Shakeela full Movie Review
Story: Inspired by a true story, “Shakeela” is the autobiography of an adult South Indian actress, and narrates her life – from her humble beginnings in a small town in southern India to the highs and lows of her eventful career.
Review: Shakeela (Kajol Chug) is just another teenage girl who grew up in a lush green little village in southern India. Despite their extreme poverty and her mother’s constant bickering, she finds joy in fun-filled fishing trips with her father and participating in school plays. But all that changes with her father’s sudden death. Shakela’s mother, who was once a young artist, brings all of her children to the bustling city of Cochin in Kerala. Being the eldest, Shakeela not only has to take care of her younger siblings, but she also has to earn a living. Thus, she begins her journey from an innocent girl to one of South India’s most controversial actresses, whose sudden rise to fame is as dramatic as her downfall.
Indrajit Lankish, writer and director, chooses a story that contains all the trappings of an exciting story of a powerful protagonist. Troubled times, tough circumstances, rushes to succeed and an opponent who has every leverage to defeat any opponent. But the way Lancash tells the story of Shakeela (Richa Chadha) and draws out performances from superstars like Richa Chadha and Pankaj Tripathi is disappointing, to say the least. The two extremely talented actors are tied up in a showdown but it could have been stronger and their quest more believable. Having Shakeela Yoyo between being a cheerleader girl and a fierce opponent of Southern Star Slim (Tripathi) does not come in convincing at all. Just like why would she tell her story to a screenwriter taking a drug test when she approached him for writing her autobiography in the first place?
Writing is committed to showing important flash points in Shakeela’s career, but it fails to give us a useful glimpse into her personal life. There, he simply scratches the surface and never delves into her personal relationships, despite the claim that Shakela’s onscreen avatar was born out of her need to feed her family more than her own ambitions. Using montages to convey important life events and plot twists often conveyed by cartoonish news anchors don’t always get us encouraged either. Caricatures and stereotypes are rather one too many – from a lazy and under-represented scene that includes the iconic Silk Smitha to showing most of the producers, financiers, and audiences in the South as lascivious clowns or star-studded eyes.
On the plus side, we have some cute moments from Shakela’s little school days played by the much loved Kajol Chugh. She balances the strength and weaknesses of her character with seasoned excellence. Richa Chadha fits her role really well, looking in every part sensual, fragile, and assertive like Shakeela. But we’re not sure if it’s the writing or her particular style what her portrayal appears to be a bit restrictive, to the point where it’s disappointing. Interestingly, Richa completely ignores the need to come up with any southern-like accent even though her personality and story are completely rooted in the southern ecosystem. On the one hand, Pankaj Tripathi seemed to have had the most fun playing a typically toxic southern star in the 1990s, whose superstar was overshadowed by his fearsome personality and extremely questionable acting skills. It also brings some momentary comic relief, which we think had a much larger range. Malayalam actor Rajiv Pillai as Shakela’s childhood sweetheart is some fun to the eye, but there is no chemistry between Richa and him.
The music is average and easily forgettable. The 1990s and early 2000s are portrayed with modest production values, but the film displays some of the most beautifully blurred yet unexplored locations in South India. Despite the film’s lively and forthright theme, “Shakeela” manages to direct (no pun intended), a decent aesthetic product.
All in all, “Shakeela” is an honest attempt to tell a lesser-known story about a fallen star, but with more conviction and stronger writing, this not-so-dirty picture could have pushed it to greater heights.
|Directed by||Indrajit Lankesh|
|Produced by||Sammy Nanwani|
|Written by||Indrajit Lankesh|
|Music by||Veer Samarth|
|Edited by||Ballu Saluja|
|Sammy’s Magic Cinema Motion Picture Production|
|Distributed by||UFO Moviez|
|Release date||25 December 2020|
Shakeela full Movie Cast
- Richa Chadda as Shakeela
- Pankaj Tripathi as Salim
- Rajeev Pillai as Arjun
- Kajol Chugh as Young Shakeela
- Ester Noronha as Suhana
- Sheeva Rana as Silk Smitha
- Ahaana Kochar as Jasmine
- Vivek Madam as Rajan
- Archana Athawale as Shakeela’s mother
- Suchendra Prasad as Production manager
- Sandeep Malani as Film Director