September 06, 2009 Anjali
Rating - **.75
Cast: Naga Chaitanya, Karthika, Prakashraj, JD Chakravarthy and others.
Banner: Sri Venkateswara Creations.
Cinematography: Sameer Reddy.
Editing: Marthand K. Venkatesh.
Music: Sandeep Chowta.
Presenter: Smt. Anitha.
Story, Screenplay, Dialogues & Director: Vasu Varma.
Release Date: September 05, 2009
Josh has its moments. The comic, the emotional, the touching and the romantic. Distributed sparsely in a super-long college extravaganza launching star kid Naga Chaitanya and incidentally, yesteryear actress Radha's daughter Karthika. Directed by Dil Raju's protégé Vasu Varma and consisting of a team of a known (and good) technicians and crew, Josh is a message-oriented youthful story.
Satya quits college in Vizag and comes to Hyderabad to stay with his uncle, get a job and experience real life. He meets with a young school teacher Vidya who hates being one-the reason her irani caf´ running big brother won't send her to college is because of the kind of characters in colleges that he sees frequently at his café.
JD is a political youth leader who manipulates college kids to carry out rallys in his name and destroy public property in his rival's area. Satya witnesses one such scene of violence and makes a police complaint on the students. A long chain of cat and dog fights ensue with Satya finally joining the college and bettering them without their knowledge.
The movie has a wobbly start and slowly picks up pace. The leading lady's dilemma and the lead pair's chemistry is likeable. From the public violence and the police complaint the movie shows spark and gets interesting to the point where he joins in the same college as those who are forever trying to get even with him. Some bits in the college post-break is also entertaining but once his flashback finishes the whole movie spirals down, first with lengthy dialogues, then with a long drawn and misplaced basketball match which he willingly loses and finally with an illogical and predictable 'twist' which exposes the evil youth leader.
The direction doesn't exactly live up to Dil Raju's usual standards (don't count Munna). The editor could have used the scissors a little more and spared us some of the length along with a two page dialogue the debutant gets to belt near the climax. It's a good launch in theory-a college story a la Shiva, good boy turned bad boy turned messiah of the youth character, loads of chances to show off some herogiri. The over-dramatization of the ways of the youth is a little far-fetched, especially the generalizations do not go down well with real people.
Nothing is black or white, and some grey area would have added a touch of reality for this fictional piece. It would have been a good launch not merely in theory if only it were in the hands of a seasoned maker.
Naga Chaitanya shows potential, and with all the expectations resting on his young shoulders and a legacy to live up to, he holds his own pretty well. He bashes up about 50 people effortlessly and can officially be called Hero and welcomed by masses. He can shake a leg, mumbled his dialogues in the first half but then managed to memorize 2 pages in the second half and can do the whole 'smoldering eyes' old school romancing pretty well.
The leading lady Karthika has little to do, and does the chirpy bubbly act well enough. Prakashraj has a brief role but one with weightage. JD Chakravarthy gets bashed up by son like he got bashed up by father, and nurses a slight Kamal hangover.
Music by Chowta has 2 good songs but a jarring background.
If you were watching the movie on DVD, you'd pick a few scenes to watch. The movie would have been a better experience if it was shorter and had some depth, as opposed to some superficial conflict, handling and treatment. Not bad, as mentioned earlier, having its moments, but not the wholesome entertainer that one tends to expect from the names associated.