Jai Lava Kusa
Cast: Jr NTR, Nivetha Thomas, Raashi Khanna, Posani Krishna Murali, Ronit Roy and Sai Kumar
Jai Lava Kusa is one of those films where everything falls on the shoulders of its hero, who is Jr NTR in this case, and despite giving it his best, you still walk out not completely satisfied. It’s in parts Jai Lava Kusa shines and one such stretch unfolds quite early on when the bond between the triplet brothers is established. We are introduced to Jai, Lava and Kusa and they are stage artistes, most popular for playing characters from Indian mythology. Jai, the eldest of the brothers, speaks with a stutter, and therefore, never gets to perform on stage. He is robbed off his acceptance, love and recognition which push him to the edge.
Another whistle worthy stretch unfolds right before the interval when Jai as Raavan is introduced. He’s ruthless and literally strikes fear with his presence. NTR delivers one of his career’s best performances as Raavan, a grey shaded character which he essays with the kind of charisma no other actor could have brought forth. Bobby writes Jai’s character with a strong purpose. When he doesn’t get the love he deserves as a kid, we empathize with his situation and later when he becomes Raavan, we still don’t hate him. However, he doesn’t write the other two characters of Jr NTR as convincingly, even though they’re performed to the tee.
The film’s core idea is quite interesting but when you exit the theatre, you leave with the feeling of the director not having exploited the central theme properly. There’s so much more the film could have explored but it heavily relies on its star to keep us hooked till the end, and Jr NTR does his best but his performances needed to be backed by solid writing which was quite underwhelming.
It’s a Jr NTR’s show all the way and this mean other actors had very little to contribute. Nivetha Thomas, who literally made audiences fall in love with her performance in her last film Ninnu Kori, is reduced to merely four to five scenes and a song where she had to sizzle on screen. Raashi Khanna, too, had very little to bring to the table. Ronit Roy is wasted in a role which could have been played by anyone else and it surprises me why he even signed the offer in the first place.
Jai Lava Kusa works when it brings the emotional angle of the brothers to forefront and this is the angle we wish was exploited more effectively.
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