The Power review: Vidyut Jammwal and Shruti Haasan star in a poor retread of The Godfather
The Power review: Mahesh Manjrekar borrows heavily from The Godfather in his new directorial venture but brings nothing new to it.
Cast: Vidyut Jammwal, Shruti Haasan, Mahesh Manjrekar, Jisshu Sengupta, Sachin Khedekar, Prateik Babbar
Director: Mahesh Manjrekar
The Power, with its blatant appropriation of many of The Godfather’s plot elements, ends up as more of a garish retread than a ‘tribute’. While The Godfather was followed by two sequels, one can only hope that Mahesh Manjrekar’s uninspired film does not have any further instalments.
Vidyut Jammwal plays Devidas Thakur, the Singapore-returned youngest son of crime lord Kalidas Thakur (Mahesh), who wants nothing to do with the family business. He is in love with Parveen aka Pari (Shruti Haasan), the daughter of his father’s close associate, Anwar (Zakir Hussain), and is set to marry her.
After Kalidas refuses to get involved in the drugs business, an assassination attempt is made on him, and Anwar’s involvement is suspected. Before he can prove his innocence, Anwar is killed. Pari vows to avenge his death and swears on her unborn child that she will wipe out the entire Thakur bloodline. Devi, meanwhile, takes over the reins as his father remains in a coma.
The Power is let down by its predictable narrative trajectory. From a mile away, the audience can spot the ones whose loyalties have been bought. The ending, too, comes as no surprise. What does come as a surprise, however, is the wilful blindness of the Thakur family to the traitor in their midst, even when they realise that Anwar was set up, until the very last second (quite literally).
For all their clout in the underworld, Kalidas and the Thakur family seem to be terrible at self-preservation. In the first five minutes, it is shown that Kalidas is well aware of the dubious loyalty of Bishambhar Rana (Sachin Khedekar). Why the family continues to rub shoulders with him instead of killing him, even after the death of one of their own, is an enigma.
There are other tonal inconsistencies too. Pari and her father’s inclusion in the Thakurs’ family photo becomes a topic of discussion, despite the fact that her romance and impending marriage with Devi is known to everyone. However, no one objects a second later when movie star Charlie arrives and makes a comment about everyone getting started on the family picture without him. His connection to the Thakurs is never explained.
Where Mahesh falls short as a director, he makes up for as an actor. Vidyut, this film’s version of Michael Corleone, gets ample opportunity to show off his skills as the ‘top action star in the world’. Some of the violence is quite graphic, however, and you will need a strong stomach for it.
Shruti’s performance is shaky at best, especially in the scenes where she has to emote. Jisshu Sengupta, as the elder son of Kalidas, is reduced to an almost caricaturish version of Sonny Corleone, who spouts expletives in an inconsistent accent. Prateik Babbar does his best as the scheming Ranjeet but is bogged down by the weak writing.
The Power, with its creative bankruptcy, brings nothing new to already done-to-death iterations of The Godfather.