Jodi Movie Review: An overblown melodrama
The director seems undecided if he is making a romantic comedy or a family drama
Watching Aadi Sai Kumar and Shraddha Srinath-starrer Jodi is the equivalent of traveling on a passenger train that takes forever to reach your destination station, making intermittent halts at unmanned level crossings. This romantic family entertainer, directed by Viswanath Arigela, crawls along at a similar halting pace.
Cast: Aadi Sai Kumar, Shraddha Srinath, Naresh
Direction: Viswanath Arigela
Directed by Viswanath Arigela, the film features Aadi Sai Kumar as Kapil, a system administrator, who loathes his father Kamalakar Rao (Naresh) for getting hooked to betting on cricket matches. He falls for Kanchana Mala (Shraddha Srinath), an old-fashioned French teacher, at first sight, and tries to woo her. She lives with her grandfather (Gollapudi Maruthi Rao), her aunt, and uncle Raju (Shijju), who is prudent in his own way. While one can imagine where the conflict lies in the lives of Kapil and Kanchana Mala, it’s hard to understand why the director seems undecided if he is making a romantic comedy or a family drama. As a result of this indecision, the film is filled with excessive melodrama, inconsistent characterisations, and situations that don’t let the actors decide what tone to take.
To an extent, the first half coasts along well, culminating in a twist. But as the second hour kicks in, it becomes clear that the filmmaker has no idea where to go with the story and the narrative goes off the rails. He resorts to using tired cliches as key conflicts between the lead characters. Much time is wasted on some random characters like Avinash and his girlfriend, and by the end of the film, you find yourself not rooting for any of the lead characters.
The story has got an interesting point and emotional potential, and this, along with the soulful background score, ought to have touched a chord with the audience. But Viswanath squanders all this and gives us a film with a recycled feel. He is unsuccessful at driving home the point he wants to make — about how betting severely affects relationships and other aspects of life. What could have been an animated tale about a conventional girl coming to terms with her boyfriend, who is coping with his father's gambling behaviour, turns out to be an overblown melodrama that goes moves at a snail's pace.
As far as the performances go, Aadi Sai Kumar fits the bill as Kapil, but Shraddha Srinath, who charmed the audience with her performance in Jersey, fails to impress in Jodi. Blame for this must go to the director for not giving her a plum role to unleash her potential. Gollapudi Maruthi Rao breathes life into his character, while Naresh lends credibility to his performance.
In the end, Jodi is too long, predictable, and boring. It’s a film that gives us the feeling of watching a old school formulaic romantic family drama, whose appeal is wearing thin now.