A father, recovering in the hospital, tells his son there’s little that separates him from the goon Bittu. The two are arch rivals who can think on their feet and act with lightening speed to outdo each other, bolstered by their inflated egos. Trivikram Srinivas’s screenplay rides on the fact that you need to think like a criminal to outsmart one. Here, the smart alec is not part of the police force but gets to closely work with the force.

Ravindra Narayan or Ravi (Allu Arjun) does not want to lead a middle class life and toil all his life like his father Narayana Murthy (Tanikella Bharani). He asks his father for Rs. 10,000 and promises that he will multiply the money within a couple of hours. During his quest to do so, he foils the master plan of dreaded goon Bittu (Sonu Sood) and prevents him from escaping with Rs. 1500 crore.

A sincere cop packs off Ravi to Hyderabad as part of witness relocation programme to escape Bittu’s wrath and revenge. In Hyderabad, Ravi stays in the house of Seetharam (Rajendra Prasad), a cop who fears using the gun. It’s a smooth ride for Ravi, who falls in love with Madhu (Ileana) and transforms her from a dowdy plain Jane to a diva. Trouble returns in the form of Bittu and this time it’s a match of wit and ego.

Julayi has all the staple ingredients that characterise a Telugu masala entertainer. What elevates it is a director who is a good writer and knows his craft. The hero is not all brawn. The director empowers him with analytical skills and quick wit, which is mostly reflected in the dialogues. A few sequences establish how the hero can read the mind of a criminal and decipher the events leading to a crime. The protagonist doesn’t let the director down. That Allu Arjun can put in an energetic performance and dance his way through to the box office is a known fact. Here, he is at ease in his role of a quick-thinking lad who doesn’t fall for the ploys of the goon.

The goon in question is the ever dependable Sonu Sood, who delivers another fine performance. Rajendra Prasad, Tanikella Bharani and Kota Srinivasa Rao do justice to their roles. Adding spice to the film is Devi Sri Prasad’s music and Raju Sundaram’s choreography.

As the film moves into top gear, Trivikram undoes one tangle after another, establishing connecting links between incidents and characters and giving us a fairly intelligent action thriller. We only wish he hadn’t reduced the police force to a bunch of jokers. Among all the cops you see on screen, there is none who is shown to be capable of handling a crisis situation.

JULAYI

Cast: Allu Arjun, Rajendra Prasad, Sonu Sood and Ileana

Direction: Trivikram Srinivas

Music: Devi Sri Prasad

Plot: A quick-thinking guy foils the plans of a goon and a long battle follows.

Bottomline: Brain matches brawn in this masala entertainer.

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Telugu Cinema ReviewsOctober 18, 2011