'Juvva', starring Ranjith and Palak Lalwani in the lead, hit the screens on Friday. Here is our review.
Rana (Ranjith) is a small-time swindler in company with two sidekicks (played by Saptagiri and Bhadram). Being such an eligible bachelor, he falls in love with a rich girl, Shruti (Palak Lalwani).
Enter Basavaraj, Shruti's childhood villain. Having served rigorous imprisonment for years, the cold-blooded murder wants to marry her now that he is free. Before he can come to her, Shruti runs away from Hyderabad.
Rana follows her and they both end up indulging in some energetic romance in the accommodation provided by a cop (played by Murali Sharma) and his wife (played by Sana) in a new town.
This is when a small twist is revealed. From this point, it's a triangular contest between the lead pair, Basavaraj and the other villain.
One of the main villains of 'Juvva' is ruthless, has resources, is fairly well-connected, knows the residence of the girl he is hotly pursuing, but somehow, he doesn't have the will or the brain or both to find her photograph. If it was a period film set in the era of Indira Gandhi, it would have made sense.
Then 'Juvva' throws up a hero who comes as a cross between Aadhi Pinisetty and Sundeep Kishan. He even sounds mildly Vishnu Manchu when he speaks. So, this guy makes money by tricking people. When he bumps into the heroine, he swoons. When he is told that she is a millionaire, our hero actually keeps an expression on his face that makes one wonder if impressing rich girls is the easiest thing in the world, especially if you are a small-time crook. Well, that's Telugu cinema for you.
You have to listen to his most romantic line from the movie. "Girls fall for only three kinds of men: Film stars, cricketers, and most-wanted criminals like me," he tells his unquestioning sidekicks with a trace of hubris. Curse yourself if you don't fall into any of the categories.
In one scene, he actually defeats a comical baddie with a 'Mottikaya'. So far, so good. But what follows is a punchline that he tells as if he possesses the casualness of a Ravi Teja: 'Naaku poster veyadamu thelusu, chimpeyadamu thelusu'.
The rom-com track between the hero and his girl is at the level of an inferior skit in a second-rate TV programme. Two total strangers (Saptagiri and Bhadram) stop the millionaire heroine's car in the middle of a road. They do some buffoonery and ask her to come somewhere. She goes to their house like a humanoid robot gone berserk. Well, you should know that rich girls do that as a routine.
Then, she starts believing that the hero has gone mad after she hit him with her two-wheeler the previous night. Whenever he fakes it, she religiously submits to his game. In one scene, she is surprised to see herself in Anarkali's costumes by happenstance. She then proceeds to say cinematic dialogues to the hero, a near-stranger, in the backdrop of a historic place! Yes, girls are that dumb with film stars, cricketers, and most-wanted criminals.
The hero is actually a Dosa-patriot to boot. In one scene, he tells a lady villain he won't harm her for harassing the heroine because, well, he is grateful to her Dosas!
Saptagiri, Bhadram, Prabhas Sreenu and others are wasted. Murali Sharma seems to have accepted this film after listening to the script of 'Agnyaathavaasi'. It's understandable he found this character at least dignified in this. Posani Krishna Murali plays a double-timing husband who has an affair. The way his wife (Surekha Vani) discovers his infidelity has no utility in 2018. 'Kalakeya' Prabhakar was better left untouched after 'Baahubali-The Beginning'. He comes across as a creatively handicapped artist when Rajamouli is not around.
MM Keeravani's music and other technical elements are forgettable.
A skit-level romantic-comedy track, pointless characters, uncool villainy, loose ends, and mediocre performances. This is 'Juvva'.