The poignant story of the struggle of the Pali daughter of Shakuntala, Allu Arha won hearts by becoming Bharat

The story of Shakuntala is scattered from the Adiparva of the Mahabharata to the Padmapurana and the great work ‘Abhigyan Shankutalam’ written by Kalidas. Shakuntala means cones (birds) were shifted. Every writer has created the character of Shakuntala according to his own. Dushyant’s loss of memory is also used as an excuse by Durvasa Rishi at some places, but this is the story of a girl whose parents abandoned her at birth. And, whose guardian loves her more than her real daughter. This is also the story of Shakuntala, who became pregnant in the moments of love manifestation, seeking justice from her husband. Shakuntala, born from the love affair of Rishi Vishwamitra and Apsara Menaka, has two forms, one Shakuntala who gives physical darshan of Shringar Rasa and one Shakuntala who has to regain her self-respect.

Story of Bharat’s mother Shakuntala
The film ‘Shakuntalam’ begins with the birth of its main character i.e. Shakuntala. Time passes and the maiden Shakuntala and King Dushyant of Hastinapur come face to face. When Shakuntala’s guardian Kanva Rishi is not in the ashram, both of them have a direct introduction. Both have love. Both the Gandharvas marry. And Shakuntala becomes pregnant. Dushyant forgets his promise given in the excess of intimate moments. Dushyant refuses to recognize Shakuntala. The promise between the two is that only their progeny will sit on the throne of Hastinapur. And, these children are Bharata, after whom the country of India is named.

Vulnerable story of a strong woman
If we read the story of Shakuntala carefully, here too, like other mythological stories, the writers of this story have already created false stories everywhere to prove the innocence of its male character Dushyant. But, despite this, this is the first such established story of women empowerment in mythology in which a woman takes a vow to fight for justice for her son from a king who is fascinated by her looks. It is a matter of fact that due to the ring found by the fisherman, the story reaches its end by coming to a happy turn. But Gunasekhar, the writer and director of the film ‘Shakuntalam’ failed to understand the undercurrent of this story. The selection of Samantha Ruth Prabhu for the title role of the film is also a big mistake. Samantha’s bargain build and physique doesn’t look like a sage-girl born in the woods. Samantha is beautiful but she does not have the form, beauty and makeup of a well-groomed woman. He also fails to reveal the core of Shakuntala’s character.

An average mythological film
Technically the film ‘Shakuntalam’ is not a great film. If the film had to be dubbed and released in Hindi, then the services of at least some established actors should have been taken in it. Irrespective of the impact of the film’s music in the original language, Mani Sharma, who has been composing music for films dubbed in Hindi, has completely failed to understand the spirit of the film and the importance of music in its narrative here. A large part of the film has been shot in the studio with green, blue curtains and instead of these curtains, the efforts to give a mythological look to the film by replacing these curtains with sets made virtually during editing have not been successful. The film ‘Shakuntalam’ appears as such an undercooked film whose recipe was known to its director but he forgot to use balanced spices in making it.

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