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Times of India
A youngster murders a rapist and surrenders to the police. His trial brings out the motive behind his actions.
Have you ever been to a film and realised in the first 15 mins that you've wasted money that you could've spent on a quiet dinner or time that you could've spent doing something worthwhile? If you haven't been to such a film yet, this is your chance to get that experience.
Alright we understand that the makers wanted to put their money into making a film with a social message but there doesn't seem to be much clarity over what message they want to give. Loosely based on the Aruna Shanbaug rape case, Janiva starts in a courtroom with the trial of Sameer Deshpande (Manjrekar) who has confessed to killing a rapist. The film goes into flashback and attempts to unfold Samir's thought process and the circumstances that led to the murder.
The film has seasoned actors including Kishore Kadam, Kiran Karmarkar, Indira Krishnan and Renuka Shahane who have been wasted in stereotypical roles although they do what is required of them. The new faces show no spark and are nothing but a bunch of amateurs trying their best to act. The one film old Satya Manjrekar fails miserably in expressing his emotions in his first lead role. You will be amazed at his stone-faced dialogue delivery. He is like a small kid facing the camera for the first time and is clueless about what he has to do.
In terms of story, the film touches upon farmer suicides, rise in rapes, eve-teasing during festivals, society's negligence towards crimes etc and in trying to do so, it suffers primarily because it veers away from the basic premise. And with all that's going on, Janiva ends up being a enduring watch. Watch it if you really have to.
The audience understands that the subject as well as the kid is sensitive. There is no need of making the actors repeat the same over and over again.