mythological/ fantasy sci-fi action 

Starring Sanjay Dutt, Suneil Shetty, Bipasha Basu, Isha Kopikar, Kabir Bedi and Virendra Saxena

Direction : Mani Shankar

Music: Shankar Ehsaan Loy

ReViewed by  Akshay Shah



Director Mani Shankar was highly awaited for his next project after his debut 16 DECEMBER became a sleeper hit. The combination of high tech wizadry....mindblowing special effects...taut breathless direction and a solid script proved that Shankar is a pretty decent storyteller and knows what he is doing. RUDRAKSH was supposed to be Indias answer to THE MATRIX and was touted to be in a league of its own with potential to be a bigger and better project than 16 DECEMBER....unfortunately Shankars efforts here go awry as the story and screenplay department go haywire!


The film revolves around Varun (Sanjay Dutt)- a man with unexplainable healing powers. He has the ability to take away someones pain with the palm of his hands. Not only that Varun also has many telekniesis and telepathic powers which are beyond the comprehension of the normal human being. Dr Gayatri (Bipasha Basu) is a scientist from California who is busy investigating and experimenting with Varuns powers.

 Gayatris experiments soon throw Varun into something much deeper when Varun comes to know of a dark and mysterious power operating which is a threat to mankind..what is the power?

 Hidden away in the vast depths of time is the most unusual Rudraksh. Legend has it that the Rudraksh had the power to mutate human being into animalistic demons of sorts and the bearer of the Rudraksh would be given power beyond all recognition. This is the Rudraksh that was worn by Raavan during the times of Ramayan..

 Bhuria (Suniel Shetty) -a small time labourer comes across this Rudraksh and is completely taken over by its evil powers. Bhurias aim is to create hell on earth and transform human beings into "rakshashs"..

The age old battle between good and evil now takes a new turn as Varun has to stop the extraordinary Bhuria and his evil ways before time runs out.....


The story of RUDRAKSH is highly unusual and it definitely hasn;t been witnessed before in the Indian screen. The film opens new barriers for Indian Cinema presenting a theme which hasnt been tried very often. Mani Shankar combined mythology with science fiction and the supernatural all with equal balance creating a story that is different. The story will not be accepted by most as it will just confuse the average viewer and the concept of the movie is not always easy to grasp. But Shankar must be given credit for trying something new.

 The screenplay of the movie is the biggest downfall! What could've been a taut and action packed thrill ride turns into confusing and self indulgent movie which has the viewer totally confused to what hes watching.  There are parts ripped off from X-MEN, THE MATRIX and HIGHLANDER!

 The dialogues in the movie are hard to decipher as they all use scientific jargon in english and Sanskriti throughout the movie.

 As a director Mani Shankar does a OK job. He starts the movie out on a excellent note and keeps the viewer totally enthrealled for the first half. All the sequences are well penned and keep the viewer anticipating what is going to happen next as this is something they have never seen before. In the second half the movie becomes medicore and the direction seems totally haywire. The fight scenes at the end seem self indulgent and even Sanjay Dutt becoming a Rakshash himself to fight Suniel is all hard to follow. The scenes at time become so confusing the viewer has no idea what is happening in front of him. The narrative is interesting and the basic premise of the movie(GOD versus EVIL) is novel, but the manner in which its depicted loses all novelty by the time the movie finishes. The characters dont have any emotional value and the chemistry between the Good(Sanjay Dutt) and Evil(Suniel Shetty) is lacking!

The special effects action scenes are simply BRILLIANT and no doubt Mani Shankar is a master when it comes to SFX! The movie has almost 75 minutes of SFX and not once do they seem forced or fake. The scenes in the ashram when Kabir Bedi is killed or the fight scenes at the end are brilliantly executed and they will leave the viewer enthralled. The film is extremely glossy and no doubt Nitin Manmohan and Mani Shankar have spent lavishly on the movie. The film creates a ambience of sorts and the viewer gets hypnotised by what is unravelling in front of him. Abbas Ali Moghuls action is stunning and the fight scenes are well choregraphed. 

In terms of performances the film is good. Sanjay Dutt is good in the role of Varun. He conveys the calm and collected aura of his character very well and its clear that he is enjoying his role. His dialogues are mouthed well and he looks the character he plays.

Suniel Shetty also has a ball playing the evil character. He also looks the part he plays and is well cast in the role of the evil Bhuria. One just wishes the two had chemistry.

 Bipasha Basu is OK in her role. She looks extremely gorgeous but its hard to believe that shes an intelligent scientist. The scene where Sanjay Dutt heals Bipasha is great as Bipasha Basu has NEVER LOOKED SO DAMN SEXY BEFORE and this will have the male audiences drooling. Isha Kopikkar doesnt have much to do but look damn sexy. Her short tops and sexy figure is always worth watching! Kabir Bedi is ok in a small role. I wonder why Mani Shankar gave him Gandolfs getup? Raj Zutsi doesn't have much to do in a small role except act insane.

 Shankar Ehsaan Loys music is ace! The music keeps in sync with the movie and its rarely that we get to hear such a smashing Techno soundtrack!!!!!!!! ISHQ KHUDAI is definetly the pick of the lot and the picturisation is damn sexy!

 So where does that leave RUDRAKSH? A good novel experiment gone totally awry!  Only for hardcore Sci-Fi, Suniel Shetty and Sanjay Dutt fans!

6 outta 10  


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