Jathi Ratnalu movie review: A farcical comedy that is somewhat inventive

Pavan Survi

Jathi Ratnalu is one of those comedy movies that’s so silly that you can’t help but laugh and then laugh at the fact that you’re laughing. The whole plot is just an excuse for a series of juvenile gags, but that’s okay because you’re in good company with Naveen Polishetty, Priyadarshi and Rahul Ramakrishna. The trio almost recreate the dim-witted mad buddy comedy of Moe, Larry and Curly (The Three Stooges) in little over 140 minutes.

Cast: Naveen Polishetty, Priyadarshi, Rahul Ramakrishna, Faria Abdullah
Director: Anudeep KV

The Three Stooges style is a blend of lame one-liners and juvenile gags that amount to nothing but farcical comedy. There were no well-written ideas behind it, but Jathi Ratnalu has its heart in the right place to an extent. As the story progresses, however, things turn south with completely predictable narration that is handled without much finesse.

Srikanth (Naveen Polishetty), Shekar (Priyadarshi), and Ravi (Rahul Ramakrishna) are three dimwits who dream big. As their misadventures unfold, the trio constantly find themselves in a battle of wits and become ruthless. Along the way, Srikanth falls at first sight for aspiring dancer/lawyer Chitti (Faria Abdullah), but things take an unexpected turn and the trio gets arrested on charges of attempting to murder Chankaya (Murli Sharma). What follows is a series of capers that lead to the unmasking of the killer and the trio experiencing a moment of absolute epiphany.

Yes, we’ve been through these beats before, but director Anudeep KV somehow manages to infuse freshness into the familiar. However, every improvisation is an excuse for the lamest possible gag. It takes some guts to be that ridiculous and an extra level to narrate an entire film centred on three irremediably ignorant characters. But the makers almost pull it off.

Although Anupdeep's plot is wafer-thin, if you’ve got the best men on board, things appear to be in complete control. Both Anudeep and Nag Ashwin seem to have invested in quantity over quality and deliver a fun ride. Naveen, Priyadarshi and Rahul have tried their best to infuse life into characters that are no more than stereotypes. Faria Abdullah is sincere in her portrayal and so is Vennela Kishore as a seasoned prisoner.

But the performances are hardly enough to conceal the gaping holes that make the film unexciting, especially in the second hour. The director tries hard to make the buffoonery look fun with a patchy and disjointed narrative, with little success.

Despite juvenile jokes, Jathi Ratnalu is thankfully not the sort of vulgar comedy we have got used to watching these days. Watching three dimwits doing silly things is not everyone’s idea of a good time, but a laugh is a laugh after all.

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