Chandrashekar Yeleti’s films are fresh, innovative, and aesthetically revolutionary. Be it Aithe, Anukokunda Okaroju or Prayanam or now Sahasam he seems to reinvent cinema. He keeps Sahasam extravagantly fresh and aided by art director Ramakrishna’s beautiful settings and Shyam Dutt’s picturesque Ladakh that passes off as Peshawar and of course Gopichand’s willingness to traverse a risky path, Yeleti indulges in a complicated treasure hunt on a huge canvas. In his Okkadunnadu, Gopichand orders digging of a pit, here he digs deeper into a script that has a treasure passed on by his grandfather who lived in Peshawar, an undivided India and it is now left to him to charter the course of his own destiny.

In Sahasam, Gautam Verma (Gopichand) works as an ATM guard. Rebuked by people for not making good out of his life, he relies on charms, talismans and lotteries to bring him luck. Finally a downpour brings hope. As the ceiling of his room leaks, he tries to plug it but a part of it caves in; bringing down, much to his surprise, instead of mortar a bag containing a parchment. It is in fact a will left by his grandfather pointing to a treasure hidden in Pakistan.

So Gautam embarks on a journey to retrieve his grandfather’s treasure. Meanwhile, a terrorist group in Pakistan headed by Shakti Kapoor is also hunting for the key .

The rest of the film is about his experiences he faces in trying to locate it and the role that Srinidhi (Tapsee) plays in unravelling the mystery. The Telugu audience isn’t new to a treasure hunt, but here Mosagallaku MosagalluTakkari Dongathe director takes creative liberties with the format of the typical treasure hunt battle format. The pace is slow but the story picks up momentum and races ahead post interval and gives a gripping climax.

Lot of people expect action in Gopi’s films and there is plenty here. Be it the chase scenes, or weird fights on a horse, every detail is minutely looked into. Every penny spent is visible on screen. The climax shots become a puzzle and draw the viewer in.

Kodama Simham Ali is wasted as his presence doesn’t evoke any laughter. Tapsee never looked so beautiful in a melody, but her chemistry with Gopichand is nil. Shakti Kapoor impresses and after a long time, a villain actually scares the viewer.

Shyam Dutt’s work with the camera is exemplary. Ignore some limitations and enjoy the treasure hunt, it is technically endearing. On the flip side, despite making it an engrossing cinema, the lack of emotional connectivity between characters stops it short of being a very good watch.

SAHASAM

Cast: Gopichand, Tapsee, Shakti Kapoor

Director: Chandrasekhar Yeleti

Music: Sri

Plot: A principled but a poor man travels to Pakistan for a treasure

Genre: Adventure

Bottomline: The art director is the hero