Jathi Ratnalu is a Telugu comedy-drama film written and directed by Anudeep KV and starring Naveen Polishetty, Priyadarshi, Rahul Ramakrishna and Faria Abdulla, alongside other cast members.
I am always a little wary about comedies. I don’t laugh at “funny” movies often – and that might either be a me problem or a they problem, or both. However, it is mostly known that Indian comedies require you to not aim for hyper-realism. Let’s face it, nothing about India’s reality is funny and thus bringing that aspect to screen just takes away the fun from the movies. That being said, Jathi Ratnalu is a movie that did somewhat make me laugh.
The movie, starring three very talented actors, talks about three close friends who travel from their village to Hyderabad in order to not only get a job but also to earn the respect that was missing at home. However, things, obviously, don’t go according to plan.
Jathi Ratnalu creates a world that feels weirdly homely. The three boys’ plight is funny as it is kinda sad. You sometimes ask yourself why the village folk should respect them, considering they do nothing other than roaming the streets, getting drunk and creating a ruckus. But at the next moment you will also feel kinda bad for these men and many like them because it points towards a very real problem in our country.
The movie has ample moments that will make you laugh. There are odd flashbacks and enacted moments in black and white that tickle the funny bones. As I mentioned previously, you don’t necessarily need to keep your brain at home for this one, but you certainly need to stop yourself from nitpicking. The whole movie consists of moments and scenes that would definitely not be happening in real life and if you can get over that, then Jathi Ratnalu will definitely entertain you. Additionally, there’s some good social commentary and a message throughout that meshes well with the nonsensical aspects of the movie.
The saving grace of the movie, however, are the three leads. Naveen Polishetty, Priyadarshi and Rahul Ramakrishna are too good in their roles as three besties out to do something with their lives. The chemistry among the characters is an important aspect in any movie and the actors in this one prove what good it can do in terms of entertainment factor and general interest building. At no point does it feel like the three have not been friends since childhood in real life, they are so good. Individually as well, all three actors embody their characters and their small perks and create an environment where it feels like you’re laughing with (and at) your friends.
Listen, I am not going to say that Jathi Ratnalu is a movie that has no flaws. The plot isn’t the best thing that I have seen and it drags quite a bit after a while. The subplots aren’t all that interesting and sometimes, personally, it gets a bit much. However, the one-liners and the comic timing of the actors are enough to give you a good time. At 2 hours and 25 minutes, the movie could’ve cut down a lot to make it tighter and cleaner so that you could appreciate the good times more.
Summing up: Jathi Ratnalu
Jathi Ratnalu is a fun ride, although the storyline isn’t the most interesting. The runtime, however, is too long and could’ve been an easy fix if the makers cut off the unnecessary flak in the second half. In spite of everything though, there’s a lot to appreciate here and the lead trio are too good for anyone to miss out on. Thus, keep the sense of realism at home and enjoy this one as it comes. If nothing, you’ll get to see some wonderful performances.
Jathi Ratnalu is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
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