Kottha Janta is director Maruthi’s film, he has an audience who go expecting an undercurrent of vulgarity and double entendre. But this time the auteur surprises by keeping his story clean and puts his energy in making his protagonist presentable.

Sirish (Allu Sirish) and Suvarna (Regina Cassandra), a television show presenter and an anchor respectively, share the same perspective towards life; they are both selfish people. Then when cupid strikes Suvarna, Sirish doesn’t see it coming. This creates ego problems and the colleagues split, leading to the stalling of their live reality show Kottha Janta. They decide to host separate shows (Suvarna hosts Paatha Janta) to show one-upmanship but that doesn’t work at all. The channel CEO Rao Ramesh questions the reason for the tardy progress and Sirish reveals all. An upset and hurt Suvarna attempts suicide and the rest is about how they realise their folly and get back together. There is a sub-plot of a group of angry and disgruntled people who are waiting to seek revenge on the duo for formalising relationships of their kin on the show.

Till Sirish learns to act and emote, the audience need to ignore his shortcomings and enjoy the story.

Is the story good enough to keep you entertained for two and a half hours? Is it the usual thin plot crammed with mindless entertainment just to stretch the run time? Yes it is!

It is not the premise but the execution, the treatment that takes the film downhill. Apart from the wafer thin plot, there is no innovation in the song picturisation either; scenes of Sirish, Regina and Madhurima on a bed are shown repeatedly making it a big bore. Ditto with the Atu Amalapuram remix. The film is packed with comedians but no one has one witty line — Saptagiri who was a hit in Prema Katha Chitram banks on his wide drawn expressions to look comical.

The film starts sliding from juvenile to painfully corny, with Posani Krishna Murali making an effort to regale the audience. Regina looks good, does her job but this film isn’t going to help her career. The film makes an annoying watch basically because both the hero and heroine play negative characters throughout the film; the viewer finds no reason to empathise with two smart and intelligent people whose games are shown endlessly, right from the childhood till Sirish asserts that love is a hindrance to progress in life and career. Rohini and Rao Ramesh play padding artistes.

Kottha Janta is an amateur movie, designed to be a home video for the artistes to see and rework their skill set. For Maruti it is a breather, he escapes flak for keeping it clean but it doesn’t do him any good at the same time. Technically a good film.

Cast: Sirish, Regina Cassandra

Direction: Maruthi

Music: J B

Plot: Two squabbling selfish colleagues fall in love

Bottomline: Idhem Janta?