Review: Shukra

After the postponment of ‘ISHQ’ and ‘Telangana Devudu’, ‘Shukra’ is the only film to have hit the cinemas this week. In this section, we are going to review the thriller.

Story:
The film is set in a bungalow in Vizag, where a gang of robers are on the prowl. A group of eight friends party at the palatial bungalow of Willy (Aravind Krishna) and his wife Riya (Srijitha Ghosh). They are joined by a male friend of Riya. He proposes that they do drugs in order to rev up the night. After an ominous night of dangerous euphoria, Willy wakes up to find that his wife and a friend have been murdered. 

Who killed the duo? What does Willy and a friend of his now do? Is there more than what meets the eye to the killings? Answers to these questions are found in the second half.

Performances:
Aravind Krishna, who is known for ‘It’s My Love Story’, hasn’t done many films since his debut in 2011. He has been into sports as well since then. His web series ‘LOL’ (2019) had him in a comical role and it’s perhaps his only memorable performance till date, barring ‘Rishi’ (2013). In ‘Shukra’, he gets to put his talent on display to an extent. But thanks to choppy editing, he looks eerily out of place otherwise. The rest of the performances range from cliched to outright theatrical or exaggerated. 

Technical Departments:
Jagadeesh Bommisetti’s cinematography is uncomfortably low-end. Almost the entire length of the film is set indoors. The cameraman should have been inventive in trying his best to make the location look expansive. Ashirvad’s music is an assault on our senses. 

Analysis:
If you are making a thriller and are sure that your story is mediocre, just do one thing. End the film hinting at a sequel. At least your producer is likely to believe that you are a creative fellow. In ‘Shukra’, after 115 minutes of yawn-inducing stretches, we are given a hint that there will be ‘Shukra 2’, which will perhaps come up with yet another loosely-written story that ends with a hint at ‘Shukra 3’. 

Director Suku Purvaj pens the story, screenplay and dialogues of this crime thriller wherein an entrepreneur (the male lead) is mired in financial troubles. He is not able to give full attention to his wife, who might be having other plans for all we know. 

As soon as the night party scenes start, the film uncontrollably fakes flamboyance. The characters break into English sentences and cuss words. A character who is supposed to look strange starts behaving like a complete jerk. One character after another feigns sarcastic laughter, vainly trying to evoke a sense of forebonding. 

The dreaded gang of robbers are all dressed in black and come across as a rookie band of rogues in a TV serial. There is a corrupted Circle Inspector who stumbles upon clues without letting the audience soak into the drama (if there is one). 

After a point, it becomes too hard to take all the elaborate scenes of the male lead undergoing trauma. His befuddlement is jaded, to be frank.

Like a number of below-average thrillers, ‘Shukra’, too, oversells its characters’ fear of the unknown. In the end, it ends up generating a fear of the unwatchable.

Verdict:
‘Shukra’ is an outdated thriller that should ideally have been made 15 years ago.

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