Janatha Garage movie cast: Jr NTR, Mohanlal, Nithya Menen, Samantha Ruth Prabhu
Janatha Garage movie director: Koratala Siva
The motto of director Koratala Siva’s Janatha Garage is that ‘everything gets repaired here’, but even the best in business can’t save this movie from the fatal damage caused by blindly following the great Indian masala formula. The movie is nothing but a pathetic adaptation of Ram Gopal Varma’s Sarkar, with a lot of colour and commercial elements added.
Resettled in Hyderabad, a mechanic named Satyam (Mohanlal) becomes a valve of hope for people denied justice. Whoever approaches Janatha Garage with a grievance will be served justice through a task force comprising Sathyam and his group of mechanics. Thus Satyam becomes the undisputed server of justice, growing to a stature so big that he has a bearing on even government’s cabinet decisions.
The plot unveils predictably when Janatha Garage’s services come in conflict with a corporate giant’s interests. In the process of eye-for-an-eye vengeance, Sathyam loses his brother. In order to save his brother’s baby boy Anand from the consequences of his actions, he allows him to be taken away by his in-law’s family. Years later, Anand (Jr NTR) rejoins his father’s family and becomes the head of Janatha Garage. The film is a usual south Indian mix of family drama, obvious villains, love affair, objectification of female body through item songs and unreal stunt sequences, all stitched together mechanically.
The only good thing about the movie is that a mass hero like Jr NTR is depicted as an environmentalist who rages upon any act destroying the ecosystem. A few dialogues stressing upon the importance of nature might well connect with the viewers.
At a time when women are subjected to violence for not abiding by Indian cultural norms, the movie seems to promote such highly conservative ‘Hindutva’ concepts, for instance when Jr NTR’s character shouts ‘no more parties’ and disapproves of women drinking alcohol. At the same time, he doesn’t mind dancing with Kajal Agarwal in an item number. Heights of hypocrisy shown by the director but necessary for survival, I guess.
Mohanlal and Jr NTR give neat performances as they act with a sense of restraint, maintaining much-needed consistency of expressions demanded by their roles even though Jr NTR looked animated and comical in some scenes where melodrama is at its peak. Samantha and Nithya Menen were the usual dolls to decorate the movie with while Devayani, a typically content housewife, played the role without much awkwardness. There was not much screen space or scope for other actors to exhibit their prowess in the movie.
The technical quality of the movie boosts the entertainment element. Cinematography and background music are two relief points that make this movie slightly watchable. Janatha Garage is thus another film made at a huge cost which wastes a monumental actor like Mohanlal and shamelessly exhibits a director’s idea drought.