Pradeep Nandan’s Jagannatakam (2015) Movie Review
Star Cast: Sridhar, Khenisaa Chandran, Pradeep Nandan, Abhinav, Gomatam, Sivaji Rajam Usha Sri, Kiran
Cinematography: Satish Muthyala
Editing: G.V. Chandrasekhar
Music: Ajay Arasada
Producer: Aadisesha Reddy Indupuru
Lyrics & Story & Direction: Pradeep Nandan
Prudhvi (Pradeep Nandan) an aspiring actor, and a die-hard fan of Pawan Kalyan stays with his father & sister Divya (Usha Sri). Things take a turn around when he comes across Bhanu (Khenisaa Chandran). In a short while, both start liking each other. But Prudhvi gets away from Bhanu’s life. After couple of years, a couple (Ajay-Bhanu-Prudhvi) with strained relationship is forced to pull off the road. With no choice, they check into a roadside hotel. The lobby and the rooms look like they are straight out of 1960’s. While Ajay – Bhanu fuming about their relationship, Prudhvi eyes a video tape alongside the TV Set. The tape seems to be in the middle of a horrific murder scene in some violent exploitation film. Soon they realize the murders on the tape have taken place in the very room they are staying in. That’s what starts as a freighting chiller escalates into fast paced thriller as they get attacked.
Performances wise everyone is just there with nothing exceptional delivered by any particular actor. The most talented actor among the star cast is Pradeep Nandan who is simply wasted due to his characterization. Another actor Abhinav tries too hard to be funny without any success. Frankly one can neither laugh on the lines of Abhinav nor Prudhvi’s weird flimsy dialogues succeed in intensifying the film. Khenisaa Chandran is just there to look beautiful and Sridhar does make a sincere effort. Plus I remained hugely dissatisfied from the supporting act of Shivajiraja, who unarguably was given a role much below his actual caliber. Overall they all are not able to put up a good show collectively.
The story of Jagannatakam is good. As the usual case with most of our films, it is the screenplay that falls short the most it fails to get into the mind of the people in the Hotel thus ruining the one interesting aspect of the film’s story. The back story and sequences outside the hotel are too simplistic, distinctive, lameo and frankly boring. As the film takes off as one of them tries to simplify the climax and kills the person responsible for a major incident. Movie needed much more careful handling so that you too can discover the plot through them. Instead, the film keeps cutting to neutral scenes of the plot involving Abhinav – Khenisaa – Pradeep and then attempts to fill up the fretsaw as the attackers get closer to them. With each person in the hotel trying to kill the leads, the suspense and fear that each character should have had to survive the night is totally missing and takes away from the tension totally. Worse is so called twists like what happened to Prudhvi;s family or will the leads survive the night attack can be seen coming miles away the way they have been shot and executed.
An absolutely silly script and extremely weak performances totally destroy what should been a potentially spunky and tension filled thriller. Barring some initial interest, you fail to get involved in Jagannatakam and then beyond a point you really don’t care about the happenings on screen and who does what to who in this “inspiration” of Vacancy (2007). The movie as a whole is a below average thriller for the Tollywood viewer who may not have seen masterpieces such as Turistas, The Hills Have Eyes, and Wrong Turn. But for an avid movie lover, who is familiar with thriller genre of the west, Jagannatakam is just a rehash of the original accompanied by some unrequired flimsy elements.
Coming to other technical aspects, the odd action sequences are actually decently executed, the film has a definite look and there are places where you feel that some thought has gone into music of this film. But that doesn’t make a film. The music by Ajay Arasada is good, and he succeeds in elevating few scenes with his background score too. Cinematography by Satish Muthyala is neat. Editor Chandrasekhar could have easily trimmed off around 20 odd minutes; it could have been more engrossing. The dialogues in the film are fine. Production Values of Orange media are alright.
Hollywood and Tollywood, despite having similarities between their names, hardly have anything else in coarse. Besides that, the second often adopts conceptions from its older cousin. Yet it manages to make something different from the pilot. Jagannatakam is just an example of that. While in Vacancy (2007) the stress in on fear and survival, here it is on human relations and various other emotions associated with it. Despite this, the film misses many opportunities for gags that can be easily be part of a thriller film. Just inclusion of filmy dialogues, innocent characters and never succeeding thief does not necessarily make it humorous. Overall, Jagannatakam, despite its best intentions and few successes, fails in many others.
Survi Review: 1.5/5