When they attack him, Sahu beats them to pulp, and disappears into a forest and joins the naxalites. During a combing operation, Sahu and a police officer (Prakash Raj) meet each other and become good companions under strange circumstances. Sahu comes to Hyderabad and duly rehabilitated as a college student.
The police officer's younger daughter Bhagi aka Bhagmati (Ileana) falls in love with Sahu. However, the cop is not willing to accept her marriage with Sahu, whom he thinks as a carefree youth without commitments. Meanwhile, Damodar Reddy is out on a vengeance mission against Sahu, as his lands are distributed among the rural poor by the naxalites.
Now, the police officer wants to get his daughter married to a decent young man (Sivaji), but he soon realizes that he is none other than the younger son of Damodar Reddy. How does Sahu accomplish the task of undoing Reddy's attacks and winning the hand of Bhagi? This forms the climax.
Pawan Kalyan steals the show from the start to finish. He shoulders the entire responsibility of creating something now and then to create the mood of Jalsa. However, his characterization suffers from reaching a full dimension. The hero falling in love with the elder daughter of a police officer and later asking the same man to give his younger daughter might sound funny, but is a blot coming to hero's characterization.
After the interval bang, everybody expects some serious action, but it turns into a damp squib. There are three heroines – Ileana, Kamalinee Mukherjee and Parvati Melton. All of them are strictly limited to oomph-less glamour, with some saving grace from Ileana who looks damn cool. Parvati Melton looked too heavy besides Pawan Kalyan. Mukesh Rishi played the hardcore villain of the piece. But, his villainy is dramatic.
Prakash Raj appears as a police officer (SP) in funny shades. Sivaji as usual did a small role as a bridegroom. You have comedians – Sunil, Brahmanandam and Ali. But, there is no scene to tickle our ribs. Just deliberate comedy!
Story is weak from the start to finish. There is no justification to the title Jalsa. Screenplay is fragile, testing the patience of the audience, yet with three-hour duration. While first half rolls down with some simple comedy and dramatic scenes, the second half turns out and out action-packed for no good reason, except the personal rivalry between the hero and villain.
Mahesh Babu's voice over is good but rendered waste. Coming on three occasions, the voiceover becomes a major deviation. Though it is used in a serious tone, the episodes and the happenings later do not match the tone.
Dialogues are average. The hero refers to the name of Chiru on a couple of occasions aiming his verbal attack against the henchmen of his rival. He also sings the song – ‘Nenu Saitham…’. At the interval bang, his long dialogue delivery – taking deep breaths now and then – resembles of the actor's recent outburst in TV channels, targeting the corruption in society. There is a punch-less satire on the road conditions in the state at the climax.
Music by Devi Sri Prasad is nothing great. Despite having three heroines, the romance and chemistry is missing. Stunts are good but routine in all sequences. The episode, in which the hero plucks the stone pillar and attacks the baddies, is a good watch, packed with emotion too. Comedy is weak. Brahmanandam's role turns miserable and gives a painful touch instead of evoking comedy – with unbearable teasing by the hero. The Sunil-Ileana-Dharmavarrapu episodes are dramatic.