‘U/A’ Certified, 1h 36m
What Is the Film About?
Raju (Simha Koduri) is a thief who steals valuables in cars. One day when on his usual work, he is locked inside the vehicle by its owner. A voice then digitally connects with him and makes him do things.
Who is the car owner? Why did he lock Raju, and what confessions he makes out of him form the movie’s plot.
Dongalunnaru Jagrattha is Simha Koduri’s third film. Given his short career, it can be said without any doubt that this is his best one performance-wise. The narrative rests on his expressions and acts as much as screenplay and direction to hold the attention. It is commendable of him to choose such an intricate part.
While the choice is appreciable, and there are good enough moments to show variations, Simha still doesn’t hit it out of the park. The actor lacks intensity in many key moments, which would have added much depth to the part.
We see that at the start of the first and the second half. Simha strains in these parts while acting, and it shows. The ‘effort’ shows. We can see that he is trying hard, which takes away from the moment. However, there are parts like the interval and climax where he looks like he is in a flow. The emotions appear more natural and organic. More of that in future attempts will surely help him evolve further as an actor. If that’s kept in mind, Dongalunnaru Jagrattha is a good start.
Preeti Asrani, in comparison, has a one-dimensional part. But she appears more natural in emotional scenes and makes an impression without speaking. Or maybe it’s the reason for the effect. Despite less screen time, she registers.
Satish Tripura directs Dongalunnaru Jagrattha. It is a Telugu adaptation of a foreign film 4 X 4. Some changes are made to appeal to the local audience.
Promoted as a survival thriller, Dongalunnaru Jagrattha primarily happens in a car. Well, that’s almost the entire movie, barring the climax sequence.
The narrative takes time to get going as the initial sequences do little to engage. The direction is to be blamed here as the believability of being struck in a car is missing. It appears too simplistic, and the gravity of the situation is missing. Things do escalate, but it takes time. As a result, even a short duration appears lengthy.
Reusing the original content without its sharpness in place is partly to be blamed here. It also shows the weak direction lacking the gripping quality.
It is after the mysterious voice takes a serious turn that some momentum is built in the narrative. The conversations between the voice and thief are adequately written to keep one hooked.
A film like this ideally shouldn’t have an interval, but the narrative has one. It looks forced, but looking at the change of tracks in the second half, one feels it to be right in hindsight.
The second half begins slowly, but finally gets into the main story. The mystery behind the activity is revealed one by one. What it also does is get to the core point of the movie related to the aftereffects of the robberies by thieves. The narrative turns into a vigilante revenge drama all of a sudden.
The sudden shift in tone isn’t as jarring as the emotional drama overtakes it. There is a relatability factor, additionally. But, once the main story is out and the suspense is revealed, the proceedings turn predictable.
The climax drives home the main point with a hammer strong impact. It could have been executed with more effect, though. Some actions look forced even though the emotion behind them is correct.
Overall, Dongalunnaru Jagrattha has a unique plot and content. But it turns into typical revenge kitsch after a point overpowering the novel point. If you like to watch something different, this is the movie, but have the expectations low.
Performances by Others Actors
Samuthirakani and Srikanth Iyengar are the two other notable actors in the movie apart from Simha and Preeti Asrani. The former is crucial to the film but appears only towards the end. The voice by Subhalekha Sudhakar, we suppose, dominates the act, though. Srikanth Iyengar is seen in a cameo of sorts and is okay.
Music and Other Departments?
Kaala Bhairava once again impresses with his background score. It is effective throughout and makes a positive impression. Yeshwant C has a difficult job as a cinematographer as the entire movie happens within a car. He has done a decent job considering the limitations. The editing could have been better, though. The pacing is uneven, even though the whole thing takes place in a single place. The writing also could have been better.
Predictable After A Point
Missing Intensity In Parts
Did I Enjoy It?
Yes, In Parts
Will You Recommend It?
Yes, But With Huge Reservations
Dongalunnaru Jaagratha Movie Review by M9News