DJ Tillu Review: This crime comedy is absolutely enjoyable & non-conformist   

'DJ Tillu' has more 'mass' in it than the introductory songs for top stars in mass masala movies.

Updated on Feb 13, 2022   |  09:49 AM IST  |  411.7K
 DJ Tillu Review
DJ Tillu Review: This crime comedy is absolutely enjoyable & non-conformist   

Cast: Siddhu Jonnalagadda, Neha Shetty and others

Director: Vimal Krishna

Run-Time: 128 minutes

Rating: 3/5

In one of the early scenes in 'DJ Tillu', the titular character behaves in a manner that evokes both humour and sympathy (the latter in a subtle way). He is locked up in a room where a dead body has been lying unattended. His unsuspecting nature makes him think that the person, who is responsible for him being dragged into the crime scene by design, is well-meaning. Once he discovers that he is in a mess because someone conspired to mess up with his life, Tillu's frustration finds an insane expression in oddball mannerisms and eccentric language. 

Writer-actor Siddhu Jonnalagadda is the soul of this movie, followed by a technical team that is right on the money. 'Paatas Pilla' is a better song than many melodies that we get to hear in serious-minded romantic dramas. 'DJ Tillu' has more 'mass' in it than the introductory songs for top stars in mass masala movies. And Thaman's background music hits the ball out of the park, designed to make the scenes look like they have been choreographed to enable the BGM composer have a blast in the studio. The editing is solid, making the shots look consummately etched.

Tillu (Siddhu) is a naive youngster who shares a love-hate relationship with his exasperated father. One fateful night, he bumps into Radhika (Neha Shetty), a small-time singer trying her luck in movies. The tryst changes his life forever. Tillu is sucked into the murder of a youngster, followed by a comedy of errors in which an unscrupulous cop (Brahmaji), a thuggish drinker (Narra Srinivas), and an unethical pub owner (Prince Cecil) have a huge stake. 

Like Naveen Polishetty's character in 'Jathi Ratnalu', Siddhu's character in 'DJ Tillu' whips up his ability to talk even gibberish with unselfconscious indulgence. Tillu is adept at using English-language words, probably because he comes from Hyderabad. He regularly says that he has got a delicate mind, by which he means that he is sensitive and emotional. He calls his girlfriend 'akka' (sister) when he is in a soup. He feels like he is a hostage and refers to her flat as a Bigg Boss house. He speaks in a rooted accent and sometimes borrowed English in order to express his dilemmas and thoughts.

The equations that Tillu shares with Radhika are dynamic. They seem to be having a fling, then they look like they are made to be soulmates. They kiss up in a four-wheeler after committing an offence. It takes a strong grounding in character development and screenplay-writing for such things to look plausible. 'DJ Tillu' does that.

Neha Shetty is subtle and can shift easily from an 'I am helpless' expression to a 'I know I can do anything to save my skin' demeanour. Not many actors are capable of such a range. She finds a perfect match in Siddhu, who makes us laugh at his travails without making his character's suffering look trivial. 


Pragathi is seen as a judge who gets to taunt a few characters. For years, a lot of crime comedies have been written with too many contrived plot points. 'DJ Tillu' doesn't look contrived even though there are convenient elements out there. That's called smart writing. 

The ending is substantial and Tillu doesn't take leave without announcing a second part. 


ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE: Siddhu Jonnalagadda on DJ Tillu, his role, comparison to Vijay Deverakonda, judgements & more

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