Janatha Garage Review, What’s Behind: Junior NTR’s new found success with ‘Nannaku Prematho, Temper’ led to expectations hike on ‘Janatha Garage.’ Director Koratala Siva is one more major factor to lift the curiosity. With all the extensive promotions, film has hit the screens just a while back. Let’s see how far Koratala re-created ‘Srimanthudu’ magic in ‘Janatha Garage?’
Janatha Garage Story: Sathyam (Mohan Lal) shifts to Hyderabad on the request of his brother (Rahaman) to begin Janatha Garage, repairing vehicles. However, Sathyam being a humanitarian stays ahead in helping the poor punishing wrongdoers. This brings him in conflict with criminal minded businessman Mukesh Rana (Sachin Khedekar). In retaliation Mukesh Rana’s gang kill Sathyam’s brother. Fast forward by 25 years, a nature lover and environmentalist Anand (Junior NTR) from Mumbai lands in Hyderabad on a project work. Impressed with Janatha Garage’s theory of serving those in need, Anand replaces Sathyam as the leader. Meanwhile, family problems make Sathyam go weak as his son Raghava (Unni Mukundan) joins hands with Mukesh Rana marrying his daughter. How are Anand and Sathyam related by blood? How Anand continues Janatha Garage legacy? All this forms the rest.
Janatha Garage Artists and Technicians: Koratala Siva is a master writer in commercializing any subject. His basic idea is inspired from ‘Godfather’ series to ‘Sarkar’ in Hindi and ‘Rowdy’ in Telugu re-filtered many a times. What made ‘Janatha Garage’ different from them are the backdrop establishment, treatment and additional heroism in the presence of two extra ordinary lead artists. Koratala Siva also continued his arresting story narration abilities blended with a couple of well conceived scenes and weighty dialogues superbly written. Although screenplay is easily foreseeable, highly potential actors take the proceedings to next level with their imposing body language and astonishing performances. However, a little more creative cautiousness from Koratala Siva in penning the scenes and curtailing run time could have made film far better. In one word, he was not as fluent as ‘Srimanthudu’ or ‘Mirchi’ appending the extra Telugu film commerciality. Thiru’s brilliant camera work is one of the invaluable assets. Editing by Kotagiri is below average with an over stretched second half immediately needs a trimming. Devi Sri Prasad’s electrifying BGM upgraded the feel. Songs wise, ‘Pranamam, Jayaho Janatha’ are best picks from the bunch. Ramajogayya Sasthri’s lyrics are a great treasure for keeping whole of hero characterization in poetic words. ANL Arasu’s stunt compositions more or less resembled ‘Srimanthudu.’ Lastly, production values from Mythri Movie Makers are top notch.
On to performances, Mohan Lal’s very existence right from opening of Janatha Garage to his final phase transferring the duties to NTR or sacrificing his brutal son for the sake of beliefs added solidarity to the story. He has put up a balanced show through out with a supreme body language. Thanks Mohan Lal for not dubbing on own. The artist in Tarak is evolving with each film. His characterization of environmental activist sounded really new. Keeping aside all his magnanimous heroic stature, NTR underperformed as per the situational demand. Nevertheless, his strapping diction and eloquent dialogue delivery deliver a stimulating impact. Coming to dances and action episodes, he tore it apart. Although, Tarak Fans might fall short of those louder whistling moments yet they take pleasure watching an artist in him underplaying. Heroines are utterly wasted. Samanta wasn’t really glamorous while Nithya Menon is also struck in junk. Sachin Khedekar hasn’t suited to barbarous Telugu villainy. Unni Mukundan fails to add a negative value. Vennela Kishore comedy is negligible and unnecessary. Garage members Ajay, Brahmaji, Benarjee were too good. Rajeev Kanakala does a superb job in one of the graciously presented sub thread. Suresh, Sai Kumar, Sithara, Devayani, Rahaman, Chalapathi Rao does justice. Kajal Agarwal item song is purely meant for masses. Rest may not need much mention.
Janatha Garage Rating Analysis: Title could be misleading for masses because this isn’t an action film. It’s centered more on family emotions annexed with ‘Godfather, Sarkar’ kind of treatment. Definitely, Koratala missed his trademark treatment but the way he picked a capable casting in Junior NTR and Mohan Lal makes show worth a run for our money. Although Mohan Lal is pivotal in running the business around Garage, the way NTR’s character is introduced and merged into Garage leaves you feel good about. Then there are couple of powerful mass loving episodes facilitate the film to go next level. These are the sparse areas Koratala showed his mark.
On to first half, introduction of Mohan Lal and other artists in Janatha Garage may be slower in pace but register the core very strongly. Family emotions tagged to these portions expose the overall story in brief. Jr NTR’s nature saving concept is one more social message attempt from Koratala after the village adoption in ‘Srimanthudu.’ In fact, narration goes dull yet interestingly till Samanta, Nithya Menon joins the stream. Lack of proper entertainment and weak episodes keep the graph so flat. Thanks to pre interval and interval blocks when NTR and Mohan Lal come face-to-face to salvage the first half.
Twenty to thirty minutes post interval, ‘Janatha Garage’ has all the shades needed for a hit film. Rajeev Kanakala sub thread, Jayahoo Janatha song, NTR-Mohan Lal working as team, NTR-Sachin confrontation were huge strengths played safely to gallery. After ‘Pakka Local’ item song, the path to pre climax using Unni Mukundan and Ajay followed a beaten to death formula. Climax is also outdated thus making the film look just average.
All in all, Koratala Siva touched an old story with wafer thin script and clichéd scenes. The central conflict between protagonists and antagonists (sometimes a local Mumbai MLA and Sachin Khedkar in Hyderabad) haven’t got any strong register value. Without establishing villains and their inhumane procedures, Koratala failed to bring emotional convincingness to his story telling process. Except NTR and Mohan Lal, there’s nothing great work Koratala has done behind the screen. So, Cinejosh goes with 2.5 stars for Janatha Garage waiting for overall commercial verdict. First three days, there will be many records to wipe off…
Janatha Garage Cinejosh Verdict: No Repairs, Only Spare Parts Needed…
Janatha Garage Cinejosh Rating: 2.5/5.0
Reviewed by Srivaas