'Duvvada Jagannadham': Silly,
predictable but fun (Review By Haricharan Pudipeddi ; Rating: ***)
When you decide to watch Telugu commercial films, especially ones
starring Allu Arjun and other stars in his league, it is said that one
should leave logic and intellect behind and not nitpick.
This formula applies to Harish Shankar's "Duvvada Jagannadham" aka
"DJ", a largely predictable but still fun outing that's a rehash of
many popular southern commercial films. The film borrows heavily from
Shankar's "Gentleman" -- about a do-gooder-turned-vigilante -- but does
innovate with a well written comic stretch towards the end, ensuring
audiences walk out with a grin on their face.
Arjun plays a Brahmin cook in the film. He keeps talking about the
importance of hing (asafoetida) in making a very popular south Indian
dish. It only made me realise that the film missed an element like
hing, say creativity, to make it a cut above the rest of the commercial
It suffers heavily from predictability and if not for that comic
stretch in the climax, it would have been plain boring. Thankfully,
Harish Shankar proves he has a few tricks up his sleeve and he uses
them where it matters the most. For instance, Subbaraj's character,
though slightly irritating in the beginning, helps the film not go down
a very predictable path and that words wonders for the film.
Allu Arjun dances like a dream, delivers powerful lines with panache
and ease, but you still feel he hasn't been used to his full ability.
It's not that Arjun is bad in "DJ", but we have seen him do all of that
in his earlier films and it's a shame we don't see more from him. As
the Brahmin cook, he shows variety in his performance and aces the body
language required for the character. As the vigilante, we see him play
to the gallery using the same histrionics popularly associated with
this kind of cinema.
Pooja Hegde sizzles on the screen in her most glamorous avatar yet. In
her introduction scene, the camera is more interested to focus on her
navel and she seems very comfortable in putting up a sleaze fest. It's
an art to titillate audiences and Pooja, taking a cue from the failure
of "Mohenjo Daro", scores big and she does it without making her
character look vulgar or cheap.
"DJ" could have been even more entertaining given the familiar path it
takes to narrate a very predictable story. Nevertheless, thanks to an
energetic performance by Arjun and a laugh-out-loud climax stretch, the
film doesn't disappoint. Devi Sri Prasad gives just the kind of music
hardcore Arjun fans would expect and he earns wolf whistles with the
"Seeti maar" number.