Saakshyam is a fantasy action movie starring Bellamkonda Sai Srinivas and Pooja Hegde in lead roles. Abhishek Nama produced the film under his banner Abhishek Productions. Sriwass directed it. Saakshyam was released worldwide on 27th July 2018.
Munuswamy (Jagapathi Babu) and his Three brothers want to take over the Swastika Nagar but a landlord (Sharath Kumar) stands in their way. Munuswamy kills everyone in his family leaving no evidence behind but a calf saves a toddler. A pilgrim finds the baby boy and leaves him in Varanasi. A couple raises the child as the heir to their business empire. Vishwa (Bellamkonda Sai Srinivas) has no interest in business and becomes a video game designer. He sees Soundarya Lahari (Pooja Hegde) in a temple in Newyork and instantly falls in love with her. She initially avoids him but eventually likes him. After a misunderstanding, she leaves him. Vishwa travels to India after her to the same village where his biological parents died. The rest of the story is about how Vishwa takes revenge on Munuswamy and his brothers without even knowing about his past.
The central theme of the film is that even though people commit crimes and are content with having no witnesses, karma couldn’t be avoided. Nature is the true witness to all crimes and the criminals couldn’t run away from its wrath. Although the central idea is interesting, the narration and story development is a test of patience. The love story doesn’t fit well in the story and the chemistry between the lead pair is non-existent. After the opening sequence, the story begins at the interval and everything in-between is just a filler. Moreover, the story lacks a central conflict and everything seems obvious. The entire second half is predictable and the narration is even worse than the prediction leaving the audience disappointed.
The producer spent lavishly and the story moves from a rural village to Varanasi to Dubai to New York and returns to the village and then to Varanasi and then again to the village. After all this, the central story happens only in a village. The entire Dubai episode has no purpose other than introducing the hero. The action choreography is used for storytelling. Moreover, the design of four fights using four elements, i.e., wind, fire, earth, and water is the only interesting thing about the film.
Bellamkonda Sai Srinivas is present in the almost entire film. He performed with ease. However, there are no emotional scenes and his character appears to be tailor-made for him. Nevertheless, he improved as an actor after Jaya Janaki Nayaka. Pooja Hegde plays a modern-looking traditional girl and is a damsel in distress for the majority of the film. She shines in songs and adds glamour to an otherwise violent film. Jagapathi Babu is good in a negative role. Vennela Kishore is good in a brief comic role and he is entertaining. Rao Ramesh is totally wasted in a role that has no scope of performance. Sharath Kumar and Meena have limited roles but they leave their mark. Most other characters remain behind some other character and were not given any importance.
The story and screenplay are genuinely bad and nothing can be done to improve them. The dialogues by Sai Madhav Burra are impressive. The cinematography by Arthur A. Wilson is an asset to the film and the visuals are impressive. The art design by AS Prakash is fine. The background score composed by Harshavardhan Rameshwar is good but the songs are forgettable. The fights choreographed by Peter Heins are the highlight of the film. The editing by Kotagiri Venkateshwara Rao is good. They have overdone the visual effects throughout the film. The production values are over the top and they have spent a fortune to produce the film at such a scale. The direction is mediocre and Sriwass reminds us of Shakthi and Damarukam in several scenes.
Overall, Saakshyam is a regular commercial drama with a touch of fantasy elements. There is nothing interesting or engaging in the film that can keep the audience hooked for a run time of 2 hours 46 minutes. The grand visuals and well-choreographed action sequences could appeal to mass audiences but it is not a movie for everyone.