Vikram's "I" has received negative reviews from Telugu film critics and most of them have pointed their fingers towards director Shankar for the failure of the movie, saying that it lacks his magic.
Shankar, who is considered one of the ace film-makers in South India, has set a niche of his own. He has always managed to set himself apart from other directors and created magic onscreen through his screenplays, characterisation and commercial ingredients.
"I", which happens to be the latest directorial venture of Shankar, had created a lot of curiosity among film-goers before its release. Its promos had soared up viewers' expectations sky high. But the film, which released in theatres on 14 January, has failed to live up to their expectations.
Telugu film critics are of the view that "I" has a thin storyline with predictable plot. The film is quite lengthy and pace of its narration is very slow and dragging in both first and second half of the film. The misplacement of songs is another big drawback of the film. The critics added that Shankar should be held responsible for all these mistakes.
Some Telugu critics doubt whether "I" has really been directed by Shankar. Here are some critics' opinions on Shankar's direction in the Vikram-Amy Jackson starrer movie.
There is a reason why Shankar has always been seen as a Master - it's beyond the style and substance that his films eminently throw up. There is a sensibility about his lead characters. For all the dispensers of punishment that his Bharateeyudu and Aparichitudu were, there was a human face about them that hit it off with all sections of audiences, cutting across age, sex and class. Unfortunately, this aspect goes missing in 'I', apparently because a sadistic streak is built into the lead character, Lingeswaram.
Shankar has raised the bar so high with his previous films but sadly, I fails to meet those expectations. No where in the film you get a feel that it is a Shankar film. He adds unnecessary elements and drags the film in many places.
Shankar is a name that has become synonymous with big films where the audiences imagination is stretched. His films also mean lots of action, drama, glamour and hit music. With I, Shankar does successfully makes yet another of his big films. Unfortunately, that's also the biggest failure of I, it's just another big film of Shankar.
Putting it simple and straight, 'I' is a disastrous film from Telugu audience point of view. Many would feel doubtful on, how far Shankar directed this film? Except the visual grandeur sprinkled on screen, neat camera work, Vikram presence and action revenge with a foreseeable twist in pre climax, rest of everything stood as drawbacks.
'I' is Shankar's weakest film to date. He has built up a reputation as a director who strives to push the boundaries of regional cinema while staying true to mass sensibilities You just cannot find his usual magic in this movie. Shankar's films invariably carry a hidden social message that is very cleverly narrated along with the main story-line. Nothing of that sort can be found in 'I'.
Shankar, who is known for making intelligent films that appeal to the masses, is not up to the mark in this film. Shankar had an interesting premise on his hand but messed it up with lethargic screenplay. I doesn't have any arresting moments that will leave you awestruck. Shankar who can make any concept work with his imagination and visual sense looked out of place in this film. He relied too much on Vikram's performance to pull this off.