Kittu Unnadu Jagratha movie review : Raj Tarun, Prudhvi's comic touch saves the 'day'
There's a scene in Kittu Unnadu Jagratha, where Rechukka, a character played by Prudhvi, dreads the prospect of having to work post sunset.
He suffers from night blindness, a trait which leads to some hilarious situations throughout the film. Considering he's a professional kidnapper, the way his role is woven into the script comes across like a masterstroke. The seriousness with which Prudhvi pulls off the role makes you want to believe that he has that rare ability to rescue a film, the way Brahmanandam once used to.
Be it his witty conversations with his girlfriend (Parijatham), who wants him to come home after sunset, or the way he wriggles out of a tricky situation every single time, Prudhvi nails his role.
Then, there's the film's lead actor Raj Tarun, who plays Krishnamurthy aka Kittu, who thrives on his boyish charm to keep the proceedings going. In an age where machismo has become an intrinsic quality of the protagonist, Raj Tarun brings a different kind of vulnerability on screen which makes him an unlikely, but extremely likeable, hero.
In Kittu Unnadu Jagratha, the actor moulds himself into a guy-next-door, who is literally on his toes, as he uses an unusual trick - kidnapping dogs - to earn a quick buck.
We are told that he's on the run after borrowing a large sum of money and as the clock keeps ticking, Kittu's problems grow manifold. Directed Vamshi Krishna is careful enough to maintain a light-hearted tone to narrate the story and just play around with the characters of Kittu and Rechukka to keep the film engaging.
In the beginning of the film, we are told that there's a powerful man, AR, played by Arbaaz Khan, who gets what he wants by blackmailing others. His network ensures that he's always one step ahead of others, but one fine day, an Income Tax commissioner shifts his focus on finding the truth about AR and that triggers a series of events which puts the lives of Kittu (Raj Tarun) and his girlfriend Janaki (Anu Emmanuel) in danger.
While the characters in the film are its biggest strength, it's unfortunate that some of them don't have a proper closure in the end. For instance, Arbaaz Khan, who is projected as a powerful and dreaded white collar criminal, is left in the dark. Clearly, Vamshi Krishna had an opportunity to do something interesting with the villain's characterisation, but he seems to be so enchanted with Rechukka and Kittu that the best parts of the story are reserved for them.
Then, there's Raghu Babu, who plays Nimasi Baba, whose role loses its charm once he's on the run. 'Kalakeya' Prabhakar's role too gets lost in the commotion that follows once the characters are on the run.
Kittu Unnadu Jagratha is a light-hearted film which doesn't take itself too seriously and doesn't expect us to either. It's also one of the few comedy films in recent times which invests plenty of time and energy in building the romantic track between its lead actors - Raj Tarun and Anu Emmanuel, who make a lovely onscreen couple.
Their love story might not sweep you off your feet, but there's enough backstory to make you root for both of them. It's a pity that Anu Emmanuel doesn't get as much screen time in the film's second half after all the impressive work she gets to do in the first act of the film.
In the end, for a film like this, it all boils down to what you remember long after watching it.
There are plenty of neatly written set-pieces and even if they don't quite add up to take you by surprise, Kittu Unnadu Jagratha packs in enough twists to warrant a trip to the theatres. If not for anything else, you'll come out smiling when you think about what happens to Prudhvi after the sun goes down.