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'Alias Janaki' Review: Oh my God, it's Janaki!

Movies: Alias Janaki
Rating: 1/5
Banner:
Sangamithra Arts
Cast: Venkat Rahul, Anisha Ambrose, Nagababu, Tanikella Bharani and Others
Story: Venkat Rahul
Music: Sravan
Cinematographer: Sujit Sarang
Producer: Neelima
Screenplay, Direction: Daya K
Release Date: 26th July 2013

Here comes another hero from the Mega clan. This time it is Chiranjeevi’s maternal uncle’s son Venkat Rahul. He not only debuts with the film, but he has written the story himself. The film is produced by Neelima Tirumalasetti who is one of the producers of Pawan Kalyan’s Panja. The film is directed by yet another newcomer Daya K.

Story
Janaki Ram alias Janaki is an honest government official, who imbibes good ethical and moral values from his father (Naga Babu). He ends up having a confrontation with a goon Mysa when the later tries to forcefully grab the lands of poor people. Naturally, he ends up facing trouble from various quarters. Even his lady love Chaitra (Anisha) fails to understand his motives. The rest of the film shows how Janaki wins the situation and eventually wins over his girl by staying true to his ideals.

Performance:
Venkat Rahul is not your quintessential, young and dynamic hero. In order to make up for this, he has written a script that would suit his age and looks. When the script throws up an author-backed role, it becomes necessary to have a hero who can carry the story forward with his acting prowess. The script requires a leading man who is capable of delivering good performance. But watching the film, one is left wondering if Venkat Rahul made a wrong career choice.

Same is the case with Anisha Ambrose. The girl, who looked good in the pre-release posters, fails to impress in the film. Not just her looks, her acting skills too are below average. She irritates with her dialogues throughout the film. She has one dialogue during the climax and the audiences almost feel like screaming out in agony.

Veteran actors Tanikella Bharani and Naga Babu have nothing much to do. Barring mouthing a couple of artificial dialogues, they do little.

The actor who plays the villain puts in an equally bad performance that is on par with the hero and the heroine.

Technical Team:
The only plus about the movie, is its music. Music director Shravan has come up with two lilting numbers. However, the playback singers do not do justice to the melodious tunes.

Cinematography is good. Though it is a small budget film, the cinematographer has done some good work.

One has to thank the editor for keeping the length to less than two hours.

Coming to director Daya, he fails to narrate the story convincingly. Such scripts require the director to fully believe in the script and have the right vision to showcase it to the audience. But some scenes down the line, it is apparent that Daya neither has the vision nor the conviction to handle this script.

Highlights:

  • Hero, story, screenplay, direction (Well, it’s a joke)

Drawbacks:

  • Hero, story, screenplay, direction (This is no joke)

Analysis:
The film makers’ attempt at making a movie with a social message is definitely laudable. It is a good effort at a time when most film-makers choose the easy way out by making mass masala entertainers or comedy films. While the thought is good, the effort does not match up to the high ideals that the film tries to project. At the end, it’s the audience who lose out, as the film is neither a masterpiece nor an entertainer.

One is left wondering as to what the makers tried to convey with Alias Janaki. The film tries to show how when an ordinary but honest man’s patience is put to test, change is the consequence. The land grabbing episode, which is shown as a sub plot in most movies, is dealt as the main plot in the film. But the director fails to involve the audience in the film. The characters fail to draw sympathy. Instead, one is left waiting for the film to end. To add to the pathos, a sub plot of a raped woman is also incorporated into the script. It does not help the film.

The director fails badly in chalking out the hero’s character. His inner turmoil and strength of character are not brought to the fore. Despite trying hard, one cannot relate to Janaki. The red-eyed hero looks more like a patient in need of medical help than a man struggling to fight for justice. 

Another drawback is the usage of the ‘back and forth’ technique. This leads to a lot of confusion. At one point, the audience finds it difficult to figure out which part of the story is set in the past and which part is the present.

Going by the story, one waits for a hard-hitting climax. But the end sequences lack the fizz. Characters that are totally corrupt are shown to undergo instant change following a two-minute dialogue by the hero.

It is indeed a noble thought to make a movie concerning a social issue.  But a good theme requires good direction. That’s exactly where Alias Janaki fails.

Bottomline: A Lost Cause

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

Click here for telugu review

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