Often trailers are deceptive. A kickass trailer is succeeded by a rubbish film. But rarely, is an insipid trailer is succeeded by an absorbing movie. Surprisingly, Jyoti Lakshmi falls into the latter. Yes, with such an awful preview, one would expect a clichéd and a pretentious movie. The silver-screen says something else. Puri Jagan who is ultra-quick in writing stories and making them, always surprises his audience. He stands apart because he has this unique talent of making either pathetic or path-breaking films. This Charmme starrer is great on paper, and Puri was successful in translating to the screen to a large extent. What went missing will be discussed later.
Satya, a software engineer is in search of a prostitute with the help of his friend Sandy and a broker. After an almost exhaustive search, he reveals that he is looking for a particular hooker whom he can recognize only by seeing. Satya’s quest finally becomes fruitful, and that lady is Jyothi Lakshmi , a sex-worker who is always in demand. Satya is in head over heels in love with her and proposes to marry her. However, their worlds are as different as chalk and cheese, obviously because Jyothi Lakshmi belongs to a dark and a cruel world which is controlled by ruthless kingpin of the sex business. The rest of the film is about whether Jyothi Lakshmi coming out of the cage and its after-effects.
Puri has penned a very interesting tale and has narrated it adeptly too. Post-interval portions fail to engage, but the rest of the film makes you watch the film keenly. A major credit along with Puri goes to the lead actor Satya. He was extra-ordinary with an accurate performance. He could enact the feelings immaculately rightly using his voice. The character he was given needs immense talent to portray the right emotions at right time. He has proved that he has got that.
Another notable performance was by the antagonist (the badass cop of Prashtanam). He was brilliant playing the merciless boss controlling the sex rackets. Bhadram (the guy who became viral with “Pelli Vaddu ra Bhadram” video) played the role of a pimp and was really good, especially when he explains an app called ‘Lapaki’ to fetch call-girls which works similar to the Ola cabs app to fetch taxis. The guy who played Satya’s friend also entertained with great ease. Aziz Naser (the guy from Angrez) makes a promising Telugu debut.
Oops, we haven’t talked about the actor who played the title role. It’s because Miss Charmme Kaur was disappointing as ‘Jyoti Lakshmi’ in the first half playing the sex-worker. She could hardly create an impact. However, in the last one hour she performed adequately as the strong-willed woman. She was perfect in some moments.
The movie was a tad too long. Probably they could have done away with some songs. There was good number of powerful, bold and meaningful dialogues from Puri. “Manasaara L**** kodaka ani kuda analekapotunna..Endukante unko aadadaanni thittinattu avtundi”. Only Puri can come with such hard-hitting yet sensible stuff.
In short, the only drawbacks of the movie were a couple of unwanted songs and Charmee’s banal performance in first half.
Puri’s pen and Satya’s penchant for acting made Jyothi Lakshmi work.
A great script translated well. Jyothi Lakshmi deserves a watch.