Jagga Jasoos

Jagga Jasoos: The Good, Bad and the Ugly

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 The Good.

Fresh. Original. Layered and well-researched screenplay. Purulia arms drop case, which is often considered as the single most security breach in Indian history is introduced creatively and used as the fulcrum of the film.

Several references of global events and spy agencies. Brilliant sub-plots filled with amazing twists and turns.

No hiccups in the acting department. Not even from Katrina Kaif.

Jaw-dropping visuals. A surreal-nonsense like view of the world. Names of places reminiscent of Satyajit Ray.

And the fact that Jagga doesn’t speak, he sings. His foster father played by an impressive Saswata Chatterjee teaches him to because he stammers so bad.

The Bad.

Musicality. Too much of it. That’s the problem with making a musical. Do bear in mind Bollywood movies these days have moved on from being outright musicals to using songs as a way of taking the story (or a scene) forward. In Jagga Jasoos, the musical approach falls flat when Katrina tells the story of Jagga’ adventures to children in a Kolkata book fair. The musical ploy employed to tell a story within a story kills the connection that the audience would have established with Jagga — directly.

That Jagga is a Jasoos or sleuth and is capable of solving murder mysteries could have been established powerfully, only if the sing-song and at times jarringly theatrical approach was culled. Then, the use of grey cells in resolving a murder would shine and wow the audience. Effortlessly.

The Ugly.

The scope of the film. Too many references. Too much happening on screen. And happening for a long, long time. The last thirty minutes could have been chopped or reduced thoughtfully. This makes me wonder what happened at the editing table. Did the creator (Anurag Basu in this case) fall in love with his creation?

The film needed edit. A hell lot of it.

It needed trimming of the sub-plots. Emissions perhaps. Bose’s reference was unnecessary. It served no purpose.

The train chase sequence at the end was way too long.

The father-son union should have happened a good twenty minutes earlier. And talking of father-son love, the son’s journey and motivation to find his missing father with the help of his friend  — bad luck Shruti, at times kind of gets lost in too many plot twists and action.

But…

I’m going to laud Anurag Basu for his effort. He is my favourite director. Life in a Metro is my favourite romantic comedy. Truly a breakthrough in Hindi commercial cinema in terms of characters and plot.

Jagga Jasoos, however, is not a wow film. It might bore you even. But yes, the intention to do something absolutely different makes you go easy on Basu. And your heart says, at least he tried. Like all the other failed heroes before him.

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