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Times of India
Shiva (Ram), a self-styled love guru specialises in helping unite couples whose families oppose their love. When he falls for a girl, there are a lot of hurdles he needs to overcome. And then, Shiva isn't Shiva after all!
Tollywood films are invariably rehashed versions of old stories and Ram's Shivam is no different. The cliched 'old wine in a new bottle' variety but sadly, packaging ain't so new.
You have a boy Shiva (Ram) who falls in love with a girl Tanu (Raashi). Shiva will go to any length for the girl he loves - he jumps off a train the first time he 'sees' her (ridiculously dressed in her glamourous best - in a long gown - in what seems to be a village in Kurnool! She is shouting 'I love you' on the top of her lungs to a random guy (Ram) going in a train) He will fight goons to keep her out of danger. Added to that is his nature of helping lovers unite at all odds. He is our perfect hero.
And then, the setting is perfect too. While on one end is a village with a malevolent chief, Boji Reddy (Vineet Kumar) who the hero rubs the wrong way, on the other is a don (Abhimanyu Singh) who wants to marry the heroine because he thinks she is lucky for him! Well, been there, seen that? Oh! And one can't forget to mention a time-worn flashback which adds no value to the already confusing story. While the rewind helps clear a doubt or two, by the end of the 168-minute-run-time, you will have more questions than answers in your head. There are innumerable lose ends. For instance, why does Ram's father Posani get angry whenever his name crops up?
Shivam is the kind of film which cannot bank on its story to attract crowds and elements of entertainment could be the only saviour. However, that does not happened and we are left looking at the hero mouthing the overdone punch dialogues and comedy which is so dry that only the over enthusiastic members of the audience will enjoy.
Ram's characterization seems to be loosely inspired from Ravi Teja's Kalyan in Kick. He is given company by villains who are a comic relief of sorts and then comedians who do that too anyway. Characters suddenly go missing from the story giving it an incomplete feel - like Thagubothu Ramesh who is one amongst a group of guys who pursue Raashi is nowhere to be seen after a certain point. Boji Reddy's son who is the centre of the film's conflict becomes invisible after a while.
Raashi Khanna's freshness goes for a toss courtesy the character which does no justice to her talent. The only saving grace in this film are the songs which picturised very well. All in all the film is extremely lengthy, too ordinary and very boring.