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Jaya Janaki Nayaka review: The ultimate protector

Rakul Preet and Bellamkonda Sreenivas in  

Boyapati’s films play to the galleries, endorses its male protagonists as protectors who preach and justify revenge. Jaya Janaki Nayaka too doesn’t defy a viewer’s expectation from a regular Boyapati film, just that it is among the better stories the auteur has directed to date. What he focuses this time is on a sharp screenplay though it means more blood and gore, the heads never seem to stop flying mid-air.

The male protagonist Gagan (played by Bellamkonda Sreenivas) in Jaya Janaki Nayaka is raised by his father (Sarath Kumar) and an elder brother (Nandu). The filmmaker shows what it means for a boy to grow up in a house that doesn’t have a woman in a family. Gagan and co are always ready to protect a woman’s honour come what may. The family comes to the streets with sticks and guns to whack those harass women; the film begins with a sequence where the trio rescues Janaki (Rakul Preet) from a fellow student. The three are forever on a violent rage, the sons even join the father to beat a to-be father-in-law. It’s only with the entry of Janaki in their lives that you see some change in the proceedings.

Rakul Preet succeeds in bringing liveliness to the narrative for a brief phase. An obvious love track ensues, but Boyapati springs a mild surprise to an oft-told tale.

The strength of the film despite the inconsistencies is its pace. There’s a strong basis to the emotional sequences, the bloodshed and the patriarchal setup neutralise that impact though. Jagapati Babu plays Ashwin, continuing from where he left in Legend; there are wild groans and he’s particular about family honour, ‘paruvu’ is his catchword and he doesn’t think twice when he holds a gun. The film has another antagonist Arjun Pawar played by Tarun Arora, a part that doesn’t scale beyond a villainous caricature. The second hour is all about Gagan’s quest to protect Janaki from the baddies. For a film where Boyapati repeatedly suggests that woman are key to societal progress, there could have a better effort to provide an identity to Janaki’s character. She’s in a sob-fest for an eternity here, it’s only the man who has to raise to the occasion to guard her.

This is definitely among Bellamkonda Sreenivas’ better outings to date, his character is well-etched. There’s good on-screen camaraderie between Sreenivas, Sarath Kumar and Nandu. Dhanya Balakrishna sparkles in a brief role, Pragya Jaiswal dons a supporting act in a blink-and-a-miss appearance, while you wish Vani Vishwanath chose her comeback film wisely.

Devi Sri Prasad music livens up the celluloid when the narrative doesn’t. Jaya Janaki Nayaka is strictly an average fare, the film could have done away with some chauvinistic preaching and violence.

Jaya Janaki Nayaka

Cast: Bellamkonda Sreenivas, Rakul Preet, Jagapathi Babu

Music: Devi Sri Prasad

Director: Boyapati Srinu

Storyline: A man’s quest to protect his love-interest, come what may

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Printable version | Mar 3, 2021 6:09:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/jaya-janaki-nayaka-review-the-ultimate-protector/article19479762.ece

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