Cast: Jr NTR, Nivetha Thomas, Raashi Khanna, Ronit Roy and Sai Kumar
The trailer of Jai Lava Kusa gave audiences the gist of the film. It introduced us to the film’s three titular characters – Jai, Lava and Kusa – all played by NTR, who stuns us with his versatility, offering us plenty of moments to cheer for. The film is a one man show and it belongs to NTR from the word go, and it’s built on an interesting premise of what absence of love in someone’s life could do to that person.
Early on, we are introduced to the triplet brothers – Jai, Lava and Kusa – who are stage artists and are best known to play characters from Indian mythology. Jai is the eldest of the three but he has a weakness; he speaks with a stutter, and therefore, is never given the opportunity to perform on stage. While his brothers Lava and Kusa play important characters, he ends up playing roles of no value. In one performance, he plays a horse. When not performing on stage, he is working backstage, looking after the drama equipments. All that Jai longs for is acceptance, love and recognition and when he doesn’t get what his brothers have, he becomes Raavan.
Most of the first half is centered on Lava and Kusa. Lava is innocent, easily deceivable and he plays a bank manager. His staff and colleagues cash in on his innocence and take him for granted. Kusa, on the other hand, is a thief and his biggest desire in life is to go to the US, simply because he can rob in dollars and easily become rich. When both the brothers accidentally cross paths, they swap places to help each other out. Scenes between them are mostly entertaining, especially when Kusa takes Lava’s place and the subsequent stretch in the bank is outright fun.
It’s towards the interval when Jai as Raavan makes a grand entry; the film really picks up steam and sets the stage for a solid second half. Fortunately, the post interval portion is good enough and does decent justice to the hype the interval block creates. Jai is cold-hearted and ruthless. He aspires to be a politician but he can’t win the trust and love of the people of his town. It’s from here on the film gets really interesting and director Bobby, who is also the writer of the film, displays creativity in giving the narrative an entertaining twist.
Since NTR plays triple roles, there isn’t much for others actors to contribute. He steals the show in every frame he appears and he’s almost there throughout the film. While Bobby needs to be appreciated for showcasing NTR in a different dimension in the role of Jai, whom we love even though he’s evil; he leaves us underwhelmed with the portrayal of the other characters, especially of that of the heroines who have very little to bring to the table.
Jai Lava Kusa is owned by NTR, and it largely works due to his terrific screen presence. It’s tough to imagine the film without him.