Telugu Review: 'Julayi' is lacklustre
The film becomes mediocre whenever Illeana, Brahmanandam, MS Narayana or Rajendra Prasad enters the scene.
In Jalsa the hero loved the two daughters of the cop because of whom he (the hero) had joined the 'jana jeevana sravanthi'. It required some sense of humor to enjoy the humour Trivikram had put into the story. There is no such difficulty while watching 'Julayi'. It is because though it is more amusing than intelligent, 'Julayi' comes off as a mainstream film which anyone could understand easily. However, the story doesn't interest you, even though the plot has an element of sharp quality at some points.
Let it be told at the outset that 'Julayi' is far from being either a romance or a laugh riot. The film becomes mediocre whenever Illeana, Brahmanandam, MS Narayana or Rajendra Prasad enters the scene. What should have been an intense action, crime thriller (yes, it is one, but only in bits and pieces), was made of a medley of hackneyed situations for the most part. It might have been thoroughly useful to have Allu Arjun pamper/woo Illeana in scene after scene and song after song but only if the scenes/situations were better carved out.
When the hero could have finished Sonu Sood at the interval point, he instead lets him bump off Illeana. Only to give out three predictable agenda points after the interval!
There is nothing surprising in the story. Ravindra Narayan is sharp-witted, a great observer, a man of guts. Circumstances put him in a position to help the cops, grab the gang which theft Rs. 15,000 crore from a bank. He thinks faster than the sharpest villain, Bittu. For Bittu, politician Varadharajan (Kota Srinivasa Rao) and Travel Murthy (Brahmaji), troubles begin the moment Bittu successfully loots the money. Ravi won't let Bittu move out of the country.
Bittu's life becomes difficult day by day. As his attempts to flee the country fail, he ends up killing Kota. Life becomes thorny for our very intelligent hero when Rao Ramesh, so far presumed to be a sincere cop, dies in a blast.
'Julayi' packs so much stuff in the first 25 minutes. It comes into its own, again, in the last 25 minutes. In the remainder part, the director lets the hero raise the quotient (but fails) by making challenges and spilling dialogues like 'Katthi ki feelings undavu, padunu okkate'. Arjun is accompanied in his mission of killing Bittu and capturing the big heist to give it back to the middle-class depositors, by Rajendra Prasad, an IPS officer who never had the need to use his pistol. The director too never makes use of any police officer in resolving a crime of earth-shattering proportions. As two men (Bittu and Dhanush Koti) try to flee the country with Rs. 15,000 cr., none but Ravi is interested in preventing them from escaping through the Vizag port!
Such cinematic liberties would have been forgiven had the screenplay been tight. Once Ravi reaches Hyderabad, the film is as much about wooing Madhu (a skinny Illeana sizzled in songs but her talent was not used in scenes) as it is about the hero and the villain playing mind games. However cerebral the games might be on some occasions, they do not keep you on the edge because the villains going after the hero's family etc don't make thrilling movie-watching.
Arjun looked confident and comfortable in the gutsy role. His dances were not incredible but the songs were neatly choreographed and well-shot. There is nothing special to talk about his comedy, as his body language was not innovative in light-veined scenes. Illeana's characterization was a bit different. Sonu Sood delivers a dekko. He is classy and menacing.
Rajendra was good though he had nothing more to do than putting layman's doubts to Arjun. Tanikella Bharani as an unhappy father emoted well. Brahmi and MS maintained the wrong mien throughout. Despite Tri's intentions to make a better use of these comedians in the story, their dialogues were ordinary.
Technically, 'Julayi' was fine. The bank robbery scene and the climax scenes stood testimony to Tri's nimble style. The cinematography, Praveen Pudi's editing and Ravindar's art direction were top notch. The action scenes were all well-shot.
There are lines like "Logic lu evaru nammaru. Andariki magic le kaavaali. Anduke mana desam lo scientistla kanna baba le famous". However, what comes as a big disappointment is that Trivikram's witty dialogues were few and far between.
It is to be seen whether the dialogues (apparently the film's USP) and Arjun's image will redeem the film. Given a demanding audience, let's see how far 'Julayi' will do well in a month of many releases.