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Films often loose their feel and completeness when dubbed to other languages. Dubbed films lacks something even if the dubbing part is done with reasonable perfection. If you are ready to accept this fact, you will find Janatha Garage, a Malayalam film dubbed from Telugu a decent watch. Even though the story does not have any freshness or suspense in it, the film is a mass entertainer with heroism, action, dance and family sentiments in it.
The story revolves around Janatha Garage, a mechanic shop and a family surrounding it. This family is headed by Sathya and has his wife, brother Siva and son Rahul along with Sathya’s close group as members of the garage. Janatha Garage is a car workshop at the first look but it is much more than that as anyone who needs help and is in distress can approach them for support. Film shows how the family gets on with the business with Anand, an Environment and nature lover also joining the party.
What you expect from a mass movie is there aplenty here. Forgetting the logic part and some questionable things that happen later on, Janatha Garage is a watchable film even though seeing some Telugu speaking actors speaking in Malayalam was creating an odd feel. As said earlier, if we are to forgive and accept the dubbing side of the film, Janatha Garage is a decent mass movie which I found enjoyable. Infact this is one film that has done a pretty good work on the dubbing part when compared to some other films dubbed into our language.
I was expecting another Jilla where Mohanlal would be sidelined giving more prominence for Junior NTR. But Janatha Garage proved me wrong. Unlike Jilla, where he was completely sidelined after Vijay takes over that disappointed everyone of his fans back in Kerala, Janatha Garage has given ample opportunity to the actor as per the demands of a mass movie with a powerful character that doesn’t gets forgotten after the arrival of another actor. Infact the pre-intermission portion is more focused on the character of Sathya and even after Junior NTR explode in the second half with action and heroism, Sathya is very much in the scheme of things and Mohanlal gets his due share of screen presence.
As far as the acting goes, its not that easy to judge when it is a dubbed film. Still I feel he has done his job in each and every scene he was part of. His voice dubbed by himself to Malayalam was also good. I am watching Junior NTR on the big screen for the first time and I am impressed with his action and dance. People who have already seen him in Telugu films will find it hard to digest his voice in Malayalam but leaving that part aside, he has a commendable screen presence overall.
There is Mollywood connection on the supporting actors side as we have lot of familiar faces like Unni Mukundan, Rahman, Nithya Menon, Sithara and Devayani all doing important roles quite well. Unni Mukundan plays Rahul, son of Sathya and he is a baddie who always goes against the wishes of his noble father. The film might open up and give him a chance to do more roles from other south Indian languages. Aashish Vidyarthi gets nothing to perform while Bollywood actor Sachin Khadekar plays one of the antagonist character.
None of the female characters have any importance and are just casted for namesake, be it Samantha or Nithya. While the former has an appearance in one of the songs, the latter has nothing on that front. Kajal Aggarwal appears in an item song and vanishes from the scene. Songs are peppy and foot tapping ones that are good to watch on screen along with their dance visuals. Duration of more than two and a half hours is slightly on the higher side as the film has an extended second half that needed some fine tuning. Cinematography was okay.
Director Koratala Siva has added the right ingredients required for a mass entertainer. I think the original Telugu film would do a good business looking at the overall packaging. Being a dubbed film, Malayali audience might have some inhibitions to watch the film but considering the presence of Mohanlal in a decent role, I would say you can head in to watch Janatha Garage, a film for the masses with the right combination of flavors added in it to make it watchable.