Shiva story at a glance
Many films come and go in the enormous sea of Tollywood. But only few films set a new trend in every aspect of film making and enthrall the audience like never before. Let it be the taking, characterization, songs, stunts, and camera work- everything looks different with such films. While it was veteran director Vamshi who did one of the first transformation with his unique visual sense by making films like Sitara and Anweshana, a young director Ram Gopal Varma was ready to make his mark as one of the most influential film makers of not only Andhra Pradesh, but also in the national front. Interestingly, it was Nagarjuna who gave the break to this young talent, and thereby getting a most memorable film in his career.
Shiva (Nagarjuna) is a mellowed down graduate student who joins in a new college. His nature is usually laid back and he doesn’t talk much with his classmates. It is when he makes friends with the new group including Malli (Subhalekha Sudhakar) , Asha (Amala), Naresh (Jagan) and Chinna (Chinna). Just when Shiva finds a good friendship in form of this group, he understands the student politics and violence being rampant in the college led by JD (Chakravarthy) who has support of the goon Bhavani (Raghuvaran). Things reach a crescendo when Shiva confronts JD with cycle chain and a breathtaking stunt sequence. Shiva’s friend group prods him to stand out in student elections- while he is not much interested in doing so. Shiva suggests Naresh to contest in the elections and just when things go smoothly, Bhavani targets Shiva’s friends and starts killing them in mysterious consequences. With no other option left, Shiva is forced to confront the wrongdoings of Bhavani who has political support from Machiraju (Kota Srinivasa Rao). Shiva’s brother finds this intriguing and he requests Shiva to leave the house and continue his path. Shiva later marries Asha- his love interest and moves to a new home. The rest of the story is about how Shiva confronts these political and violent forces and comes out with flying colours.
Nagarjuna is fantastic as the silent agitated college going youngster. He looks perfect in the stunts and makes the best use of the minimal dialogue delivery his character demands. He also looks great opposite Amala, and they share fantastic on screen chemistry in songs as well as the scenes in which they are together. Amala is cute and adorable as the vivacious youngster and looks brilliant in modern outfits. She offered lot of glamour and glossiness to a serious film like this and also performed well. Subhalekha Sudhakar is brilliant as the friend of Shiva and does well. Chinna, Jagan, and Uttej were well utilized by Ram Gopal Varma with their new style of dialogue delivery and presence. JD Chakravarthy is excellent as the spoiled brat of the college and his name became JD with the tremendous popularity of the role. Raghuvaran is at his usual mellowed best and the villain and gives another brilliant performance. Kota Srinivasa Rao gets another memorable role in this masterpiece.
Dialogues for the film were written by Tanikella Bharani and Ram Gopal Varma with lot of freshness and ease. There is so much of passion involved in the writing with minimal dialogues which are tremendously impactful. Cinematography by S.Gopal Reddy is another asset for the film with breathtaking stunts, sequences and superior use of camera. It was the first time Steady Cam was used in the history of Indian Cinema. Music by Ilaiyaraaja rocked the youth of the 80s with foot tapping numbers like Botany Paatam, Anando Brahma, Sarasalu Chalu, Elliyello and so on. There is no college student even till date who wouldn’t finish their studies without humming Botany Paatam song! The background score for this film elevates the mood in many pivotal scenes. Direction by Ram Gopal Varma is crisp, perfect and brilliantly done. The film is good on production values.
Cast and Crew:
Malli – Subhalekha Sudhakar
Naresh – Jagan
JD – JD Chakravarthy
Machiraju- Kota Srinivasa Rao
Tea Vendor Yadgiri- Uttej
Written By- Ram Gopal Varma and Tanikella Bharani
Cinematography – S.Gopal Reddy
Lyrics- Sirivennela Sitarama Sastry