Director Indrajit Lankesh deserves appreciation for making a sincere effort to narrate the tale of a former adult movie star Shakeela. Despite an ‘A’ certificate from the Censor Board, it conveys the much-needed message to all aspiring actresses.
It starts with Shakeela (Kajol Chugh), a teenage girl from a lush green hamlet in Kerala who, despite poverty, leads a happy life until her father’s death makes them shift to Cochin. That’s when Shakeela is compelled to act in soft porn movies. Soon, Shekeela (Richa Chadha) meets her favourite hero Salim (Pankaj Tripathi), a superstar in Malayalam film industry, who is jealous of her success, and tries his best to outrank her in the Malayalam film industry.
It is a commentary on how a few jealous artistes create hurdles for other wannabe actors in the film industry. These obstacles include spreading rumours, organising stage-managed protests, using all types of methods to prevent financers from investing or buying the distribution rights of certain artistes to make their lives miserable. Ultimately, Shakeela decides to not act in such movies and circumstances compel her to become a producer for her biopic.
Like always, Pankaj Tripathi walks away with a sterling performance as the cunning and jealous artiste who would do anything to ruin his co-star’s character.
Richa Chadha’s dialogue delivery is superb, especially in the climax, but her performance is not up to the mark. As a lead artist, she could have done more to do justice to her role. Kajol Chugh is charming, while Suchendra Prasad, the greedy and spineless producer, has acted well.
The breathtaking shots of Kerala, in all its misty grandeur, are a visual treat for viewers.