Few minutes into Janda Pai Kapiraju, you know what kind of a film is up your sleeves. Aravind (Nani), one of the protagonists is brought up in a Gurukul. He’s literally god’s own child, from whatever you are shown. He overhears a girl talking about being interested in her boyfriend’s pal and not the former. He frowns. He witnesses a biker threatening to beat up a guy. He is devastated. A female colleague of his cheats on many men at once. He whets, ‘What a society are we living in ?’ He refuses to bribe a cop and calls his Gurudev (Nassar) to inform that education is of no use in a real-time situation. To wrap it up, when he is advised to have worldly knowledge, he says to his beloved guru, ‘Do you want me to be a prostitute sir ?’
He’s a child, a probable heir to the likes of Tagore, Kamal Hassan in Bharateeyudu, Ambi in Anniyan and the good-looking Anna Hazare, if they ever decided to make a family together. Sadly, he earns not even a quarter of the sympathy that his ancestors managed to. The problem here is, he’s too flawless. Cinematically, he neither entertains nor amuses. Just like his to-be-bride runs away from him after spending an hour, you share similar feelings. “Nijam Gelustunda, Avineeti Gelustunda, Nirnayam Mee Chetullo,” shouts a journo in a channel (named Nijam ? Duh !) prior to the intermission and you know your decision about the movie by then.
Samudrakani’s blood boils hard for the society and so does yours. He has lopsided views about things and the film is a tool to impose his supposedly revolutionary ideals. There aren’t questions on how did an average citizen turn a local hero with just a single incident ? It’s not the ‘how’ but the ‘why’ lacking a basis here.
Amala Paul, once says that she has been stalking him for six-months to win his approval. You only feel for her choice. She has a corrupt father in the form of an Ahuti Prasad and you need a hint ? She’s standing up tall with him and all. Sarath Kumar gets better of a heroic sequence than Nani in the film throughout.
The second hour begins with clear intentions of a masala pot-boiler with the introduction of Nani’s lookalike Maya Kannan, but no ! It’s yet again the caricaturish lines of his that end with Murugan and the dhoti’s you associate with Tamil-speaking characters often. He speaks many languages and only then, you realise that the Kannada, Malayalam and Tamil-speaking characters, basically the corrupt ones were designed to bring this facet out.
His quirks are interesting for starters, but as it is with the entire film, you stop caring for him beyond a point. It’s a ‘mulluni mullotho theeyali’ adage coming back to hit you after all the social commentary. Nani, in a matter of minutes, shouts in the court-room sequence in an amateur attempt to match Chiranjeevi in Tagore. You know how it is bound to work in this context. The ending involving a death of a major character is yet again an aspect of adding more salt to the wounds. Then, you see ACI (Anti Corruption something, I didn’t bother to hear) ! Till then you suspect if he’s lost it, but by now, you confirm it !