Nagesh Kukunoor, the brain behind several award-winning films such as Hyderabad Blues, Iqbal, Lakshmi and Dhanak, has made his directorial debut in Telugu with Good Luck Sakhi. The rustic sports drama presents Keerthy Suresh as a 25-year-old Sakhi, who everyone in her village believes brings bad luck to them. Their belief accentuates after her family makes futile attempts to get her married. However, none of these events bother Sakhi, as she continues to lead a life on her own terms. Sakhi enjoys playing golis with her childhood friend Goli Raju alias Rama Rao, a theatre artiste, who aspires to become a big star someday.
Colonel (Jagapathi Babu), an ex-Army man, returns to his village with an idea to mentor shooting enthusiasts by setting up a sharp-shooting academy. Taking stock of Sakhi’s impeccable target hitting abilities, Raju introduces her to Colonel and requests him to mentor her. Colonel enrolls Sakhi and her other friend, Soori (Rahul Ramakrishna), in his camp and begins to train them as sharp-shooters. The rest of the story is all about how Sakhi breaks the gender barriers and notion of luck. Good Luck Sakhi has neither drama nor nail-biting tension, the shooting scenes are indifferently shot and there’s nothing about the plot that you couldn’t guess ten minutes into the film.
There are some unwritten rules as far as sports dramas are concerned. The training process and the sporting action need to be dramatic, even though you know the underdog is going to win in the end and you have got to root for them because he/she somehow won your heart.
However, in this film, you don’t feel any excitement to root for Sakhi because she hasn’t done anything exceptional to win your love and admiration. In fact, it’s more like a cakewalk for her to win the state championship just because she is proficient in hitting golis from childhood. Also, it’s incredibly boring to see Sakhi not making any efforts to understand the intentions of the Colonel.
You don’t need to be a screenplay doctor to understand that it’s the film’s script where most of the issues lie. Instead of focusing on the sport that the film’s supposedly about, the screenplay meanders in too many uninteresting directions.
Sample this: A sequence in the film explores the mentor-student relation and also factors in the infatuation of a student for the mentor. This point would have worked had there been a newcomer or a less charismatic actor in Keerthy Suresh’s place.
Good Luck Sakhi also positions itself as a woman-empowerment message movie, even if this angle becomes secondary to everything else. The vagueness in the narration doesn’t always drive home the message: ‘There’s no such thing like luck, you determine your own destiny.’ So nothing much stays with us once you step out of the theatre.
Give Keerthy Suresh a well-defined role and watch her bring it to life with her acting prowess. But, in Good Luck Sakhi, you can blame her for choosing a lifeless character that has got no room to showcase her potential. Jagapathi Babu turns theatrical and fails to rise above the flawed script. Aadhi Pinisetty plays a role that’s hardly remembered for. A word here for Rahul Ramakrishna who excels in a character with negative shades.
Devi Sri Prasad’s intriguing background score and Chirantan Das’s visually-rich frames serve as a spine to the narration. Despite its shorter run-time, Good Luck Sakhi feels long and too unfocused to leave a lasting impression.
Good Luck Sakhi
Cast: Keerthy Suresh, Aadhi Pinisetty, Jagapathi Babu
Director: Nagesh Kukunoor