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'Jyothi Lakshmi' Review: Puri Misfires

Movie: Jyothi Lakshmi
Rating: 2.5/5
Banner:
C. K. Entertainments, Sri Subha Swetha Films
Cast: Charmee, Satya, Bramhanandham, Sakshi Rami Reddy and Others
Cinematography: P.G. Vinda
Music: Sunil Kashyap
Story: Malladi
Editor: S. R. Sekhar
Producers: Swethalana, Varun, Teja
Screenplay, Dialogues and Direction: Puri Jagannadh
Release Date: June 12, 2015

Jyothi Lakshmi, the dancer who was popular along with her sister Jayamalini was the item girl and vamp of the ’60s and ’70s. She was also seen in a lot of action films of her time, though mostly B and C grade films. Well, Puri Jagannadh pays an ode to her and item girls of all ages by addressing issues that matter most to them by giving it a contemporary touch. Let’s check out how the film has come up…

Story:
The film starts off with two young men scouting pimps and visiting brothels to get the right girl that the film’s hero Satya (Satya) wants. Well, he even gets on to Lapaki app to find a girl which helps them in finding a house instead. After searching for two days, Satya finally finds the girl he wants which happens to be Jyothilakshmi (Charmme Kaur). He insists on marrying her and thanks to her quick wit, gets her out of the place even before he is found and beaten by the villains.

So do they escape and get married? Is their’s a happily ever after story? The rest of the story shows this.

Artistes’ Performances:
Charmme plays the lead and also co-produces the film. Well, it is said that heroines mostly do author-backed roles towards the end of their careers and probably that holds true for Charmme too. She might be at the fag end of her career as a glam heroine, but she seems to be preparing herself for her new role as a producer.

As for her character, it surely does not surprise you and Charmme plays it in a subdued and easy-going manner without shouting from rooftops.

Satya played by Satya plays the supporting lead to Charmme. His character complements Charmme’s role and he plays the gardener to his wife.

Then there are other characters like the girls in the ‘company’ run by Natwar Patwari, pimps and Sandy all of whom play their parts well.

Towards the climax, the film has cameos by a lot of artistes from Jabardast and others like Krishnudu, Dhanraj, Saptagiri, Brahmanandam among others.

Technical Excellence:
Music is by Sunil Kashyap and it has a couple of numbers that youngsters might like. All other departments are okay while Puri Jagannadh presents the novel of Malladi Venkata Krishna Murthy in a way that suits the sense and sensibilities of working class women.

Highlights:

  • Charmme

Drawbacks:

  • Direction
  • Music

Analysis:
Using ‘Jyothi Lakshmi’ as his mascot, Puri Jagannath tries to highlight the problems being faced by women in contemporary society and the dual standards in society.

Why is it that men who have an inclination for girls are labeled ‘studs’ whereas women who hang out with the opposite sex are humiliated with the epithet of a ‘slut’, questions the movie on one occasion.

On the face of it, ‘Jyothi Lakshmi’ is a serious subject and in his attempt to inject commercial ingredients into the movie, Puri Jagan allows the characterization to suffer. There is no credible justification for why the hero wants to marry a prostitute.

The emotional connect in a few key scenes like the one where Charmee decided to take on the system, is also missing. Puri also made use of the recent ‘Shwetha Basu’ episode to further his cause.

The intention of the movie is definitely laudable. But what could have been a path-breaking film turns out to be an ordinary one in the conflict between reality and commercialism.

Bottomline: Good Intention, Bad Execution

(Venkat can be reached venkat@greatandhra.com or https://twitter.com/greatandhranews)   

Click here for Telugu review

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