After Oohalu Gusagusalade, Srinivas Avasarala received many accolades for his simplicity and freshness in direction. He returned to the helm with high expectations for Jyo Achutananda. Though the teasers and trailers made the film seem like another romantic comedy, the interesting casting and offbeat nature of the content of the trailer hinted at something more.
Katha, Screenplay, Darsakathvam
Two brothers, Achyuth and Ananda, have a dysfunctional relationship; the former is more well off than the latter and though they live in the same house, they behave more like a landlord and a tenant, respectively. After a heated public argument, they are individually questioned by their wives about Jyotsna and how they were related to her. Their flashbacks lead to comedy and lies and reveal secrets, a triangle love story, and the reason for their broken relationship.
Screenplay and Direction
The film's screenplay is very different from conventional Telugu cinema and helps with the way the story is incrementally developed. Having the same situations described in different ways is tricky to pull off, but Avasarala manages to do it fairly well. However, he doesn't maintain the tempo of the film as the story progresses. The second half of the film is slow and it is hard to understand where the characters' journey is headed. This is primarily because Avasarala mixes two different conflicts in the film. While one might think that the triangle love story between Jyo, Achyuth and Ananda is the main conflict, this is not the case. This clarity should have given Avasarala more time to resolve the trouble between Achyuth and Ananda, the main conflict of the film, but he unnecessarily copmlicates this process by invovlving Jyo without much explanation or logic.
Nara Rohit plays Achyuth, the older and wealthier brother. I've seen a number of his films and his performance in this one is the best of all of them. He's really shown a lot of improvement since his debut. His character has more scope than that of Naga Shourya, and he plays the character arc very well.
Naga Shourya is apt as Ananda and has a less active role than Nara Rohit for most of the film becuase he is searching for signs from Achyuth that he wants to reconcile. I wasn't a huge fan of his clean shaven look though.
Regina has an intesting role in the film as Jyotsna, the pretty girl who causes a rift between the brothers. Her character could have had more substance though, because the whole attraction / love track seems so immature and it isn't clear why she acts the way she does towards the second half of the film.
Tanikella Bharani acts as Jyotsna's father, but doesn't have much scope to really showcase his talents. Pavani Gangireddy and Rajeshwari J., two popular short film actresses, make an appearance as Achyuth and Ananda's wives and are fun to watch on screen as their innocence provides dramatic irony. Seetha is sufficient as the mother of the brothers, but basically has a singular emotion throughout the film. Nani shows up out of the blue in a cameo role and, while it's nice to see his presence, his inclusion seems wasted and is poorly tied into the plot.
Kalyani Koduri provides a decent album for the film; while the music isn't as successful as in Oohalu Gusagusalade, they help smooth the inconsistent pacing. Oka Lalana, sung by Shankar Mahadevan, is an impressive composition and Jyo Achyutananda and Aakupachani Chandamaamalaa are catchy melodies. Suvarna Suvarna is subpar and doesn't really fit in with the rest of the film.
Venkat C. Dilip crafts some beautiful frames in the film, especially in the songs. Avasarala shows his attention to detail and ability to grasp and portray modern culture in certain scenes where the setting influences the characters and their actions.
There's no doubt that Avasarala Sreenivas is a talented artist, writer and director. After watching Jyo Achutananda, though, it feels like there is something slightly off with the film despite its overall appeal. Maybe it's because he felt pressured to deliver another hit film, but Avasarala could have created a more engaging and meaningful movie with just a little bit more care.
While there is nothing outright inappropriate or vulgar, there are some scenes where a woman is being harassed.
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