A few years ago, after delivering a stupendous hit with Magadheera, Ram Charan acted in a dud called Orange. In my opinion, it wasn’t a bad movie. It was spoiled by a bad climax. One of the things with Orange was the fact that the storyline would have been similar if it was shot in Sydney or Amalapuram. That it was shot in Sydney made no difference to the movie, like shooting in New York did to Ye Maaya Chesaave.
Similarly Duvvada Jagannatham would’ve been the same if it was Pinnamaneni Sarath or Dandu Ashok or Palivela Suman Shetty in the title. That the titular role was a Brahmin made no difference to the movie. If at all, it served as a vehicle to show the conversion of the protagonist from timidity to ferociousness.
Yes, Allu Arjun recites Purusha Suktam and Gayatri Mantram with ease in the movie, but was it all required ?
In the late 80’s, Chiranjeevi acted in a lot of run-of-the-mill movies, but he always redeemed them; be it with his dances, be it with comic timing or be it with his fights. That was the reason he grew up to be a megastar in the industry. There are a few subtle references to him in the movie.
The film has nothing going for it in terms of a story. Helpless police takes the help of a person who can’t see (hear) crimes committed in front of him. To weave a story around this point might be tough; not if you are Harish Shankar.
Harish Shankar seeks the help of entendre, caricaturisation, exposing the heroine and exploits the stardom of Allu Arjun to weave the story, however feeble it may be. For a man so good with writing, you wonder what was the need for him to seek refuge in entendre. For a man talking about ‘dignity of labour’, it sure does stink when he talks about the usage of condoms.
He has definitely travelled southwards in terms of his directorial capabilities since Mirpakay. With more intent in satiating the fans desires, he has lost touch with good filmmaking. I would want to see Harish Shankar make a movie the way Harish Shankar wants it, not the way the fans of the hero want to see it.
Allu Arjun, much like Chiranjeevi of the yore, tries to redeem this movie; with his dances, fights and comic timing. He succeeds to an extent and fails in large part due to the director. He remains one of the few heroes whose films make for watchable fare. From Sarrainoddu on, there seems to be some sort of narcissism creeping in the way he goes about the things. He would certainly be better off without it.
Pooja Hegde’s best moments come when she is asked to sing a line or two from a song during the audio release or the publicity for the movie. She has nothing to do in the movie apart from appearing like a made-up doll and exposing the mid-riff as and when necessitated by the director.
Around the same time last year, Rao Ramesh was part of a disastrous movie called Brahmotsavam. He shone like nobody else in that movie. There is something special that he gets to every role of his, in every movie, regardless of the duration. Every role has his signature, much like the way Allu Arjun wants to do it while dancing. Except that, Rao Ramesh doesn’t exactly need to sign. To borrow from a line in the movie and re-phrase it , ‘He makes us see the character, not the man playing it.’ Even in this movie, he shines the best. His idiosyncrasies in the movie are superb to watch
Subba Raju does well in his role and it could’ve been better
Verdict: A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Similarly, DJ by any other name wouldn’t have made a difference.
Image courtesy: idlebrain.com