This RGV movie is the dwarf in a family of massive and well-chiseled giants. It retains all the genes, but they are spliced up all wrong. It's confused, and makes slips and gaffes exactly when it shouldn't. And oddly enough, it is a 100% RGV thoroughbred, yet completely misses the spot at the same time. All the trappings and frippery, none of the soul.
While RGV uses his no-clutter strategy to emphasize the realism, here the deliberately imposed solemnity is oppressive and tiresome. As for the name, Shock just about pinches in a couple of unanticipated movements. The rest of the time, it keeps tingling like a numb leg on an inter-continental flight.
The terrain of Shock can basically be broken into two distinct, even plateaus. The first has Chandrasekhar (Ravi Teja), an ad-agency executive, enjoying a married life right out of advertisements. Sekhar and Madhu (Jyothika) kiss hotly in the middle of fights, go dressed like a king and queen to weddings, and dance in the forefront of the entire troupe. Their cotton-candy love is so self-sufficient, it seems like an end in itself for the movie.
The second part of the movie fractures off as sharply as a snapped femur. Like a bunch of noisy tots suddenly told to shut up, all the fluffy and bouncy romance comes to a skidding halt. Shock suddenly grows up into a dark, brooding, murderous, action drama. And yes, we forgot to mention boring.
In a case of mistaken identity, two perfectly despicable encounter specialists, Diwakar and Nagesh from the police, shoot Sekhar in the shoulder. To cover up their mistake, they plant clues in his house, and accuse him of being an undercover naxalite. The tentacles of corruption spread faster than their recourse in law, and finally Sekhar is sent to prison for 8 years, kicking and screaming.
How our man leaps out through the web of corrupt police, lawyers, and goons to pronounce his judgement upon them, is the better half of the 3 hours. And believe us, it's not likely to get your spirits up.
By now, all of us know that Ravi Teja cannot not shine in any script. There is something about the guy and absolutely every rasping word he speaks, that is unique enough to bring character to the most ordinary role. Jyothika comes across as a mature, subdued actress who manages to pull off her act perfectly without resorting to histrionics.
Talking about histrionics, the movie itself doesn't refrain from those. Shock could have turned out a brilliant movie if it portrayed the systemic corruption it does, with a realistic restraint a la a Schindler's List. Where, like most Indian movies, it fails, is that it insists on putting words into the mouths of characters in the situation.
Instead of letting Sekhar simply go through the movements of being arrested and sent to jail, it plants a few synthetic tears, like flower-pots on a drama set. A little bit of flailing and screaming, some close-ups of a smudged up face, only then is Harish satisfied with his accoutrement of the scene.
Surendra Kumar (Naga Babu) as the Joint Director of CBI investigating Sekhar's case brings some brilliant comic-relief with his officer Bapanna. While Brahmanandam seems to be straining himself like a bulimic trying to forcibly throw up her previous meal, these two blokes manage quite a romp between themselves.
The music is so ordinary, you sometimes wait for the songs to be over to get back to the movie. And considering how tough the movie can get on your nerves sometimes, you can figure out where the songs stand.
You wish you could somehow yank Ravi Teja and Jyothika out of this movie, but all elements, good and bad, go swirling down like sugar in the decoction that is Shock. Each element of typical RGV somberness and lack of frills, is complimented by exactly another of hysterics and furbelows. That probably also explains the 3 hours.
The net result is like a black hole - very characterless, very plain and vereeeeee long. If you want to enjoy your weekend this time, give up your RGV worship temporarily. Shock, like we said, is a rather flat surprise. Easy go.