What differentiates two films of the same director with similar treatment? It’s the hero and the backdrop. A hero can interpret a character as per his sensibilities and strengths and give a different tweak to it. A different backdrop gives freshness to a story that might have been told many times in the past.
Puri Jagan is extremely talented in getting the backdrop right and making hero work 100% towards achieving the characterization perfectly. He did it with Idiot, Pokiri, Businessman, Desa Muduru and several other films. Irrespective of the result of the films, his characterizations stand apart. Examples are Bujjigadu and Ek Niranjan.
With iSmart Shankar, Puri Jagan seems to have found a successful combination in terms of characterization and backdrop. From the trailers we had seen so far, it’s pretty impressive. Ram who looks cute yet massy with a fair skin has gone through a makeover for iSmart Shankar. He has tanned skin and rugged looks now. And his voice is almost unrecognizable. His dialogue delivery is fantastic. And there is a lot of style quotient to his character though it’s a mass/streetsmart character.
Puri Jagannadh has been going through a bad phase after doing a few forgettable films post Temper. He wanted to change his style and reinvent himself with Mehabooba that launched his son. The same people who felt his films to be repetitive earlier complained that Mehabooba is not looking like a Puri Jagan film. He is in a fix. If he repeats his characterization, people say he is repetitive. If he tries something new, the same people say the film is missing Puri’s signature.
Finally, iSmart Shankar seems to have answered his dilemma as his characterization gets new voice with Telangana mass dialect. The perfectionist Ram and relentless Puri Jagan have tried a new character and new backdrop.
We will know the result when the movie opens on 18 July!