Jai (Pawan Kalyan) is an orphan who joins the gang of Bhagawan (Jackie Shroff) when he was a kid. Jai eventually becomes the loyal lieutenant of Bhagawan over a period of time. Bhagawan’s son Munna (Sesh Adivi) has psychotic tendencies. Jai falls in love with green-loving Sandhya (Sara Jane Dias). Jai has to fall out with Bhagawan due to Munna. The rest of the story is all about what heppens when Bhagwan orders the killing of his loyal man Jai.
Pawan Kalyan: Pawan Kalyan looks uber cool with light beard and ultra stylish in suits. His acting is subtle and extremely controlled. Style is the word that describes Pawan Kalyan in this film. His dances are superb in Papa Rayudu song and are stylish in the title song that comes after the movie is complete. He is agile, flexible and believable in aesthetically choreographed action sequences.
Others: Anjali Lavania fits the bill of a glamour doll in this movie. Sara Jane Dias is a class heroine. Sesh is excellent as a psychotic guy. He has complete authority on what does on the screen. Brahmanandam is okay as Papa Rayudu. Ali is alright as hero’s assistant. Jackie Shroff is the main villain and he does justice. Atul Kulakarni is perfect. It’s different role for Tanikella Bharani. Subbaraju, Paruchuri Venkateswara Rao and Jhansi are fine.
Story - screenplay - direction: This story of this film is about loyalty. It is about the internal turmoil of loyal man when his boss does a wrong thing. It’s a class story that deals at psychological level. Hence the reactions and emotions are sophisticated. The hero has certain ethics. He doesn’t react emotionally. He thinks and then takes the right decision. When somebody is making a film with such a story line, one has to make sure that the screenplay is racy and entertainment (may not be the comedy) is in tact. The screenplay of the film is slow. The conflict point is too sophisticated and classy. As Abburi Ravi told in the music launch, the main reason why Pawan Kalyan accepted this story could be because the characterization (style of thinking and reasoning) is similar to that of his personal traits. Direction of the film is adequate with good framing and stylish picturization. While making a movie with a Telugu star, the commercial elements and entertainment are must. The placement of the songs is an example, the first two songs in the movie are heroine songs. The last song that comes after the movie is complete is the Panjaa title track and its very energetic with rocking Pawan Kalyan.
Other departments: Songs scored by Yuvan Shankar Raja is good. Background music and rerecording is excellent. Cinematography by PS Vinod is of top class. The selection of locations and framing make the visuals more appealing. Dialogues by Abburi Ravi are apt and sensible. Action choreography by Shyam Kaushal is beautiful, yet realistic. Anu Vardhan’s styling is good and you see Pawan Kalyan in a never-seen-before avatar. The young producers Neelima Tirumalasetti, Nagesh Muntha, Sobhu Yarlagadda and Prasad Devineni has made this film with grand production values and by trusting the director blindly.
Analysis: First half of the film is decent. The motive in the second half is not strong enough, hence it will not connect to the average audiences. Pawan Kalyan and technical values are the strengths of the movie. On the flip side, the much needed emotions and entertainment which is staple diet for any Telugu film lover is lacking in the movie. On a whole, Panjaa is a sensible attempt, but not in the tune of popular taste. We have to wait and see how crowds react to it.
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