Cinema

Krishnashtami: Neither engaging nor amusing

Sunil in a still from Krishnashtami  

There was once an actor who kept the audience in splits. He didn’t sport six-pack abs, didn’t bash up a dozen goons and didn’t try to create a larger than life image. As his popularity grew, he became a leading actor. His first film as a hero was backed by a good screenplay and didn’t require him to be a typical hero. And it worked.

The same cannot be said about the films that followed. The once endearing Sunil was replaced by an actor desperately trying to prove he is indeed hero material. Krishnashtami, directed by Vasu Varma, is the latest attempt in that line.

Before the storyline comes into focus, plenty of screen time is devoted to introduce the lead actor, establish his concern for people around him and his love for India.

Krishna (Sunil) has been packed off to the US when he was a young lad and his extended family has tried its best to keep him away from India. Each time he expresses his wish to come home, an astrologer is summoned to check if stars are suitable for his visit. The time is never right.

Tired of waiting, he decides to visit India and surprise his family. Krishna, accompanied by Giri (Sapthagiri, who else?) meets Ajay Kumar (Ajay) and his son while waiting for their connecting flight in Europe. Flights are delayed for three days and one hears a giggly youngster, Pallavi (Nikki Galrani), trying to kill time flying heart shaped balloons in the airport and doling out strange lines, supposed to be life lessons, as Pallavi-isms.

For a while, one has to endure Krishna trying to impress Pallavi by faking a Nenokkadine disorder which makes him hallucinate the presence of a departed lady love! We begin to wonder if the film can get any more inane. Mercifully, flights resume services and Mr. NRI lands in India. There is a threat to his life and he has to get to the root of the problem.

The problem with Krishnashtami is not its plot. An unreasonable bunch gunning for someone’s life, a change of identity to find the truth and the resulting chaos are elements that many mainstream films have been made of. The trouble is with the lazy execution and uninspiring performances.

As a last resort, Brahmanandam is also brought in but by then, one is too disinterested to care. The mirror scene between Brahmi and Ashutosh Rana makes one think why the latter, capable of hard-hitting and menacing performances, is making a mockery of himself.

Krishnashtami tries to position itself as a family entertainer, action flick and romantic drama and falls short on all counts.



Krishnashtami

Cast: Sunil, Nikki Galrani and Dimple Chopade

Direction: Vasu Varma

Story line: Danger awaits an NRI who returns after years.

Rating: 1.5 stars

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 2:05:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/krishnashtami-neither-engaging-nor-amusing/article8257491.ece

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