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Director: Trivikram Srinivas

In every mass hero film’s opening shot, as the hero poses in his immaculate signature style, the camera zooms in to capture the gushing zeal of a no-nonsense hero accompanied by an earth shattering buildup of tempo; all for the thundering response it would get theatres all over. Eons have passed and yet we aren’t sure whether the response is for the signature pose or the mere appearance of the mass hero or the wonderful build-up to the fitting coda. But, when Allu Arjun (the mass-hero of Julayi) comes into the frame as suddenly as a dog crossing the street, we are left with none of the three factors to cheer for the mass-hero. However, the past master that he is, Trivikram (director) compensates for that by conjuring an enticing bank robbery as the next scene to show the acumen of our beloved hero.

Julayi, its mass commercial formula notwithstanding, is the story about the clash of intellects. While the protagonist is an impatient youth, who can't wait to climb up the ladder of riches, the antagonist is a self-conceited criminal. While the former tends to bend any rules to achieve his dream, the latter exudes passion for his art of robbery. What binds them together though, is their willpower and unorthodox and yet street smart brain.

With such an alluring concept, Trivikram starts off as a crazy entertainer with some wonderful witty lines thrown in - dialogues have always been Trivikram's strong hold. Unfortunately, as the game progresses, the dialogues become its own shackle in the incoherent script. Where there should be riveting action & pertinent lines, there is exorbitant action & brimming lines. Not just there; from the songs & their dance sequences to the overzealous comic relief portions till the exaggerated de-glamorization of Ileana (the love interest alias dream girl), every other ingredient thinks itself as the talking point of the film and eventually irritate us.

The problem with Julayi, is not the lack of idea, it is the over-abundance of it without proper packaging – a pre-requisite for these kinds of movies. It is easy to say Julayi isn’t a good movie, but with enthralling set-pieces springing up now & then it becomes really hard to lose hope on the movie; albeit these highpoints aren't promising enough to say the movie is fairly engaging. Eventually, Julayi true to its name turns out to be an aimless wanderer, meandering over a lot of wonderful things for the sake of being a masala caper, but ends up being a poorly mixed cocktail.

This review was written for Wogma.


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