Thanks to the film industry, there's no profession better understood by the general public than the nefarious world that lurks in the smelly corridors of any city - the film industry. The general public also understands the big brother of this industry well - the mafia.
But Junction is not about films. Junction presents to you yet another part of the underworld's job description by dealing with the plight of the poor. It tries giving you a frank perspective of the underbelly of the big bad city - the part of the belly that always suffers, no matter what.
So the residents of a slum at a prominent crossroads in the city ("junction") eke out their living by various lucrative means, 90% of which comprise begging. 5% are hawkers, and the other 5% comprises of Raju, the general custodian of the place, who takes a daily commission from the lot and hands it over to a big mafia don. In fact, he's the favourite of his boss since he always manages to get the biggest bundle.
But Raju is not just any goon. He also takes care of the basti's needs. After entertaining them with his high-pitched sham Hyderabadi accent, he even buys food for them. Into this squalor enters a damsel (Naina) to sell coconuts on the road. The hero is lewd to her, she's rude to him, and the denizens almost go nude in happiness because the romance is starting.
As expected, Raju's life is sailing, the music is shaming, and fate is scheming. The Metro Rail is being planned, and there's an hare-brained politician who wants to divert its route to prevent his shopping complex from being bulldozed. His nexus extends well into the hands of Raju's super-boss (Kota Srinivasa Rao), so indirectly he's linked to the welfare of our junction and its squatters.
However, the fiend prefers that the rail route pass through our junction, even though that would mean that many homes will be lost and the rail line will extend by several kilometres, all for a shopping complex. Basically, he's the guy who we'd all love to shop with. But when he tries greasing the palms of the honest officer in charge (Bhanuchander), he's given a fitting reply to the effect of 'get the hell out of here'.
How the hapless denizens of the junction get played around by the rich, the dishonest and the powerful, forms the rest of the story. Not to mention a couple of love stories, an honest opposition leader (Chalapathi Rao), and the internal mafia politics of Raju's gang.
The makers have attempted something unique with Junction, and have even peppered it with good dose of comedy, but the presence of crudeness here and there, and some bad editing everywhere, spoil the show. And, at the end of the day, it's hard to be sympathetic to a bunch of able-bodied people who prefer conning thousands of traffickers everyday to earn their living - the film doesn't really show extenuating circumstances in which they are doing so.
Everyone except the lead pair acts brilliantly. It's a pleasure to watch Kota at his heinous best. Sometimes, the goings-on even remind you of a stage play - the settings could have something to do with it. As for the music, the lesser said, the better. Hence, we'll say more and declare that except for one romantic number, the songs are blatatantly offensive, with no hint of melody, rhythm or aesthetic sense.
Junction is harmless if you're going without your family. Then again, it's not worth ditching your family for. So wait till people ditch you, and then proceed.