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As the hero’s machismo intensified over the years, as he became more and more disconnected with anything human, it created crates that made room for disconnected gags. In the wake of all the havoc the hero’s busy with, films needed lighter moments and our champion of the lighter times for more than 25 years has been the priceless comic genius of Dr.Brahmanandam.
Making a film with Brahmi in the lead sounds like the safest bet because here is a man that the entire state’s people love boundlessly. With his articulation, versatility and comic mastery he is one of the funniest men in the world. And I can think of a hundreds of parts he will be perfect for. Alas! He belongs to an industry that has very little original content, nothing to really exploit his gifts.
Vennela Kishore’s Jaffa seemed like an unintentional tribute to the many disconnected gags of Brahmi. The film was never able to put a sequence together, it just piled short comic conversations without really trying to give the order any sense.
Everyone in the inescapable Kavaliguda jail is up for the death sentence irrespective of the nature of crime. Jaffa is a frustrated, unmarried software engineer (one of the popular clichés of the dis-gag). He is jailed at Kavaliguda for causing the death of a work colleague. But, with his inventive ways of eating leaves instead of the jail food and the wisdom of his punch line morals Jaffa is soon considered the smartest man in Jail, smarter than the police too. Everyone from the jailer (Vennela Kishore) to the criminals turn to Jaffa’s advice for dealing with girlfriends, postponing the death sentence, interrogating terrorists etc.
And after becoming good friends with the jailer he conspires with him to escape in a twin coffin (made for Jaffa and the jail’s depressing priest played by Raghu Babu), but the plan backfires and Jaffa is stuck in the coffin with the dead jailer and a phone he cannot operate because all the contacts are listed in Hindi. Jaffa is stuck in the coffin for the entire second half as the film disconnectedly intercuts to the investigation of Ali doing a Johnny English in a trench coat.
Should have been a 90 minute film
The first half lasted only 45 minutes and though it didn’t make much of a story telling sense, the mildly connected scenes were getting it right for the moment and I was hoping the second half can keep it as tight even if the story remains as scattered. But, the second half that lasted for more than hour proves again that a joke here and a joke there with the story going absolutely nowhere will bring down a film to tediousness.
Of the many films being shot on digital (including Kishore’s directorial debut) this one had better looking interiors, but again, the pointless editing and the burnt exteriors don’t do the film much good.
I wouldn’t mind more films from writer-director Kishore if he can refine his screenplays and not just put everything he finds funny into a film. I have a feeling he can do much better.
p.s. The film's cinematographer is SaiPrakash and not Raja as the other reviews mentioned. Wonder who came up with the fictional Raja.