In the past year or so, we have been witness to some prominent heroines such as Manju Warrier, Jyothika etc. venture back into mainstream cinema . The latest to join that bandwagon is Aishwarya Rai who had taken a career break for motherhood. Her comeback vehicle is Sanjay Gupta's "Jazbaa", who is infamous for blatant ripoffs of Hollywood & Korean movies. Well the trailer seemed stylish & evokes expectations, but will it be the fairy tale return for Ash???
Anuradha Verma (Aishwarya Rai) is a prominent criminal lawyer whose exceptional competence meant she got her clients off the hook, irrespective of whether they were guilty or not; if they were able to afford her hefty pay check. Things take a turn when her daughter gets kidnapped & she is instructed to defend a convicted felon as ransom. With a few days left for the final verdict on that case, she had to race against time & ensure she turned the tables on an open & shut case for the sake of her daughter. With the help of her childhood friend, Inspector Yohan (Irrfan Khan) suspended from the force for charges of corruption; they try to unravel evidence that could possibly prove that the case wasn't as crystal clear as it seemed. But with time, it becomes apparent that there were other stronger forces at play who didn't wish that the case was reopened. So can Anuradha save her daughter & if so, at what cost???
It's been a couple of years since Sanjay Gupta had last made his appearance felt at the theatres through "Shootout at Wadala". To be frank, I have never been a fan of his movies as it oozed style & lacked content in most cases. Another aspect of all of his movies was that they were either copied from the West or Far East, which I didn't actually mind as long as it appealed to the senses; but invariably it didn't. His latest venture is also said to be a rip off of a Korean movie titled "Seven Days" (which I haven't seen), that has the premise of a thriller, but it failed to rise beyond a certain level & relegates to a melodramatic flick. Though the climax does provide a twist, it doesn't quite surprise the audience as expected & culminates in a predictable manner. In the technical department, the BGM by Amar Mohile was irritating while the colour tone used by Sameer Arya in the visuals didnt make it an enjoyable experience. However, Bunty Nagi's editing was crisp while Kamlesh Pandey's dialogues was witty at times.
Though Ash doesn't quite fit into the top bracket of actresses (in terms of skill), she has done a decent job as the protagonist. Irrfan Khan tries to do justice to his role which didn't quite have the depth for an actor of his caliber, due to which it fails to impress. The same applies to Shabana Azmi & Atul Kulkarni as well, while the rest seemed average in their brief roles.
Verdict: There is no doubt that the movie isn't going to make much impact at the box office & will depend on the multiplexes to break even. It should be able to do that after all there isn't much competition around & also due to its reasonable budget. So is it worth a try??? Hmm..well only if you are a fan of Ash or else forget it!!!
Take a city, add bombastic dialogs, add lots of green, and you get a Sanjay Gupta Film. Take the recipe, add an actress who had a hiatus of at least 5 years, and you get Jazbaa. Had it been 7 years, you would have got Jazbaaa, 8 then Jazzbaaa, 9 then Jjazzbaaa, and so on, but that's not the issue here.
After showing the audience that she is fit and fine to come back to the screen by running through Marine Drive, Bachchan starts portraying the roles of a criminal lawyer, a marathon sprinter, a helicopter mom, and a Gold medallist screamer. Boy, she can scream anywhere, anytime, and at anybody. Suddenly, her school-going daughter is kidnapped by a tech-savvy abductor-cum-hacker-cum-righteous mamzer who demands that she fight the case of a convicted drug dealer and let him walk free.
To our surprise, she agree to pay the unique ransom, and helping her in her child-saving mission is her childhood friend (really?), rustily played by Khan who is himself fighting an alleged graft case for heck's sake. What follows is neither new to our thriller senses nor is novel by an of its look-good approaches.
Throwing green and more green at you just because it's your signature style does not work in 2015. We have reached Mars, for god's sakes. Apart from those delivered by Khan, all the dialogs are preposterous. Do you think you would scream "Where are you?" to a kidnapper who has just abducted your baby? Mr. Gupta does.
Mrs. Bachchan's performance is particularly cringe-worthy as she moves here and there with a dead stare in her eyes and a lion's roar for a throat. Reacting throughout the film like you hate everybody is not the appropriate type of characterization that one adds into a story whose climax is more apparent than the actors' ages. The protagonist plays a lawyer who only defends known, guilty offenders because, she claims, "those who are not guilty cannot afford her." With this attitude, I had Arybhatta's greatest invention of cares to give.
The screenplay is a hot mess. Trying to slip in few songs between a thriller film is the lowest thing Gupta has done for Jazbaa. There's even a hip hop song by Badshah somewhere which had great similarities with his number in Khoobsurat. It reminded me of its actress and I was done for the day.
Courtroom sequences are nicely carved jokes here, where the judge is sleeping and the advocates themselves reaching a verdict, even making few educated guesses in front of him; it was unintentional humor. They are so bad that just these sequences can be tried in a real court for perjury. There's also a touch of activism, for cryin' out loud.
I am all for woman-centric films, but churning out rubbish in the name of thrills and hiring an actress with a huge fandom and telling an ordinary story will be received the same way how other recent films are received in Bollywood, irrespective of the genre. Shroff and Azmi did a good job.
BOTTOM LINE: Sanjay Gupta's Jazbaa is maybe made for the modern world where every other person is a thug, but after analysis, it just looks like green beef.
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES
JUST SAW.. IT IS SIMPLY FABULOUS..