How could you place trust in a society that minds sharing even WIFI passwords to solve your complicated problems? When Jogipet Shrikant, one of the Jathi Ratnalu (the Jewels of the Nation), discloses his ambition to become Cyberabad Shrikant by leaving town for Hyderabad, both his friends jump onto the bandwagon, and forcibly tag along. All this ado to earn some respect which they thought was their due, but denied to them by the small-minded people of Jogipet.
Shrikant (played by Naveen Polishetty) runs his dad’s Ladies’ Emporium, but feels he cramped up in his native place. He is a proud B.Tech., who had passed the course with 41% in his second attempt. Shrikant is an acknowledged expert in matching shades of saris, blouses and bangles. His bosom buddies, Ravi and Shekhar, could not clear the tenth. Ravi drinks like a fish, and explains away his indulgence to non-existent ‘love failures’. “If you think I am the one causing problems, I will leave from here,” was Ravi’s pet threat. Shekhar is an expert cook of rice, and curries, and knows nothing else.
Hyderabad is unwelcoming, and rude shocks await the trio. But their verve keeps them afloat. Once they break into a party because they do not want to deny the host, who had perhaps forgotten to invite them because of his preoccupation, their blessings and august company. As also for the sake of Murg Mussallams, now that they were cooked and waited to be gorged upon!
In that party, Jogipet Shrikant (Naveen Polishetty) orders French wine, accompanied with English subtitles, which he has never downloaded even for Jackie Chan films. That explains how Shrikant could comprehend what the shady Hong Kong businessman discussed with the Sports Minister, who was supposedly the National Champion of Cricket, being an accomplished Goalkeeper, and could repeat the same conversation verbatim before the Judge in chaste Cantonese.
When the Sports Minister clarifies that that the businessman in question is a noodles’ maker, gifs-memes-social media jokes break the internet and flood media spaces. Merciless trolling prevents a murky deal from getting finalized. The trio are honourably acquitted and they return to their native place, Jogipet, for the glitz and the glamour of Hyderabad doesn’t suit them at all.
“We came to Hyderabad because we were not respected in Jogipet.
People fly off to America because they are not well-respected in Hyderabad.
What’s next? Will they shift to moon? Where does this lead us?”
Leaving your native place, kin or profession, just to earn the respect of some bumpkins does not make much sense. And it is not that the trio’s life in Jogipet was not happening enough. Once they were thrown behind bars for attempting to, or actually killing wild animals. They treated it like a vacation, laughing and enjoying through their time inside, getting clicked while play-acting, et al.
“The (food) plate should come sliding towards me…..(it slid and he held it)…(tasted a bit, squeaked)-dal is good!” Naveen Polishetty as Jogipet Shrikant is frivolously magical.
The film shall be remembered for the relentless socio-political trolling by its cast. These merciless dudes troll not just themselves, but take down judiciary, police, politicians, family, institutions- nothing is kosher. There are many Pee-Jays in the film, delivered with such self-amused joyous abandon that one ends up sharing raucous laughter with the trio.
There are moments of plain absurdity that work because of timing and perfect characterization. For example, this one –
“Sarfaroshi ke dil me Tamannah, Samantha aur Rashmika –wo teeno mere sath mein rehti hain,” thundered Shekhar, from inside his cell.
“Petrol prices have increased a lot, Mama.
Huh, I always get filled for hundred Rs.(hence makes no difference to me!)”.
Or this one –
“This Shrikant is ever ready to crack jokes in front of girls.
(pause) Like a dog in front of a mutton shop.”
A wannabe minister with doubtful integrity declares-
“I have good understanding of electronics and current, hence give me ‘Current Affairs’ ministry.”
“Current Affairs is not about current, Da.”
“What then? Is it about affairs?”
English rankles all desi dudes, be it Jogipet Shrikant or Kapil Sharma.
“If some person must think you know English, don’t speak in English in front of him.” At that very moment, Shrikant spots a beautiful girl inside the lift, breaches his own advice, and ends up uttering some random nonsense in English-
“Yeah, will discuss the Father of the Nation, yeah.”
“Ok, Check mail, google mail, yahoo.”
Freaks the girl out, needless to say…….
Some other common desi goof-ups with English are Shelf-respect, suspentation, Constipation of India which are committed with great timing and create huge impact.
But Shrikant has lofty thoughts, and is quite verbose in Telugu.
“She is natya mayuri, Manikonda’s Madhuri Dikshit, Sir,” he tells Chitty’s father.
“Tie anklets to those legs, not shackles. If she’d kicked you with those legs when she was young….”
“Hey, complete the dialogue, you’ve got to.” pleads the father.
“You can’t understand your daughter’s feelings, rather clamour for my dialogue?”
“Who is this half-smoked cigarette butt to interfere?”, the father asks Chitty.
“O Saar, I am also a responsible Citizen Kane of this country, because of the awareness of Beti Bachao.”
Father and Chitty leave. Shrikant proclaims- “Once upon a time there was a thirsty crow.” Timing is everything in comedy!
Later, Shrikant screams in court that he is fed up of corruption, pollution, picturization and global warmation. He gets goose pimples because of them, and gets even more goose pimples at the thought of getting goose pimples.
Shrikant take potshots on court proceedings, adjournments, working of cops, intent of politicians, and existing social structure. The kind of levity which the trio brings to the court is mindboggling.
“Yes, I’m saying No,” says Shrikant.
Prosecution counsel- “How can you say No?”
“No, I’m saying Yes.”
“How can you say Yes.”
“Why not? Basically, maybe, generally, yours sincerely……”
“Milord, he is wasting court’s prime time.”
“I also watch Prime and Netflix, and never downloaded even one movie of Jackie Chan, Sir.”
There is ample use of PJs, farce, burlesque and bathos. The writers did not require slapstick, body shaming, sweeping judgements, caste-religion-region related one-liners, crude sexist jokes to create humour. The lines and situations in Jathi Ratnalu never get mean and maintain mirth and frivolity throughout, yet manage to troll effectively. Hats off to Anudeep KV for writing and directing this film.
Polishetty as Shrikant, and Brahmananda as the judge, are just fabulous. “Even after all this if you fail to understand, just get the heaven and hell, sir!” Watch this film to enjoy a liberal dose of ‘clean’ humour. Hindi dialogue-writers must take a cue from Jathi Rantnalu and try to smarten up their acts.
#jathiratnalu #naveenpolishetty #brahmanand #telugucinema #telugu #anudeepkv #humour #comedy