Josh - lacks speed
Release date: 5th September 2009
123Telugu.com Rating: 3.25 / 5
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Director : Vasu Varma
Music Director : Sandeep Chowtha
Producers : Dil Raju
Starring : Naga Chaitanya, Karthika, Prakash Raj, JD Chakravarthy, Bramhanandam, Sunil, and others ...
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The days of politicians exploiting college students are passé. These days the exploitation is done by corporate colleges. Vasu Varma’s Josh *ing Naga Chaitanya misses this point. But producer Dil Raju comes to the rescue with superior production values and in the 2nd half the director increases the pace a bit and saves the movie to an extent.

What is it about : Satya (Naga Chaitanya) comes to Hyderabad from Vizag on a self-imposed sabbatical from college. In the city he stays with his uncle (Sunil in a cameo role) and joins a job in a nursery. During his stay in the city he falls in love with Vidya (Krithika), who is a teacher in a kindergarten school. As fate would have it Satya witnesses a riot instigated by a youth leader J D Rao (J D Chakravarthy) and files a complaint on the students who participated in the riot. This puts him on a confrontation path with J D Rao. The rest of the story is about how Satya reforms the college students and rescues them from being exploited by the wily politician J D Rao. As story backdrops go, the story of students being exploited by politicians is definitely out of sync for modern day students. It was ok with “Shiva”. But Shiva was almost 20 years ago! There were no malls, pubs and internet and cable TV in the 1980s. So bored students picked up fights for pass time. Students these days are too focused. The director, in a contrived way tries to address both these scenarios and in that process slows down the pace of the movie.

What is Good: For his first movie, Naga Chaitanya’s performance as a college student with a conflicting thought process and tempered aggression is good. There are shades of his dad’s “Shiva” in the build and play of Satya’s character. Naga Chaitanya fights well, and dances Ok. His emoting range is slightly limited (say between a frown and a smile) but what little he does, he does it with ease. J D Chakravarthy as J D Rao gives a sophisticated touch to villainy. Prakash Raj in a 15-minute cameo in the second half steals the thunder and in fact holds the second half of the film together. The fight sequences, especially the climax fight, are well choreographed and one can definitely see an attempt by the director to get in shades of Shiva in the picturization.

What is bad: For a student backdrop movie the violence and love are both underplayed and this could be its biggest weakness in the box office. The reason for this underplay is that the central message of the movie is both conflicting and weak. Satya rebels in his college in Vizag by stating that his new found freedom in college is his way of expressing his “josh” as a student. And then after a tragic development in that college, he comes to Hyderabad joins another college and says that students should tone down their “josh” and focus on their future. I must admit that the youth of today will find this conflict too thin to understand and too irrelevant to bother. The director concentrated a trifle too much on gang wars in colleges and this is another “no-no” in today’s colleges. Students these days have too many venues of entertainment and they are too lazy to pick up a fight. Except for the climax the pace of the movie is too slow, and one really wonders whether the current generation will patiently sit through the movie.

Me Thinks: Watch it for Naga Chaitanya’s performance. He will not disappoint you.

Tailpiece: For a movie titled Josh, the movie lacks speed. Now how ironical is that!

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123Telugu.com Rating : 3.25 /5

Legend:    5 - Flawless
                4 - Must Watch
                3 - One Time Watch
                2 - Wait for the DVD
                1 - Stay Away
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