Jathi Ratnalu Movie Review: The Real 3 Idiots

Jathi Ratnalu(Amazon Prime)

Starring Naveen Polishetty, Priyadarshi, Rahul Ramakrishna,  Faria Abdullah

Written and directed by Anudeep KV

Rating: ***

When was  the last time I  had so much fun watching a  film about  a bunch of  nitwits  bungling through a  series of  adventures  in a  cybercity blunderland  that sometimes  border on  zapped-out inanity but somehow always manage  to tease a chuckle out of  the  audience?

Cinema  celebrating silliness cannot  afford to be  silly like this week’s  other  release Hello Charlie  which is as stupid as its duh protagonist. In  fact, a film about absurdly misguided over-reachers must be manned by a  moof of masti  generated  by  exceptionally  intelligent minds which know the writing and direction cannot afford to slacken for even  a  minute  of the storytelling.

It doesn’t in Jathi Ratnalu, a crazy goofy, zany  absurdist comedy about three small-towners  making their winding  whimsical way through Hyderadad. It’s all done  in the spirit  of anything-goes defiance of the come-and-get-me  times  with the  writers and  constantly  breaking rules. At one juncture  Pollishetty  shouts, ‘Sarfaroshi  ki dil  mein Tamanna…Samantha  , Rashmika…”

Many times  you  want to tell these  helium-exhaling hustlers  to slow down. But then  , what the hell! Let them  have  fun.

The actors  are bang-on, getting into  the recklessly  adventurous spirit.  Naveen Pollishetty  who leads   the cast is  specially combustive  with his throwaway one-liners  on any  and every topic under the sun , from global ‘warmation’ to  the Indian ‘constipation’(read: constitution). The  misplaced  all-knowingness  of this  trio is certainly more   engaging than the  protagonists in Raju  Hirani’s  3 Idiots.  This trio  in Jathi Ratnalu , I felt, are the real tribute to  idiocy.

Pollishetty  plays Srikanth   the  kind of busybody  who thinks he knows  everything. Little does he  know!  His  two  constant companions Ravi(Rahul Ramakrishna) and Shekar(Priyadarshi) are equally smug in their stupidity and  proud to let us , the audience, into their  world of  outrageously  over-the-top antics, or shall we call them  hijinks? Or just plain wastrels’ lunacy?

Mid-way  through the madness Srikant and his  two  uncontrollably  trouble-making friends are  embroiled in the attempted  murder  of  a sleazy sports  minister(Murli Sharma, whose villainy in Telugu cinema is  as  seasoned as it is popular). There  is also a charming girl nextdoor (Faria  Abdullah)  whom Srikant wooes with  cheesy one-liners  that won’t work even in group chats. The girl’s  father  fumes at his daughter’s  taste in boyfriends  . Srikant he  describes as a  “half smoked  cigarette  butt”.

These  one-liners work   because  the  writing is clear on  the drawl.And  because, Pollyshetty’s  comic timing reminded  me  of  Govinda. He is quick on the uptake  and swift with his comebacks.The  film also has some terrific cameos including Vijay Deverakonda re-defining  the  colour  blue in the climax. The veteran  Bramhanand  as  the judge in  the courtroom is hilariously deadpan, sarcastically asking the  inept lawyer-heroine , who  admits to  getting her  lawyer’s degree by fudging,  which  movie  she has watched to learn what  to say  in  court.

 The wondrous tongue-in-cheek one-liners  together with a script that noisily invites  our attention  to  joining the party at our own risk,make  Jathi Ratnalu a jalopy  joyride.