Story: Srikanth (Naveen Polishetty) and his friends Sekhar (Priyadarshi) and Ravi (Rahul Ramakrishna) head to the city in pursuit of some izzat. Once there, they realise that maybe they were better off back home in Jogipet. Review: Anudeep KV’s Jathi Ratnalu is not meant to be taken seriously and that’s made clear from the get go. It wastes no time getting into the thick of things, even before the titles roll and while it is a fun-rollercoaster ride with no time to lose, it makes one wonder if the film needed to be as long as it is to tell the almost non-existent story.
Srikanth (Naveen Polishetty) wants to escape to the city so he gets a fresh start. He’s a pro at helping out the ladies of their village with perfect accessories to their sarees but wants to be known for more than that. His father (Tanikella Bharani) on the other hand wants him to stay back and run the ladies emporium they own. Sekhar (Priyadarshi) was born to the sound of a cooker whistle and is obsessed with everything to do with rice. Ravi (Rahul Ramakrishna) is an alcoholic in state of perpetual heartbreak. The city helps them meet Chitti (Faria Abdullah), a rich kid who falls for Srikanth and has a sad backstory of her own. But destiny also brings them in the path of Sports Minister Chanakya (Murli Sharma), who’s always up to something shady. When the trio are framed for a crime they did not commit, all ‘hell and heaven’ breaks loose.
Despite motley of characters and a lot happening on-screen, Jathi Ratnalu does not have much to tell in terms of story. Srikanth and his friends are a touch wiser by the time they return back to Jogipet, it’s even hinted that they might head to Dubai next, but there’s not much in terms of storytelling that keeps you invested. Sure there’s the matter of what incriminating video Chanakya is working so hard to bury, there’s also the matter of a local electric company headed by Subhash K Chandra (Subhalekha Sudhakar) that’s inserted into the story, but that’s not what drives you to sit through two and a half hours of this film.
What does keep you engaged are most of the one-liners that roll one after another with no time to breathe, so much so that it almost feels like Anudeep wants to exhaust all the jokes he has to tell in one film. Naveen gets the best of the lot when it comes to these, while Priyadarshi and Rahul come a close second. Vennela Kishore and Brahmanandam make hilarious cameos, while Keerthy Suresh and Vijay Deverakonda lend their support. But there does come a point where the jokes do get repetitive, especially when they bank only on Srikanth’s broken English or Sekhar’s love for rice. However, that nod to Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya and Tollywood courtroom dramas during the climax of the film is a hoot.
“Silly fools are trying to break the rules and fighting these goons,” go the lyrics of a song that plays in the film. And that one-liner is enough to describe the film best. Jathi Rathnalu is a mixed bag, but then again, life asale zindagi aipoindi, so go watch it for the comedy and the performances.