DJ Duvvada Jagannadham - Movie Review

Friday, June 23, 2017 - 14:15
DJ Duvvada Jagannadham (2017)
Cast & Crew: 

Film: DJ Duvvada Jagannadham
Cast: Allu Arjun, Pooja Hegde, Tanikella Bharani, Rao Ramesh, Subbaraju, Vennela Kishore, Posani Krishna Murali and others
Sreenplay: Deepak Raj, Ramesh Reddy
Music: Devi Sri Prasad
Cinematography: Ayananka Bose
Art: S Ravindar
Editing: Chota K Prasad
Fights: Ram Lakshman
Producer: Dil Raju, Sirish 
Story, dialogues and direction: Harish Shankar S
Release date: June 23, 2017
CBFC Rating: UA
Runtime: 156 min

Duvvada Jagannadham (Allu Arjun), a Brahmin youth working as caterer in Vijayawada, is bowled over by the charms of Pooja (Pooja Hegde). He moonlights as a vigilante called DJ, who takes on the baddies of the society. He particularly takes up a mission of bringing down the business empire of Royyala Naidu (Rao Ramesh) whose real estate company cheats the middleclass. Royyala Naidu comes to know that DJ is after him and Naidu sends his men to kill DJ. Now the game begins. 


With two entertaining movies 'Mirapakaya' and 'Gabbar Singh', director Harish Shankar established himself as one of the leading directors in Tollywood. But the debacle of 'Ramayya Vastavaya'  put a break to his success streak.

So, he seems to have chosen a safe path. He has picked up an oft-repeated storyline that has been rehashed by many since the days of Shankar's 'Gentleman'. That is not a bad idea to retell this vigilante story. But he has not added any new element to this old story.

The story begins with Allu Arjun's childhood episode. His grandfather tells him that it is not important to reveal his identity to do good for people (Manam Cheese Panilo Manchi Kanapadali Kani Manishi Kanapadalisina Avasaram Ledu). So, he has added a reason why the hero appears as Duvvada Jagannadham on the front and does good in secret with the name as DJ.

The first half runs in a pretty entertaining way. He has established the hero's goal, his mission and also his behavior perfectly. Then he moves on the romantic track between hero and heroine which is fun too. Slowly but entertainingly it moves on till the end without much problem. But the director's screenplay runs out of steam by end of the interval bang. There are no turns and twists in this plain story to keep audience's interest in the entire second half. Hence, Harish Shankar has once again relied on comedy and glamour show post interval too.

In the first half, we have a fun episode when Vennela Kishore is about to get married. Post interval, Vennela Kishore and his wife have to come decision to take divorce and Bunny's monologue is terrific here again. Such scenes and dialogues are the only saving grace in this routine narration. Though he has picked up a topical issue - Agri Gold lands scam in Andhra Pradesh, he has not used this one effectively. He has gone for comedy climax which provides laughs but has taken off seriousness of the cause that Allu Arjun has taken up.

Allu Arjun has displayed two shades of his character with élan. The role of Brahmin youth is a challenge for him as it requires him to change the dialogue delivery completely. He wins distinction in this test. In the role of DJ, he is at home. Pooja Hegde is pretty glamorous. She is an asset to the movie. She has gone for full-on skin show. Rao Ramesh as Royyala Naidu has just killed it. His father Late Rao Gopal Rao did the famous role Royyala Naidu in EVV's 'Aa Okkati Adakku' and Rao Ramesh imitated the same histrionics. But his characterisation lacks depth. Rao Ramesh's characterization shows no ruthlessness. Among other actors, it is Subbaraju who shines. Subbaraju has played as a guy who speaks to his dead mother.

Although the movie has regular story line, the production values and technical values are top class. Devi Sri Prasad has once again come up with some catchy tunes. The "Asmaika" song that ran into controversy is beautifully composed and picturised. "Seeti Maar" has terrific rhythm and Allu Arjun has made them special with his dance steps.

Editing is neat. Ayananka Bose's cinematography is huge asset to the movie as he has brought that Bollywoodish class in some scenes. He has not shot entire film though (couple of other cinematographers filmed some parts). Harish Shankar's forte has always been telling stories in humorous way and writing terrific dialogues. He has shown his mark here again. He has scored as dialogue writer.

Bottom-line: 'DJ Duvvada Jagannadham' goes on regular commercial movie template with the same story of Shankar's 'Gentleman'. Allu Arjun's terrific performance, Harish Shankar's dialogues and Pooja's glam show have worked but the second half doesn't impress. The movie is like Pulihora that lacks sufficient inguva (asafetida).

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