Capsule Review: Ajji
The unconventionality of having a grandmother as the protagonist about crime and revenge is what makes Devashish Makhija's cold thriller a tantalizing watch. Ajji is an ambitious story of an old woman who takes the law into her own hands – cliché in the town – and asks us to wonder about the consequences. You tend to incline to the positive because you want her to win and so do the colorful characters who help her, but what we don't see are the obvious superhero powers that she possesses which you cannot blame on the power of will or circumstances. Sexual molestation of minors is definitely a grave topic and one that must be discussed openly but that doesn't mean you celebrate the idea of self-righteousness especially when related to the matters of justice. Ajji is definitely an engaging watch with clever camera work, mirror placements, wonderful performances, and above all, a magically complementing sunless setting. Everything works except for the enthusiastic plot for a film that is evidently the wheels of this crime drama. An accident is inevitable. TN.
(As part of the Young Film Critics Lab 2017 at the 19th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.)