Amitabh Bachchan plays Vijay Kumar, son of a righteous police officer, who comes to resent the law because he feels his dad's job causes him to neglect his family. When he takes a job working with a known smuggler he finally has a place in life where he's wanted - and as he rises to the top the smuggler begins to treat him more and more like a son. But Vijay's new career creates a rift with his dad that inevitably leads to conflict... but of course it's poor mum that suffers the most.
Sound familiar? Yes, it's basically a retread of Deewar with different family members. My bad luck to watch both this and DEEWAR back to back! (well, a week apart). Even though I could watch Amitabh Bachchan all day (lucky given the length of Bollywood movies ), I did get kind of bored watching basically the same things happen again. The details are different, but the broad strokes paint pretty much the same picture.
Ramesh Sippy (producer behind Shaan and Sholay, both directed by his brother G.P.) adds a little bit less melodrama into the mix though, and a little bit more action (which is quite exciting... in a bad 70's kind of way). Amitabh gets to smoulder intensely a lot more, and again exudes the levels of cool and charisma that make him India's number one superstar.
There's quite a lot to like in SHAKTI, and it's perhaps unfair that I judge it after so recently seeing DEEWAR. In reality there was 7 years between the movies, so audiences were probably ready for a retread. Perhaps the one week gap just wasn't enough for me, which is why I ended up kind of bored
SHAKTI is probably more fun than DEEWAR, but still nowhere near the inspired lunacy of Don or SHAAN, or the meticulously crafted suspense of SHOLAY. 7/10.