Movie: DJ Duvvada Jagannadham
Banner: Sri Venkateshwara Creations
Cast: Alllu Arjun, Pooja Hegde, Rao Ramesh, Murali Sharma, Tanikella Bharani, and others
Music: Devi Sri Prasad
Cinematography: Ayananka Bose
Fights: Ram - Lakshman
Editor: Chota K Prasad
Producer: Dil Raju, Sirish
Screenplay, dialogues and directed by: Harish Shankar
Release date: June 23, 2017
"Race Gurram", "S/o Sathyamurthy", and "Sarrainodu" have put Allu Arjun in the top league of Tollywood stars. He is now among the biggest stars of South India and his movies are awaited eagerly by his fans and general audiences alike.
The strong buzz around "DJ Duvvada Jagannadham" began the moment the film was announced as he teams up with "Gabbar Singh" director Harish Shankar. Added to this, it is Dil Raju's production. And the movie's trailer was kick-ass. All this made "DJ" a red hot movie this year.
Let's find out whether the film lives up to all the expectations.
Story begins in Vijayawada. Duvvada Jagannadham (Allu Arjun) who runs Annapurna Caterers is kind of a vigilante.
He takes the law to his hands and teaches a lesson to people who do evil things with the help of a police officer (Murali Sharma) in Hyderabad.
He poses as DJ to the public, the other side of Duvvada Jagannadham. At a wedding, he meets Pooja (Pooja Hegde), after some playful games, love blooms between them.
His uncle (Chandra Mohan) commits suicide when a Agro Diamond real estate company cheats him. DJ vows to destruct the empire of Agro Diamond owned by Naidu (Rao Ramesh). How he does this is the rest of the drama.
Allu Arjun has already proved that he can pull off any role with ease. But the role of Brahmin poojari is toughest one for him. NTR Jr has set benchmark for such roles with "Adhurs" in recent times. He knew that people would compare his performance with NTR's, hence he seems to have invested more energy into this character. NTR's work still remains the best, but we can confidently say Allu Arjun also has passed muster.
The liberal dose of glamour show by actress Pooja Hegde is an eye feast to the male audiences. Hers is primarily glamor role and she has nailed it.
Rao Ramesh as Royyalanaidu imitating his father Late Rao Gopal Rao (dressing style as well as accent) has come up with decent performance but his characterisation lacks dhum.
Murali Sharma, Tanikella Bharani and other actors have done justice to their roles. Vennela Kishore provides laughs in few scenes.
Subba Raju as a guy who speaks to his dead mother has provided good laughter in the climax sequences.
Since this is top producer Dil Raju's production, one expects top class technical and production values and "Duvvada Jagannadham" lives up to the producer's reputation.
Bollywood cameraman Ayanaka Bose has left his indelible mark on the screen with his class cinematography.
Devi Sri Prasad has given two foot tapping numbers - "Asmaaika…", "Seeti Maar". Like always, he has given perfect background score.
The film suffers with pace in the second half, editing should have been crispier. Dil Raju's grand production values and top class art design by Ravinder have made the film look rich.
Allu Arjun's performance
Pooja Hegde's glamour
Uneven second half
Few minutes into the movie, we can easily guess that the movie is going in the format of director Shankar's first movie "Gentleman".
In "Gentleman", Arjun had acted as a guy who poses as a simple Brahmin guy but he actually is a person who is taking on the guys who have destroyed education system. Arjun appeared in two shades of character.
Director Harish Shankar has established this same point in the very beginning of "DJ Duvvada Jagannadham".
Here Allu Arjun acts as a Brahmin caterer but he is also on the mission to set things right in society and later takes on Agro Diamond scam.
The story of "DJ Duvvada Jagannadham" is as simple as that. As cliched as the old mass movies!
The characterization of Allu Arjun is similar to NTR Jr's "Adhurs". But while "Adhurs" was more comedy driven, this has serious tone with sparse comedy.
The movie begins with the line "Manam cheese panilo manchi kanapadali Kani manishi kanapadalisina avasaram ledu", which is the philosophy of the story. But the dialogue has depth that narration doesn't have.
Once it is clear that Allu Arjun is posing as simple Brahmin youth called Duvvada Jagannadham for public but killing off evil people by taking the name of DJ, there are no surprises after the interval.
Before interval itself, Harish Shankar has used all tricks for this story. By interval, it is clear that he will now take on Rao Ramesh. Such plain storyline doesn't work unless emotional angle is involved.
Like Allu Arjun's "Sarrainodu", this movie is also riddled with cliche moments throughout. Unlike "Sarrainodu", it doesn't strike emotionally anywhere. This is the biggest issue of this cliched drama. Entire second half falls flat despite some good comedy sequence in the end.
Even in the first half, the director has relied more on dialogues and Pooja Hegde's glam show. She has showed off lot of skin to please the audiences.
Dialogues like "Vijayawada ante Paina amma varu, kinda kamma varau", "brahmcharulu enta kalam selfie lu teesukuntaru", "nenu binami ni kadu tsunami ni", "Sabhya Samajaniki ee message ivvalanukuntunnaru", etc are good.
Harish has written some genuine funny dialogues and has come up with good episodes involving Pooja Hegde, Vennela Kishore and him. But beyond that it doesn't impress.
Predictable screenplay, weak direction and too much focus on Allu Arjun have affected the movie negatively. The characterisation of Murali Sharma is also not that effective.
Harish Shankar has left his stamp as writer than director. He is known for writing clever punch lines and he has many such here. But he has completely disappointed with his shabby direction.
Bottom-line: Pulihora Sans Inguva!