Duvvada Jagannadham Review
'DJ', the big-ticket entertainer, is out in the theatres. Here we tell you what is in store in the much-awaited Allu Arjun-starrer.
Jagannadham Sastry (Allu Arjun) has always been a firebrand vigilante since childhood. Right in the Agraharam, he directly transformed into a killer of every villain in his sight. No evolution. Direct arrival as the awaited crusader, taking philosophical inspiration from this or that 'shaastra'.
Teaming up with a police officer (Murali Sharma) who passes on information to him about the most dreadful living baddie out there, Sastry alias DJ goes on to kill one big fish after another.
While he does all this in a jiffy without leaving an iota of trace about his parallel life (in this, he is even better than Vikram's Aparichitudu), there lies a huge enemy who is defrauding the middle-classes of Rs. 9000 Cr. He is Rao Ramesh, who is acting through benamis.
It's up to DJ to discover who is the big fish responsible for the mega scam, so that he can go on to eliminate him.
For a formulaic film whose hackneyed story line is more traditional than even some of the orthodox ways of the main lead, it was quite unwise to etch Sastry's character in such a way that he is shown to behave as if he was on steroids right from childhood.
When he can be otherwise, he talks in a stereotypical way for most part of the day. While this is a matter of cinematic liberty, the same starts seeming artificial after a point. It was quite a challenge to keep the character graph going higher and higher after a point, especially with a hero who has to fake 'satthwika' nature just because he is a cook-cum-priest. Harish Shankar doesn't show much imagination in this regard.
Then you have the problem of tempo. Imagine a hero who as a child snuffed out lives as if they were flies, then goes on to kill every trivial baddie (mainly 'Kalakeya' Prabhakar), only to fizzle out in a climax that is too lighter-veined to a fault.
Some things about the antagonist. He is a knicker-loving Rao Gopal Rao legatee, a proud model for his own services, including real estate. So far so good. This character having a serious clash (instead of a comedy-driven climax) would have made terrific material. The way he travels to the hero's house incognito, seething with rage as the latter is happily oblivious, is wow. On the other hand, this intensity is allowed to slide into comic irrelevance later.
Take our heroine's character. Usually, those heroines who pull wool over hero's eyes and then go on to admire (even if momentarily) a joker of a baddie (Subbu Raju in this case) don't have a shelf life in the audience's minds. Such characters are, more often than not, associated with mass entertainers with half-hearted rom-com tracks.
'DJ' is primarily Bunny-oriented. His caricaturish dialogue-delivery (as an orthodox priest) is a source of some humour. When he dons the mantle of DJ, the man can do anything from a repeat of Rudrama Devi's 'Gammunundavayya' to self-styled panegyrics ('Tempo edhi?' he shouts at a sidekick who fails to introduce him fittingly!). Even the super-rich, too-high-to-be-touched villain is once condemned to praise him, saying, 'Vaadu full ga prepare ayye acting lo diguthadu'. Cool!
Allu Arjun's performance is impressive when he is emoting sentiment. The angry young man's avatar was seen on similar lines in the recent 'Sarrainodu'. His tryst with caricaturish mannerisms and dialogues like 'Sabhyasamajaniki em message iddhamani?' might not have long-time takers.
Rao Ramesh is at his confident best. He is convincing in those various small-time get-ups, but the gunman's avatar stands out. Pooja Hegde has got a lot of potential for sure, and in songs like 'Seeti Maar', she shows she has got a lot of oomph. But her character is otherwise a dampener. Others like the weird baddie Subba Raju are good. Murali Sharma, Vennela Kishore and others fit the bill.
While Devi Sri Prasad delivers goods with a couple of songs, the BGM somehow doesn't make a mark. It may probably have to do with the way the scenes were conceived. The cinematography is adept and all the actors and locations are captured pretty well.
Made to a template, 'DJ' is extremely hero-dependent, relying perhaps excessively on Bunny's wide-ranging abilities. Predictability aside, the climax is thusso, thussasya.. leave it. Dialogues in places are enjoyable for sure.