Janata Garage review

JG

It was during the audio release function of ‘Temper’  that Jr. NTR goaded his fans into watching Temper. The movie also marked the beginning of a purple patch for him. Before the release of Temper many had dubbed him as a waning force, but he proved the naysayers wrong on two counts after the release.

First is obviously to those people who doubted that if Jr.NTR was still the box office draw that he used to be. Second was an answer to those people that sniggered at him for their perception of him. They thought he only chased directors who had a super hit as their last release. With Temper, he gave a hit and also proved that he doesn’t chase directors with super hits in their resume.

******

Saikumar’s character while speaking of Jr.NTR’s says, ‘very balanced, more dangerous.’ With a little change, Jr.NTR can also be spoken of as an actor – very balanced, more effective.

When Oopiri released in March this year, people came to know that Jr. NTR was the driving force behind the film and had to refuse Karthi’s role in the movie because he was with the look for Nannaku Prematho. When I saw the film, I felt that Jr.NTR couldn’t have handled the subtle scenes and it was better for the film that he made way for Karthi.

Janata Garage has a couple of scenes which are a slap to my thinking. The entire episode involving Rajeev Kanakala has Jr.NTR elevating his acting to another level without actually raising his voice. Similarly, the scene with Samantha, her parents and Mohanlal is one which will make you reconsider the preconceived notions about his acting. He acts brilliantly in the scene. It’s also ironic that Mohanlal moves away from the frame so that Jr.NTR can take centerstage.

******

Jr.NTR is the best dancer in the country. Period. He sets the screen ablaze whenever he gets a chance to shake his leg. Jr. NTR has tremendous acting chops. He could deliver on intense roles by getting loud. But can he be subtle and yet deliver? The answer from Janata Garage is a resounding yes. The fight where he explains nature’s fury and a few more sequences are indicators to that. He can also shift gears easily as he does after getting slapped. He stays silent for a little while and demonstrates his fury. All of this happens in a matter of seconds.

What can be said of Mohanlal that is left unsaid? He is so brilliant in the scenes even where he doesn’t have a dialogue to utter.  He spends most of the second half sitting in an arm chair, yet he conveys the anguish, joy and pride with his eyes. The man is an acting masterclass.

What exactly were Samantha and Nitya Menon doing in the movie? They have a combined total, probably, of ten scenes in the movie. Neither are the roles are well etched nor do they require extraordinary talent. Nitya Menon seems to suffer from the same affliction as Jr.NTR: not being able to judge the scripts properly.

There are a host of character actors that have very little to do in the movie. Yes, they appear in the movie but having nothing worthwhile to talk about their performances.

And yes, Kajal! It takes a lot to be in the frame as Jr.NTR in a song and yet steal the thunder from him. Kajal does the same in the song that appears in.

The camerawork in the movie is top notch. The visuals in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kerala are captured brilliantly. Every single time we feel that the movie is dragging or becoming predictable, Devi Sri Prasad redeems it with his background music.

******

Koratala Siva, the director of the movie, sets Mohanlal’s character well. After a few minutes into the movie, the characters of Mohanlal and Jr.NTR run parallely:  Jr. NTR as an environment lover and Mohanlal as a man who can’t see people in distress. Koratala Siva builds the story up superbly until the intermission point. He could’ve taken the story along in various angles. Yet, he chose to proceed with the most feeble of the options .

Though he can build the story well, write the dialogues superbly and get the actors to perform well, he fails in the climax scenes in every movie directed by him. He seems to be at a loss of aforementioned abilities while writing the climax. This movie too, like Srimanthudu, ends abruptly and, sort of, leaves a bittersweet taste. He was lucky that he chose the main protagonists well.

The movie is presented well. I don’t know if it’s a conscious choice or an aberration, but Koratala Siva hasn’t shot a scene or a song abroad in his last two movies. In the present age, that’s a miracle.

******

Verdict : Watching this movie is pretty much feeling like Australia cricketers in the iconic Johannesburg match. They did everything right, but failed to finish well. Same is the case with Janata Garage too

Image courtesy : idlebrain.com

Advertisements

Srimanthudu movie review

wp-16srimanthudu1366

When we see movies with a message, we are used to seeing the protagonist turning vigilante. Srimanthudu is the same too. It has its protagonist delivering justice in his own way. What works for some movies, doesn’t quite do with others. We will know in a week or two if it works for this movie or not.

