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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
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 in bright daylight and does good deeds in secret under 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 to 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 the end of the interval bang. There are no twists and turns 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, when Vennela Kishore and his wife are contemplating divorce, Bunny delivers a terrific monologue. 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 chose a fun climax which provides a few laughs but has taken the seriousness off the cause.
Allu Arjun delivers both the characters 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 imitates the same histrionics. But his characterisation lacks depth. Rao Ramesh's characterization shows no ruthlessness. Among other actors, it is Subbaraju who shines. Subbaraju plays a guy who speaks to his dead mother.
Although the movie has a 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.
Editing is neat. Ayananka Bose's cinematography is a huge asset to the movie as he has brought the 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 a humorous way and writing terrific dialogues. He has shown his mark here again. He scores as dialogue writer.
DJ Duvvada Jagannadham goes on a 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 work but the second half doesn't impress.
DJ Duvvada Jagannadham review: 2.75 stars
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