Koratala Siva latest flick “Janatha Garage” begins with this note. Although touted as a masala commercial movie it is a movie based on family and familial relationships. As NTR has teamed up with Koratala Siva after the success of “ Nannaku Prematho”, the second film of the duo “Janatha Garage” has created a significant buzz among the movie goers with high expectations. Moreover, with the casting of Mohanlal the undisputed king of Malayalam movies has added fire to the rage of this films release. The trailers have been immensely popular and it was promoted as the biggest release, hitting screens in Malayalam and Telugu languages simultaneously. The movie is produced under the banner of Mythri Movie Makers.
NTR performance alone is the biggest USP of the film, and he doesn’t disappoints his fan. NTR delivers his best performance in recent times. He is exceptionally good and plays his character with the right balance of sensitivity and intensity. NTR fans will be delighted by the script that elevates the hero to a God like stature, where his ability is many notches above an ordinary person and almost equivalent to a super hero. Overall, NTR can be credited for single-handedly executing brilliant performances in different scenes. Mohanlal is still undoubtedly on top of his craft even now, and plays his character with the caliber of a superstar.
The film begins with Satyam Garu (Mohanlal) running ‘Janatha Garage’, a small mechanic shop in Hyderabad. Satyam plays Robin hood to the local people and in the midst of his social service, Satyam’s brother gets killed by the goons of the corrupt politicians. Satyam sends his brother’s son to leave with his relatives in Mumbai. The son grows up to be Anand (NTR) who is a passionate and brilliant environmentalist. Anand develops a bitter rivalry with a local MLA and is sent away to Hyderabad by his relatives. At Hyderabad, Satyam impressed by Anand’s authenticity and ability summons him to join Janatha Garage. The duo then go on to helping people unjustifiably subdued by corrupt and powerful people.
The film stands out on the intense characterization of Mohanlal as Satyam and exceptionally brilliant performance of Anand character by NTR. Saikumar and Unni Mukundan did justice to their roles. Samantha and Nithya had very short roles, unfortunately they could not display their acting prowess, if any. Female actress roles were unfortunately not fleshed out and lacked emotional appeal. Additionally, the characterization of the villain was very weak. Lion’s share of the screen time was shared between Mohanlala and NTR.
Music by Devi Sri Prasad is exceptionally beautiful. Kajal Agarwal performs special item song “Pakka Local”, and does justice to her performance. She looks glamorous and performs an attractive number. Pakka Local was choreographed with much finesse and both NTR and Kajal danced superbly. Other equally popular songs are ‘Pranamam Pranamam’, ‘Jayaho Janatha’, ‘Apple Beauty’. The songs stand out in their emotional appeal for both the youth and mature audience. The songs blend well into the narrative of the story and enhances the emotional quality of the script. Background score is also outstanding. Cinematography by Thiru is spell binding. Fight choreography by Anal Arasu is equally thrilling and racy. Editing by Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao is flawless and near perfect. Production design by A.S. Prakash is equally commendable.
The first half of the movie is quite slow paced but the movie picks up rather rapidly in the second half. The plot was predictable to a certain extent and their are certain cliched moments in the film. The plot of the movie unfortunately has some unrealism to the point of being absurd. For example, a scene is played out where the chief minister calls for all-part meeting and in the meeting he abandons a project objected by Mohanlal’s character. This is quite far fetched as Satyam is just an owner of a mechanic shop. The bomb blast scene is hugely disappointing as it does nothing to add substance to the script. The characterization of the villain is certainly laughable as the villain, a wealthy business owner fears Mohanlal to an extent that he is unable to expand his business for the last two and half decades. Mohanlal’s character although a mere garage owner seems to have an inexplicable amount of power to intimidate such powerful characters. Despite all
disappoints the Government office scene between NTR and Rajeev Kanakala is brilliantly executed by Koratala Siva demonstrating his directorial prowess and his competent dialogue writing ability.
Aside from the minor flaws in the plot the film has many attractions that make it an enjoyable watch. NTR and Mohanlal’s magical performance, spectacular cinematography, beautiful music and choreography and smooth editing and realistic production design are all winners. Janatha Garage has been widely applauded by the public and the critics. We rate it as 3/5. The movie certainly has an undeniable mass appeal.