that exposes Puri Jagannadh’s inability to reinvent himself as a filmmaker-writer. Not just his imagination even his morality has hit rock bottom. In a revolting stretch, he trivializes rape for cheap laughs and the scene ends with the girl falling in love with the man who tried to violate her.
Why is he still making such films?