Producer: Nitin Manmohan and Sohail Maklai,
Rudraksh is a film that has a story that needs a lot of imagination. It also requires a lot of money to execute imagination on silver screen. Manishankar has taken care of the imagination part while Nitin Manmohan and Sohail Maklai have courageously spent massively to make Rudraksh a grand venture. The team has created a visual feast equalant to international standards. No doubt that it would be a novel experience for the Indian audiences.
Mani Shankar has handled the story, screenplay, dialogues, editing, SFX and direction. His skills in the SFX front stand out. His technical excellence has made the film visually enthralling.
The story revolves around the healing powers that science cannot explain and voodoo practices that defy all logic.
Dr. Gayatri [Bipasha Basu] is seriously exploring the paranormal activities. Her experiments bring her with her team of fellow scientists from America to India where they encounter the gifted Varun [Sanjay Dutt].
Varun has inexplicable paranormal powers. His has the ability of taking away pain and affliction from his subjects. This aspect attracts Gayatri and he becomes a willing subject of her experiments.
At one point of time, Gayatri’s extra-ordinary experiments start hurtle Varun towards guessing the existence of a dark power that is hidden and evil. What is the force all about? And why does it wage a battle against Varun?
These questions lead to a fresh journey. A journey that is much more unusual and danger. A quite unusual Rudraksh has some clue to disentangle the mystery. According to the Legend, the special Rudraksh is capable of transforming human beings into new species.
The Rudraksh is actually a multi-dimensional hologram in the form of a seed, to put it in scientific jargon. It has the power to provide a lot of power to the person who holds it.
Varun, at the initial stage, tries to evade the forces that summon him. However, as the time passes, he is drawn deeper and deeper into a pact of peril. The sequence of incidents leads him to Himalayas and then into the mysterious ruins of the legendary King Ravan's palaces in Lanka.
Varun goes deeper in to the puzzle to unearth the secret of Rudraksh.
Though the story steps in to the Ramayana, it is not inspired by the great epic. Instead, director Mani Shankar seems inspired by Bryan Singer’s popular flick X-MEN . However, Manishankar has successfully merged Indian mythology with Science fiction. The story is quite absorbing but the screenplay has not added its part to make the venture as engaging as it should be.
The narration is not off the mark. It’s either sluggish or confusing. Though the film starts off very well, the narrative gets confusing after a certain point. The cogency in story telling is missing.
Apart from screenplay, the technical jargons trouble the audience considerably. The jargons relating to the fields such as genetic mutation, thought transmissions and electromagnetic fields are incorporated in the dialogues. The terms are told in English itself. They are not even explained and hence it becomes difficult for the viewer to apprehend what is being talked about. Moreover, the heavy usage of Sanskrit also makes it difficult to the average audience to understand what is happening.
But the technician in Mani Shankar easily overtakes the storyteller in him. Some of the special effects are undoubtedly new to the Indian viewer. Besides the special effects, the cinematography [T. Surendra Reddy], execution of action sequences [Abbas Ali Moghul] and background score [Sashi Preetam] are excellent. The music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy is just average. Most of the songs do not fit in the narrative. The erotic number ‘Ishq Khudai’ is quite attractive.
The stunts between Sanjay Dutt and Suniel Shetty are fiercely executed. The storm effect in Kabir Bedi's ashram, when the demon tries to overpower Bipasha, also keeps the viewer enthralled.
Apart from the story and special effects, Sanjay Dutt and Suniel Shetty carry the film in their shoulders. They provide flawless and impressive performances. Bipasha Basu is okay and Isha Koppikar impresses in a negative role. Nigar Khan sizzles in the dance track.
On the whole, RUDRAKSH provides a visual treat with some strong performances. The film would have been appealing the cross section if it had been well scripted.