Retro Review: Shiva - A Nail-biting Trendsetter

Retro Review: Shiva - A Nail-biting Trendsetter

17 Apr 20 @ 4:33 PM | By Bindusri Meduri

Retro Review - We present the reviews of some of the films that offer great cinematic experience as if they are released now (currently). We present the content in such a way that we have just come out of the theater and penned out our thoughts fresh. You can enjoy the reviews and relive the moments in a different way. And try to watch the films like they're new, once again.


The Premise

When a bespectacled young engineering grad who was a video shop owner was announced as the next director to work with Nagarjuna, everyone thought the great Akkineni Nageswara Rao is out of his mind. But what was thought of as a highly risky project has turned the tables in cinema upside down as they know it at that time. How’s that? You know who that director is? And you know what that film is? We wouldn’t still be talking about the film if it had just launched a successful director or went on to become a box office success. It has launched at least a million dreams. Youngsters who want to make films. Almost every big, small, and upcoming director should have gotten their passion for cinema flared up by that film. 


Before Shiva, many movies would have been dealt with crime, revenge, and action. But Shiva stands tall among action-crime dramas and has a reason for it. Adopting the basic plot from Bruce Lee's Way Of The Dragon (1972), RGV pitched the film's script including the campus-politics he experienced during his college days in Vijayawada. And he has shown the rowdism as it was shown never before. He brought reality to the proceedings. And threw out cinematic from cinemas. The proceedings just happen before our eyes. 

Shiva stands apart from the films released before it right from the first frame. The film starts in a college campus which is under the control of a local goon named Bhavani, and then comes a fight sequence where goons beat the pulp out of a college student. Shiva (Nagarjuna) joins the college as a new admission. 

He makes friends with Malli (Subhalekha Sudhakar), Asha (Amala), Naresh (Jagan) and Chinna (Chinna) and learns about student politics and violence happening at the college, and how even the principal and staff also fear the group JD (Chakravarthy) & his co who are supported by Bhavani (Raghuvaran). For the first 30 minutes, Shiva stands and watches the injustice until he finally decides to go against them. He pulls the cycle chain (this particular scene has a special fan following and many youngsters those days even tried to do the same to show their machoism) and bashes JD and his gang. 

As Bhavani targets and kills Shiva's friends, he finally decides to put an end to the wrongdoing of him to create peace and how he wants to break the roots of crime and confronts Bhavani head-on and the political forces behind him forms the rest of the story. 


Nagarjuna played a silent spectator in the film. His fits and glares convey a lot throughout the film more than his vocal. Ram Gopal Varma enhanced the strengths of Nagarjuna and has hidden his flaws. The film helped Nagarjuna to catapult himself among the top league of actors. Amala who played an active youngster is cute and adorable. She offered the film a glam quotient with her western outfits. Raghuvaran as the main antagonist gave a brilliant performance, and all other characters are well-utilized by RGV. JD. Chakravarthy the early prototype of Ravi Teja was unearthed. 


Musical maestro Illayaraja gave a spine-chilling musical score for the film. The background scores - the incessant drums when Bhavani comes on screen, or the war-horns when Shiva is being chased on the road - escalated the tension as never before experienced on screen.


The plot, action sequences, music, cast, everything had a different look and feel. The influence of the film at such a level that it changed the phase of the Telugu cinema, inspiring many to pursue direction as a career. Overall, the film is stardust that fell from the sky to bring a change in today's cinematic landscape. 


Rating- 3.5/5

Reviewed by Bindusri Meduri

Latest Articles