It is simple to write off Srimanthudu like this. It comes with a message that was splashed all over the pre-release material that we saw – from the teaser to the trailer, from the audio functions to the media interactions.

The movie has ‘giving back to the society’ as its central theme. Simply put, it’s the Rudraveena of the present age. Where caste was the undercurrent on which the father-son conflict runs in the latter, it’s the money and business which make up the father-son conflict in this movie. Rudraveena was risky back then and Srimanthudu is risky today. Perhaps that’s the reason why Chiranjeevi made Rudraveena on his home banner and Mahesh Babu opted to co-produce the movie.

Srimanthudu has a lot more commercial gloss added to it. It doesn’t seem forced. That’s the thing that seems to differentiate it from the slew of message oriented films we have seen in the recent past. It’s good.

The values – production and directorial- are good. The director has been supported by some good performances by the cast.

***

After two flops, it’s easy to get into a mode where you lean back on things that got you stardom. Fortunately or unfortunately, for Mahesh Babu, that thing is the strength of his character in a movie. Any role that slightly has the scope to perform sees Mahesh Babu giving it his best. Perhaps that’s the reason why he doesn’t have a unique mannerism to throw his fans into a trance.

He does well in this role. He adds a lot to the role. Be it the slow bob of the head while warning Mukesh Rishi, the open chested approach to Sampath when he is being asked a lot of questions or the tug of the suit that he wears while fighting at a marriage function, he adds to the role.

He sought apologies from the crowd present at the audio function for the disaster that was Aagadu. That movie was an aberration. It seemed one started watching the movie with Dookudu and it ended as Aagadu. The law of averages, the present scenario of the industry all point towards a hit that’s needed by Mahesh Babu. Though he hasn’t fallen down in the pecking order, his movies collections have. He should be able to set it right with this movie.

He has recognized his drawbacks and is working hard on correcting them. Dance was one of them. Where his steps in some movies were ridiculed, it’s difficult to do the same with the dance in this movie. He danced well in the ‘Rama Rama’ and ‘Charusheela’ songs.

***

Mahesh Babu is a superstar. No doubt on that fact. You should visit a theatre in the next few days to realise the scale of superstardom. In the theater that I watched the movie in, shouts of ‘Superstar Zindabad’ rent the air every few seconds. Whether you like him or not, being in the same place with his fans while his movie is being played gives you goosebumps.

He looks very good in the movie, as if that needs to be stated. His track with Shruthi Hassan was handled with maturity and came out well. The romance track continues in the second half as well, but it’s not handled with the same adeptness as it was in the first half. Perhaps it is because the movie moves in the second half and there are other threads that required better handling than the romantic track.

He has a track with most of the important characters in the movie. Jagapathi Babu acts as his father in the movie and the respect with which Mahesh Babu talks to him should be the template for sons behaving with their fathers. Jagapathi Babu does well in the role as a father intrigued by his son’s choices. A lot of care has been taken to make them look similar. Their hairstyles are similar in the movie- the side parting that is.

The entire track with Rajendra Prasad is dignified. He looks the part in a simpleton’s role. The facial expressions with which he can convey emotions are a huge asset to any director.

Shruthi Hassan can look back fondly at this role. She has performed well in the role and did a very good job when she was the motor of the first half. It’s her role that drives the movie forward.

***

Koratala Siva does a very good job as a director. He doesn’t let the fact that he is directing a star overawe him. The dialogues in the movie are thought provoking. He found an able ally in Mahesh Babu to get his thoughts across. He seems to have a thing or two for shooting fight sequences. They come out brilliantly.

On the choice of him doing a subject with a message, he was walking a tightrope and he treads it well. With the huge star cast at his disposal, it was natural that some of them wouldn’t get the prominence that others got. In the scheme of things, it was a touch disappointing to see Subba Raju and Sithara not get a role that they could do justice to.

The way he handles the protagonist, his movies will be awaited with bated breath from here on

***

Verdict: A good movie and fully paisa vasool. There are a lot of things to be enjoyed in the movie

Image courtesy: idlebrain.com