There are movies that entertain and then movies that educate. Jenda Pai Kapiraju does a bit of both and does it well. Arvind Shivashankar (Nani) is a brilliant student, who refuses to take up his foreign offers because he wants to give back to the country. He is idealistic and would rather go to court and then to jail and then get tortured by the cops and almost beaten to death, instead of paying bribes or compromising on the justice meted out to him. He wouldn't do any wrong and wouldn't let others do it either. He is brave too and intelligent. Bred in an Ashram with values ingrained in him, he is unable to handle the way society runs around the adage of 'survival of the fittest'. In no time, he finds himself in deep trouble, cops ready to kill him for no fault because he refuses to stop fighting against them, as matters spiral out of control.
There is Indumathi (Amala Paul), the girl who loves him, gives up on him because of the risks he is willing to take and then returns back to him, the common man's representative, good at heart, but scared at most times, willing to just live out a peaceful life. His best friend played by Vennela Kishore though stands by him, through thick and thin although he doesn't believe in Arvind's philosophy. Arvind has a plan to deal with the corrupt, by uniting all the flawless and clean employees in various departments, taking the help of media and the youth to expose how rotten society has become. How his stratagem works and how the corrupt politicians and cops try to fight against it makes for the rest of the story.
Nani plays a double role in the movie, the other character being Maya Kannan. Kannan is a Tamilian, a man of grey shades, complicated shades. He is not the everyday hero and yet, he would spend all his earnings, through moral and immoral ways on support homes for women. He is the anti-thesis for Arvind willing to help the corrupt against Arvind, undoing the ploy Arvind had masterplanned. There is the document maker, a girl in his mid twenties, who is so capable and has such a terrific working system, she could forge any document for any place that could be used in a court of law - an absolute mockery of how all the laws could be derailed with clever paperwork and the web of rules and investigations. There is a gang of retired IPS officers and army ex-servicemen who take up Arvind's cause trying to protect him and his near and dear ones.
Jenda Pai Kapiraju has a brilliant script, the first half mixing sarcasm, amazingly comic lines and some serious questions to make for an intriguing second half. However, the over-dramatization characteristic of Tamil movies seeps through in Samudrakani's direction. The editing and production values aren't really to the standards that the script deserves. In spite of that, Nani's terrific acting exhibiting multiple shades of angst, Kishore's comic timing, the clever turns taken up by the script and Maya Kannan's courtoom performance ensure the audience get their money's worth and more. It is a movie that deserves attention for all the different ways in which it portrays the power of cinema to enhance awareness. Audiences in the hall were particular moved by some of the powerful dialogues in the movie, that are not heroically cliched, more relating to the common man's everyday agony. Definitely one for Ugadi!view less