Film: 'Jaaji Mallige'; Director: Anantha Raju; Cast: Ajay Kumar, Gowri Munjal, Komal, Jayamala, Nagashekhar and Bullet Prakash; Music: Sadhu Kokila; Rating: ***
Ajay Kumar's 'Jaaji Mallige' comes across as a neat movie with quite a bit of freshness to it. But yes, it is another remake to add to the long list of remakes the Kannada film industry is churning out these days.
The issue of a large number of remakes being made is creating a big embarrassment for the once creativity-driven movie industry. However, 'Jaaji Mallige' appeals largely because of a novel concept - a dejected lover seeking justice from a court after his trusted girlfriend ditches him.
The story concept is offbeat, but the credit for that goes to the story writer of the original Tamil film 'Devatheya Kandein'.
The views of the unhappy lover and his girlfriend are equally represented in the court, but as in any commercial film the girl is made to realise her mistake in the end. And the hero has a larger than life persona. He says he won't accept the girl now even though she has realised her mistake, but he just wanted to represent the trauma faced by betrayed lovers.
The dialogues in the court scene get a lot of applause from the audience as much as the dejected man's pleas to his lover who decides to marry a rich man.
'Jaaji Mallige' wins because the director has just followed the original, except for including a little bit of comedy. Even the dialogue writer Raam Narayan seems to have remained faithful to the original film.
The comedy sequences in the first half are good. Another plus point of the film is the melodious music and background score by Sadhu Kokila, even though two tunes and the theme music have been lifted straight from the Tamil original.
The film has been trimmed, but there are still several sequences that tend to drag. Also, the director has failed to get the right expressions from the heroine, Gauri Munjal, in many scenes.
The story revolves around a tea seller Ramu who meets Uma, a college student. Uma initially likes him for innocence and honesty and slowly the two fall in love. But Uma changes her mind owing to family pressure and agrees to marry a rich and influential doctor.
A dejected Ramu makes all efforts to convince Uma, but later goes to court to seek justice.
Ajay is turning out to be a better actor in every film of his. He is best in the emotional sequences, but also proves that he can be equally at ease in comedy. Gauri Munjal looks good in songs, but her performance could have been better.
Komal gets equal importance as the hero in the film and he has done his best. Nagashekhar and Bullet Prakash are good in the comedy sequences. Jayamala does a good job in a cameo as the lawyer who takes up the disgruntled lover's case.
'Jaaji Mallige' will please audiences who have not seen the original film. Even movie buffs who have seen 'Devatheya Kandein' can go for a second look.