|Directed by||Mani Shankar|
|Produced by||Nitin Manmohan
|Screenplay by||Mani Shankar|
|Story by||Mani Shankar|
|Narrated by||Amitabh Bachchan|
|Cinematography||T. Surendra Reddy|
|Editing by||Mani Shankar|
|Distributed by||Karma Entertainment|
|Release dates||February 13, 2004|
|Language||Hindi, English and few sentences in Tamil & Sanskrit|
Rudraksh, the power to possess directed by Mani Shankar is a Bollywood science-fiction film starring Sanjay Dutt, Bipasha Basu, Suniel Shetty and Isha Koppikar. The film has many references to Ramayana ("The Path of Rāma"), one of the most famous and influential epic poems of India.
Good and Evil are two sides of a same coin. If good grows in strength so does evil. Finally there comes a point when one must overcome the other.
Dr. Gayatri (Bipasha Basu) is an Indian American paranormal researcher at University of California, researching esoteric practices like voodoo, spirit possession, magic and healing powers. She seeks to find the hidden knowledge that goes into such practices, the knowledge that cannot be explained by science or logic.
Her search for answers brings her & her team of scientists to India. In India she comes across an uncommon man named Varun (Sanjay Dutt) who is gifted with special intuitive and healing powers which he claims to have developed through mediation. He can alter people's minds through his mental powers. He is a blend of Indian philosophy and modern culture, a master at martial arts and a devotee of Lord Hanuman who heals people by absorbing their pain, meditates, and does worshiping in day, while he works as a bouncer at a club at night.
Gayatri is immediately flummoxed by Varun’s powers to take away pain and disease from people and cure them. He becomes the subject of her study.
After a few experiments by Gayatri, Varun has an intuitive insight about the existence of a dark power that is hidden and evil. Many questions crop in his mind – like what is this dark force and what is its source. He knows that the force is linked to Ravana's Rudraksh, which is hidden away somewhere, unknown to the world.
This is not a normal Rudraksh. It carries in its seed the powers that can transmute humans into new species. The bearer of this Rudraksh will have supernatural powers beyond imagination. In the language of science, it was a multi-dimensional hologram in the form of a seed.
Meanwhile, Bhuria, a Rakshasa mentally communicates with Varun via his mind-space and offers Varun to share his power with Bhuria by becoming his brother, since either of them cannot utilize full power of the Rudraksha alone, but can do this with their powers combined. Varun, being a good person, straight-away refuses friendship with a rakshasha but Bhuria continues his attempts to join their powers and manipulate Varun.
On the other side, Gayatri finds about a madman speaking some strange words which cause changes in people. Gayatri tests the effects of those sounds on a rat, and notices strange mutations and changes in functioning of the rat's body. Souzy, Gayatri's research assistant, hears those sounds directly, becomes possessed, starts working for Bhuria and tries to kill Gayatri, but Varun fights her and saves Gayatri, after which Souzy commits suicide by jumping from the top of a building. . Varun and Gayatri thus set out on a search to discover this Rudraksh, the reality of Bhuria and also find certain answers for Varun's own self. His search transforms into a perilous journey from the most rugged terrains of Himalayas to the mysterious ruins of the legendary King Ravana's palaces in Yala, Sri Lanka.
He thus finds how Bhuria, a poor but wild and arrogant labor contractor in excavation team of the Rudraksha, transformed into a powerful Rakshasha & possessor of supernatural powers, that the words spoken by the madman were actually an ancient verse, a Rakshasha mantra, and that the real aim of Bhuria is to use the Rudraksha and Rakshasha mantra for spreading evil and hatred in the world, thus effectively restoring the rule of rakshashas once more.
It thus, once more becomes a battle of good vs. evil, where either must overcome the other.
Rudraksh received poor reviews and was a commercial failure with collections of Rs 17.8 million in three weeks after its release. Film was panned across the spectrum of reviewers for its tacky visuals and its actors hammy performance which didn't help the already amateurish screenplay. Even film critic Taran Adarsh, known for being quite lenient with his ratings, criticized this film's screenplay.
- Sanjay Dutt as Varun
- Bipasha Basu as Dr. Gayatri
- Sunil Shetty as Bhuria
- Isha Koppikar as Lalli, Bhuria's girlfriend and a contract killer
- Kabir Bedi as Pandit Ved Bhushan, a saint and Varun's father
- Agnes Darenius as Suzy, Dr. Gayatri's research assistant
- Narration by Amitabh Bacchan 
The Ramayana tells the story of the great hero Rāma, an incarnation of the God Vishnu. In the original story Rāma's beautiful and virtuous wife Sita is kidnapped by Ravana, lord of the rakshasas (demons), and Rāma's divine task is to kill Ravana and rescue Sita. Rāma is aided by his friend Sugreev, king of the Vanara (monkey-headed people).
The premise of the film Rudraksh is that the Ramayana is an historical account, and Ravana has found a way to threaten all mankind once again. Ravana re-asserts his will via a recently unearthed magic talisman called the Rudraksh (the nut from a Rudraksh tree, which is sometimes used as a storehouse for magical power as per Hindu beliefs). The Rudraksh contains Ravana's soul, and has the power to convert normal human beings into superhumanly powerful rakshasas. Ravana's ultimate plan is to convert (or possess) every human on the planet, and only Varun has enough power to stand in his way.
- Varun, the film's hero, represents Rāma.
- Varun's father Ved Pujan/Pandit Ved Bhushan might be related to Rāma's father, Maharajah Dasaratha, though his role in the film does not obviously match the original story.
- Bhuria represents the evil Ravana, or at least his representative on Earth. The alien demon creatures are explicitly called Rakshasas in the film. The film's tagline, "The Power to Possess," probably refers to Ravana's desire to possess both Sita and absolute military power. Note that when Bhuria and Lali become Rakshasas, their eyes become blue.
- Bhuria's girlfriend Lali may be related to Ravana's wife, Mandodari the Apsara (feminine spirit of clouds and water), though her role in the film does not obviously match the original story.
- Dr. Gayatri, Varun's love interest, represents Rāma's wife Sita. Her all-female scientific research team represent Sita's handmaidens. Bhuria attempts to kidnap Gayatri as Ravana originally kidnapped Sita, but in this version his kidnap attempt is thwarted by Varun.
|Compilation album by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy|
12 December 2003 (India)
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|1||Ishq Khudai||Krishna, Mahalakshmi Iyer, Shankar Mahadevan, Shweta Pandit||5:21||Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy|
|2||Ishq Hai Nasha Nasha||Shaan, Sunidhi Chauhan||4:13||Vishal-Shekhar|
|3||Dil Ki Aahein||K.S. Chitra||5:03||Shashi Pritam|
|4||Kya Dard Hai||Instrumental||5:46||Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy|
|6||Rak-rak-rak||Shankar Mahadevan, Gayatri Ganjawala, Kunal Ganjawala||6:17||Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy|
|7||Ishq Khudai- Remix||Krishna, Mahalakshmi Iyer, Shankar Mahadevan, Shweta Pandit||8:02||Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy|
|8||Bole - Dole||Bhaumik, K.S. Chitra, Sandeep, Shashi Pritam||4:21||Shashi Pritam|
|9||Kya Dard Hai||Richa Sharma, Shankar Mahadevan||5:40||Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy|