Friday, 14 July 2017


Bottom line : In their second collaboration after the highly successful Barfi, Anurag Basu and Ranbir Kapoor conduct yet another experiment with quirky characters and situations, much like a Utopian musical. The end result is that Jagga Jasoos is possibly the most polarizing film in recent times which may work for some but not for many. For most part, though, it worked for me.

Review : Before I start reviewing the film, here's a sneak-peek into the world Basu has so affectionately created : Firstly, the characters mostly converse in songs (Because guess what, the lovable eponymous hero stammers while talking and hence prefers singing out loud). Secondly, logic seems to be the last thing on Basu and his writers' minds (which is accentuated in scenes like when the two leads effortlessly pilot a plane just by reading the operating manual, or where Katrina falls off great heights only to suffer minor injuries). Lastly, the story line is frankly farcical. It is important you re-align your expectations with the above facts before venturing in to this madcap journey. I had a friend sitting next to me who was constantly cringing at the buffoonery on display. That's precisely why I used the word "polarizing" to describe the film.

Having said that, I was thoroughly amused by this relatively unprecedented style of film-making, especially for Bollywood. Basu, clearly is in strong control of his craft, and he does an endearing job of giving us plenty of joyous and teary-eyed moments that's better experienced than described. There's a lot of guilty pleasure to be had in the series of misadventures the story and its characters take us through. All this quirkiness (a big shout out to Pritam for rendering some of his best tunes) works like magic in the first half but the makers can't seem to sustain this effervescent energy in the last half an hour or so of the film. It is at this juncture that randomness and repetition seep in and the muddled up screenplay populated with too many subplots further causes partial derailment of the euphoric bandwagon the film hitherto was. It doesn't pause as much as even to try making sense of all the proceedings unfolding on screen.

But the real binding force in the film is, undoubtedly, Ranbir Kapoor. I haven't come across another actor who whips up such an infectious energy each time he takes command. Here's an actor who, despite having a checkered career, doesn't shy away from confronting challenging roles and always puts his best foot forward.

I'm going with 3/5 for Jagga Jasoos. Despite its hiccups, it's an honest film that stays faithful to what it set out to achieve. More than anything else, watch it for Ranbir who's mere presence on screen makes up for many of the film's inconsistencies. 

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