Review: 101 Jillala Andagadu

‘101 Jillala Andagadu’ is playing in theatres from today (September 3). What are its hits and misses? Is it worth a watch? Find out in our review.

Story:

Surya Narayana aka GSN (Avasarala Srinivas) is a forever-embarrassed man. Reason? His premature balding has made him a persona non grata in his own eyes. He wears a cap at home and a wig when he steps out of the confines of his house.

GSN predictably falls in love with Anjali (Ruhani Sharma), his colleague at the real estate firm where he works. While Anjali loves his nature, will she accept his so-called shortcoming? What does it take for GSN to overcome his insecurities and come of age?

Performances:

After a dull performance in ‘Babu Baga Busy’, Srinivas Avasarala has come into his own. He elicits laughs in this film with confidence. Since he is the film’s writer, he gives himself the best lines, consciously or otherwise. Ruhani Sharma of ‘Chi La Sow’ fame not only looks good but also is apt as a good-natured woman who values inner personality. As a woman who can’t take workplace harassment, she is at her best. The male lead’s male friend is impressive. More than Rohini, it’s Raman Bhargav, who was recently seen in ‘Tharagathi Gadhi Daati’ (web series), who makes some impact.

Technical Departments:

The film is not ambitious when it comes to the technical elements. Shaktikanth Karthik’s is measured but not imaginative enough. While the BGM knows how not to be loud or dry, it doesn’t quite suck the viewer into the proceedings. It’s not madcap enough, so to speak. Raam’s cinematography is sub-par. Kiran Ganti keeps it effective at about 2 hours (excluding the titles and other skippable portions).

Analysis:

While watching ‘101 Jillala Andagadu’, there is a chance that you might mistake it for an ‘Amrutham’. The situations are somewhat idiosyncratic, Srinivasa Avasarala’s character comes across as a clone of the Amrutha Rao-Anjaneyulu duo (in the sense he sometimes breaks into repartees, wisecrack lines and even songs), and there is an old frenemy (played by Raman Bhargava) who is believed to enjoy mocking the one with the bald head. This frenemy is reminiscent of the sadistic ways of Appaji from ‘Amrutham’, at least in terms of how he is introduced.

Writer Avasarala and director Vidya Sagar also try their hand that meme-y humour. In a scene, a paranoid GSN imagines that even Modi and Trump are talking about his baldness. In another hilarious stretch, he goes through a comically hellish experience hiding his baldness during a wedding.

There is a stretch about GSN’s bathroom singing. The film should have inserted more of such elements to take the audience’s attention away from the premature balding plot point. GSN is reduced to his baldness problem and that’s not good writing for sure.

There are indirect references to unwanted hair and it’s not really healthy humour (to be fair, this is just an aberration; the humour is mostly clean). Comedy involving a hair transplant specialist, a maker of wigs, among others, should have been more interesting.

A lot of the situations don’t seem believable. In a scene, we see GSN’s hosts raising suspicious questions based on his version of the direction of wind making his hair look unkempt. Anjali facing issues because of a boss who wants to marry her is again an outdated trope, seemingly infused to make GSN look noble.

The climax is thankfully brief. The film stays away from mawkish drama and that’s nice.

Bottomline:

‘101 Jillala Andagadu’ is without vulgarity. The comedy works in dribs and drabs.

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