Verdict: Ram Pothineni’s explosive energy keeps the audience hooked.

The teasers and theatrical trailer of Puri Jagannadh’s directorial iSmart Shankar hit the bull’s eye in all aspects. Besides Ram Pothineni’s exuberant get-up and Nidhhi Agerwal and Nabha Natesh’s sultry postures, all other pre-release clips have been entertaining the viewers before the release of the film. Mani Sharma’s album has already hit the charts and songs like Undipo, Dimaak Kharaab and Bonalu are played everywhere you go. Although Puri Jagannadh hasn’t had a hit film after Temper, iSmart Shankar has managed to create immense buzz for all right reasons. Puri has rarely disappointed the audience while working with star heroes, so let’s see if he maintains the same record directing Ram for the first time.

What’s iSmart Shankar About:

Shankar aka iSmart Shankar (Ram Pothineni) is a contract killer who kills a politician on the order of his uncle. As the situation gets tense, he escapes to Goa with his girlfriend, Chandini (Nabha Natesh) but the politician’s henchmen are after him and kill Chandini. CBI officer Arun (Satya Dev), who is investigating the case, is also killed in an attack. The CBI seeks help from neuroscientist Sara (Nidhhi Agerwal), who also happened to be Arun’s girlfriend. Arun is the only one who knows the people behind the politician’s attack and now Shankar is deeply intertwined in the whole mess. Suddenly, he finds himself implanted with a set of memories with no recollection of how he got them but the key to ending it all.

What Works:

It is the hero’s characterization and the story’s backdrop that plummeted Puri Jagannadh to success in the past. After a brief hiatus, he gets this formula right with iSmart Shankar. Ram Pothineni gets into the skin of his character with ease and portrays it with a sense of ruggedness. His Telangana dialect is spot on. Nidhhi Agerwal is bound to set hearts racing and the song “Undipo Undipo” plays in your head long after the movie is over. Satya Dev makes his presence felt among the rest of the cast. Puri’s writing is disparate and his direction is swift. Mani Sharma’s music and background score are soothing to the ears. Raj Thota’s visuals are alarmingly vibrant and Junaid’s editing is sharply cut. Every penny spent is translated on screen.

What Could’ve Been Better:

While the initial proceedings begin with a bang and maintain the momentum until the first half, the second half seems to slow down gradually. Nevertheless, the movie doesn’t fail to entertain the audience.

Why You Should Watch:

iSmart Shankar is yet another Puri Jagannadh entertainer that entertains big time. It has all that it takes to bring back the director-writer’s lost glory. Ram is back with double the energy and has once again proven that he is aptly titled as “Energetic Star”.

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