Jai Bolo Telangana has the backdrop of Telangana movement to frame a love story. In the process, the director tries to showcase the culture, the ethos and nature of people in the region aspiring for a separate state.
Beginning with the 1948 movement against Nizam to the tumultuous days in Osmania University two years back, the director Shankar shows the evolution and the long-pending nature of the demand using cinematic montage and news footage.
At the centre of the story is the story of Varshit (Sandeep), who doesn't believe in dying for a cause as he knows what it is to lose a parent. Jayamma (Smriti Irani) is his mother. The young man walks with the confidence of a care free student as he woos his lady love Sahaja (Meera Nandan). It is only in the second half, that the movie moves on to firm footing as the reality of Telangana is driven home (we should excuse all the pat cliches that the director has used). The girl happens to be from Vijayawada and her parents want her to get married to a local politician's son who has a stake in keeping the state united to protect his investments. The highlight of the movie is easily the peppy number set to a foot tapping Chakri's music: Garedu chesindru and the performance of singing dancing balladeer Gaddar whose energetic dance is brilliant. While the song penned by KCR sums up what is happening and is being done to the region, Gaddar's mellow poetry is sentimental love for the region seen through its natural bounty.
Ironically, the message about need for a separate state comes across not from slogans or blood-curdling speeches but on the dining table. The heroine serves potato curry to her brother who becomes furious at being served what he doesn't like and has never eaten. “If you cannot eat what you don't like even once, why do you want to force other people to live with you when they want to go their separate way,” she asks as the cinema hall echoes to slogans and catcalls.
For a movie that could have been extremely provocative, it ends up as a fangless slogan thanks to the dexterous scissor hands of Censor Board. By turning the clutch of politicians and bureaucrats into villains, the director tries to drive home a message that the movement is not against the people but about identity, dignity and jobs.