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Jagamemaya review: Dhanya Balakrishna holds this twisted tale together

The thriller, despite many loose ends, is a timepass fare that keeps you glued to the screens with an engaging screenplay

Jagamemaya review: Dhanya Balakrishna holds this twisted tale together

Last Updated: 02.35 PM, Feb 26, 2024



Anand is an irresponsible youngster who indulges in betting for livelihood, runs into huge debts and is ultimately thrown out of his house. Desperate to make ends meet, he blackmails people for money. He grows richer with time and soon sets his eyes on an acquaintance Chitra, a widow. Anand is in it for the insurance claim of Chitra’s late husband and the two eventually tie the knot. However, days into his marriage, Anand realises that Chitra isn’t as innocent as she claimed to be.


Jagamemaya is a thriller at the end of the day, but prod further and you’ll admit it’s a love story revolving around money. It’s a film that’ll keep you engaged with its twists and from another tangent, is also a brutal exploration of the kaliyuga. Beyond the idea of good and bad, the characters in the story are only after money and they’re capable of doing anything to get their work done - love, cheat, marry or kill.


For a thriller, Jagamemaya gets its plot points right. You may smell the twists from a distance but the director Sunil Puppala still manages to surprise you. The characters aren’t exactly likeable and their motives are established without fuss. There’s no preaching about morality and the film jumps into the plot without any major distractions or unnecessary subplots. The screenplay is compact, eventful within the 110-minute runtime.

If there’s something that the film could’ve done better, it’s the simplistic treatment. While it relies on double games and deceit to surprise viewers, the evolution of the plot and the characters feels too convenient at times. It’s baffling how Anand gets away with blackmailing so easily and grows rich in no time. While dealing with Chitra and her husband Ajay, the narrative makes a joke out of server security in software firms and it’s silly how the film treats data theft sans any nuance.

It’s a tad too one-dimensional to showcase every second married woman hitting on Anand and his sexually-charged ‘encounters’ in the apartment are overblown without necessity. The corporate deals surrounding projects are always discussed in ‘crores’; the workplace ambience is barely authentic and takes audience’s intelligence for a ride. Put these logical loopholes aside and you wouldn’t find yourself complaining much.

Dhanya Balakrishna, Chaitanya Rao and Teja Ainampudi are a perfect fit for the pivotal characters. While Teja is quite believable as the womaniser who cheats people for a living and Chaitanya shines as an insecure software employee, the show stealer is Dhanya as the femme fatale. Beyond Chitra’s unpredictablity and the break-neck pace of the film, she lets the viewer empathise with her backstory and the various dimensions to her personality.

Rahul Machineni’s cinematography and Ajay Arasada’s on-the-face score work well within the film’s limitations. Prudhviraj gets a decent supporting role after Urvasivo Rakshasivo. It’s good that web films like Jagamemaya are churned out keeping OTT viewers in mind without compromising on the storytelling. It’s a win-win situation for the viewer and the creators alike though there’s some distance to go before Telugu filmmakers come out of their big screen-hangover, focus more on the writing and rely less on cinematic liberties.


Jagamemaya is no high-quality art but has enough it keep a restless streaming enthusiast at bay. This is a decent time-pass fare that doesn’t give you much to complain about. The eventful screenplay and commendable performances hold the thriller together. With better detailing and writing, the film would’ve been more impactful.


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