Johaar Movie Review

Johaar is the new web-movie from Telugu digital platform Aha and it has been promoted decently by the makers to create buzz among the netizens. Movie teasers promised a better film than the recent releases and we are here to decipher if it did so. Let’s discuss in detail about the movie.

Plot: A young CM (Chaitanya Krishna) decides to build huge statue for his father and he wants it to be a memory for the public and a big tourist symbol for the state. Actually, it is hid strategy to keep his father’s image in the hearts of the people alive.

A 70 year old man (Subhalekha Sudhakar) dreams about constructing an orphanage and a farmer lady (Eeshwari Rao) needs money to afford treatment for her ailing kid. A young athlete (Naina Ganguly) and a tea seller (Ankith Koyya) have dreams in their eyes that are too huge for their financial condition too. All these people’s lives get affected by CM’s decision. What happens next? What is the end of their stories? Watch the movie for answers

Performances: Chaitanya Krishna is a good performer but he seems to be limiting himself while performing as an actor. If he tries to emote the same expression in slightly different way then he should be able to show variation from character to character. He did try his best to play the part in this film.

Esther Anil and Ankith Koyya are good in romantic portions. Their dramatics need slight improvement in melodrama scenes. Naina Ganguly is good. The standouts are seniors Subhalekha Sudhakar and Eeshwari Rao. Their characters have heavy duty material and they make such light weight of it that we don’t feel that they are trying to perform as actors but they are the characters.

Technicalities: Cinematography by Jagadeesh Cheekati is good and the story needed such varied themes to represent the different moods of the film. Background Music by Priyadarshan is good but songs could have been better for such a narrative. Editing could have been better too, as there is unevenness in the scene assembly. There’s even some randomness in shot selection.

Director and writer, Teja Marni took up a challenging screenplay in his first film but he needs to invest more time into writing the entire script in one mood. He seems to be trying to balance the audience needs by saying that this scene should have this effect and this scene should have that effect at this point in screenplay. He doesn’t need such approach when trying an anthology as the amalgamation of stories needs to set the same mood for a viewer to be invested in each of them. One story cannot peak in tragedy while the next one tries to peak in comedy as follow up. All stories should have unilateral base in terms of setting the mood and tone.

If director works on this aspect, his writing will be much better, one feels. As for this movie, his approach towards writing follow clichés more and that harms the uniqueness of the concept. More freshness in writing could have helped him.

Analysis: Johaar movie is an anthology of stories. Previously, we saw Vedam film try to tell its story as an amalgamation of several stories. The characters in the film stood out and for some it is a cult classic. For few, it is good movie and there are people who hate it too. That is what an anthology narrative does to viewers. As it jumps from story to story connection between the incidents and connection with characters become key. Johaar tries to get all of it right but due to the cliched screenplay, it seems like you are waiting for the obvious to happen throughout the runtime.

The pace of the narrative also doesn’t help us with connectivity. We feel like there are lives at stake but we don’t feel the urgency to save them. We don’t feel the urge to stop them. But few performances stand out in the film and that makes it a worth watch. It does take itself seriously and preach at times, but the writing is good enough to hold our interest in the proceedings.

Bottom line: A decent one time watch.

Rating: 2.5/5

Available on Aha