Nandamuri Balakrishna is here in Sankranti battle with this flick directed by KS Ravi Kumar starring his lucky lady Nayanathara in female lead. Can Balayya repeat the last Sankranti magic of hit Gauthami Puthra Satakarni, this year too? Let us get straight into Jai Simha review.
Narasimha (Nandamuri Balakrishna) leaves Vizag and roams many places in South India along with his new born infant finally to settle in Kumbhakonam, Tamil Nadu by joining as a car driver. Rather a peaceful life of Narasimha gets disturbed by Kumbhakonam’s local inspector and gangster Kaniyappan (Kalakeya Prabhakar). While trying to pacify the ire of local Brahmins on inspector, Narasimha appears on TV channels leading to the revelation of his flshback and his love affair with childhood sweetheart Gowri (Nayanathara), daughter of school teacher (Prakash Raj). How situations forced Narasimha to sacrifice his love and marry another girl Manga (Hari Priya)? How Narasimha continues to renounce his self to see Gowri happy in married life is the rest.
When it comes to Balakrishna, one doesn’t know why is he still struck in 1980 and 90s in picking the scripts. M Rathnam’s story has zero novelty and is a khichdi of many hit templates including that of Balayya’s Narasimha Naidu, Samarasimha Reddy and so on. Screenplay is wide open and shouldered alone on Balayya Babu characterization. Direction wise, KS Ravi Kumar showed more of his touch in dealing the sentiment scenes and a couple of hero elevation shts, especially the Brahmin episode stands on top of all. Ram Prasad camera work is adequate in catching Kumbhakonam and other South cities. Editing by Praveen Antony should have been still more sharp to eliminate the slowness in second half. Chirantan Bhatt scored couple of mass tunes for which Balayya danced his heart out and BGM is acceptable. Fight compositions followed a ritual. Production standards from C Kalyan are good.
On to performances, this dual shaded character is a cakewalk for most experienced actor like Balakrishna. While his ease at action and mouthing powerful dialogues is once again felt by masses, it’s the emotion and sentiment dominated in second half. Nayanathara hasn’t got much but still makes her presence felt with cute dubbing voice from singer Sunitha. Hari Priya drove the proceedings in second half as lady mechanic turned Balakrishnas wife. Nothing much about Natasha Doshi. Comedy by Brahmanandam was just acceptable. Prakash Raj, Murali Mohan are dignified. Kalakeya Prabhakar, Ashutosh Rana are into the same age old villainy. Rest may not need a mention.
Pongal being a big season and Agnyathavasi declared a bomb, all eyes were set on Balakrishna and Jai Simha. Despite the film has got ancient content, if audience are ready to accept typical Balayya Babu kind of dialogues and action, Jai Simha can feed a good section of his Fans. Like every NBK film assures on laborious story, Jai Simha also has love, romance, action, melodrama and over the top hero characterization to play on bigger canvas.
First half begins on emotional note introducing Nayanathara, Prakash Raj as Balakrishna takes off on a train journey migrating between various places to reach Kumbhakonam. Here on scenes written on Balayya, Murali Mohan, Natasha Doshi, Brahmanandam resembles more of Simhadri and Samara Simha Reddy serving to the tastes of masses. In between the action blocks and songs at regular intervals push a commercial masala. One big episode on Brahmins (Archakulu) is well executed. Ashutosh Rana into the story and a big twist unlocked brings us to interval.
Second half takes off directly on sentimental and dramatic note opening the flashback. Nayan, NBK romance and Prakash Raj in between followed a beaten to death track. Hari Priya on sidetrack made her presence profusely felt. How Ashutosh Rana’s son is deprived of MP seat and development of rivalry with NBK are time tested. In the process, Balayya leaving Vizag also needs no big logic. Right into the present, Ashutosh Rana is back with vengenace joining Kalakeya Prabhakar throwing the movie towards a bloody action filled climax. Later on, Prakash Raj and Balayya churn more tear jerking drama to close the film.
In totality, Jai Simha is targeted mainly at NBK Fans. Inspite of popular content presented multiple times on Balakrishna, this time drama and sentiment took driver’s seat in aheavy second half. Commercial result depends more on how B, C centre viewers grab this film on Sankranti season. If families take an edge, Jai Simha can be a safe venture.