Poor Rehash of Old Melodramas
Amazon Prime Video
What Is the Film About?
Tuck Jagadish is set in the village of Bhoodevipuram. It is a land with feudal family wars. Jagadish (Nani) and Bose (Jagapathi Babu) are brothers of an extended joint family. They are the respected lot. What happens when the head of the family dies and how Bose puts everyone in trouble? What does Jagadish does to bring everyone together is the basic plot of the film.
Nani is fine and ticks all the boxes that make him endearing to the families. However, one can see that there is a lot of underplay in his act. An overt emphasis has been put on subtlety. It goes well with the gentlemanly ‘tuck’.
The new addition in Nani’s arsenal in Tuck Jagadish is action. He has never looked this comfortable before in action blocks. They work well, but unfortunately, the narrative bogs them down. The ‘look’ also adds to the appeal. Tuck Jagadish, in the end, is nothing memorable. It is a regular act done well.
Tuck Jagadish is the third film of director Shiva Nirvana. His previous films were Ninnu Kori and Majili, which is to give an idea regarding the kind of filmmaker he is. With Tuck Jagadish, Siva Nirvana moves to mass action space. The basic idea is to combine his strengths (emotional drama) with mass action and elevation.
The problem, unfortunately, for Tuck Jagadish is the story Shiva Nirvana picks for the jump to mass action fare. It is very routine and predictable from the word go. He still extracts good performances, but when there is no emotional connection, everything goes for a toss.
The opening of Tuck Jagadish sets things in motion. We have brothers fighting and ready to kill each other for a piece of land. It is followed by another feud at a ‘panchayati’ meeting. We are then introduced to the family of two powerful families. And then the key members and so on, until the hero is finally introduced.
As one can feel by reading itself, the narrative is utterly formulaic. What weakens things further is the lack of adhesive between scenes creating a world. We get a feeling as if the proceedings are jumping from one scene to another without any connection.
The emotional drama starts in the first half itself. They are done genuinely with all actors truly believing in them. But, the problem is the outdated writing and content in them.
Despite the issues, the pre-interval stretch does provide some momentum. It offers scope for perfect hero elevation which is seen at the interval block.
The second half begins well building on the interval momentum but it soon falls apart due to a hackneyed narrative. The pay off sequences is all lined one after the other as kids raising hands for pledges. It brings an unintentional chuckle even though that is not intended.
The ‘Somaraju Warning’ sequence is a fine example of the problem with the movie. It is very well done and impactful. But, what happens before and after kills its impact. The entire narrative goes through similar ups and downs in a formulaic structure.
The pre-climax offers a needless twist which is to extend an already contrived emotional drama. It feels so pointless. The acting by everyone is the saving grace here. The climax should have had more power to it. After all the set up it comes across as underwhelming.
Overall, Tuck Jagadish is melodramatic kitsch. It is a poor rehash of countless similar films from previous decades. The actors do their best but fail to rise above the hackneyed narrative. Tuck Jagadish is only for hardcore Nani fans.
Ritu Varma, Jagapathi Babu & Others?
Ritu Varma playing the heroine, gets an okay part. She has done well, but the role itself isn’t fully utilised as a part of the narrative. The entire bunch of family members is where the actors with performances are fit in.
Aishwarya Rajesh has a smaller but important role. She has different shades to it and shines in them. However, much like the rest, it isn’t explored well and is presented with routine clichés.
Jagapathi Babu is reliable as usual. He is perfect for the character and does all his dramatic portions with aplomb. There is a neat character arc to his role, and he conveys it easily. Naresh, Rao Ramesh, Rohini and others are adequate and do their jobs clinically. Praveen is wasted, and Bhadram appears in a scene.
Music and Other Departments?
S Thaman has provided the music for Tuck Jagadish. There is a melody that sounds alright, but that’s about it. The background score by Gopi Sundar is weak. The cinematography by Prasad Murella could have been better. The visuals add to the generic feel. The editing is poor. The screenplay and editing combine to never let the narrative reach a high. There are individual scenes that give high, but the momentum is never carried forward. The writing is par for course for a sentimental drama.
Few Emotional Scenes
One Warning Sequence
The problem with Tuck Jagadish is not with the story but with the screenplay. A better racy script with trendy mass elements would have elevated the proceedings.
Did I Enjoy It?
Yes, In Parts
Will You Recommend It?
Yes, But With Reservations
Tuck Jagadish Review by Siddartha Toleti