Jazbaa Movie Review

Friday, October 9, 2015
When the popular channel Star One premiered, a popular show called Siddhant was a hit with the audience. The story of a lawyer with a 100% track order has always made for an interesting drama. Sanjay Gupta's Jazbaa borrows its germ from the Korean flick Seven Days but could've taken a cue from the skillfully executed television soap mentioned above. The only and probably the biggest flaw with Jazbaa is its weak screenplay that displays the weakness of its writers and their inability to mould the top notch story with their novel touch. The story is powerful - a sharp, dyanamic lawyer who fights cases for money is fighting for family as a mother against another mother whose daughter was brutally defiled. While watching Jazbaa, on one hand you'll be overcome with the urge to root for its characters and on the other, you'll be too distracted by the discrepancies in the plotline. You can't watch this film without feeling guilty and we can be accused of enjoying this faulty yet fantastic entertainer. It is underwhelming in parts and absolutely enthralling in others.
All that is good about the film can hardly be credited to the captain of the ship, who fails to polish his film adequately. Gupta is unnecessarily descriptive where it is not needed, straight plunges for over-the-top and superfluous drama and his penchant for dialoguebaazi makes the film meander too much. Such films are better played subtle, an art Gupta clearly has no idea about. It is painfully green in colour and though cinematographer Sameer Arya's slick job at the camera is unmissable, the film is over stylised for the story it intends to tell, compromising on the soul.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has chosen her comeback film well. This isn't a vanity project for her and she adopts her challenging part with such gravitas, well for a large part, that it is hard to believe the actress is emerging fresh from a five-year long hiatus. The best part about Jazbaa is the undefined chemistry between Aishwarya and Irrfan. The latter lights up the frame as the cop who wear swagger on his sleeve. The two have an unstated bond which is such a refreshing change in a Sanjay Gupta film, that mostly has a tendency of creating things that are far too on-the-face. Their dependency on each other is beautifully created and amidst all the preaching and the heavy duty punch lines, the director conjures up something pleasantly surprising.
The film's first hour crawls and it takes a lot of patience to sit through the gimmicky display of antics which in Gupta's world stands for acting. Aishwarya's Anuradha is infallible as the advocate who makes winning cases look like a cakewalk. Irrfan's Yohaan is desi-filmy hero whose only job was to slap audiences with dialogues. At one point, the wisecracks kill. But once, you return with your popcorn tub reloaded, ready to brave more of Kamlesh Pandey's whipping punchlines, the film miraculously changes. Aishwarya who till then seemed unsure of the landscape she was working around, adapts for better. Her altercations with Shabana Azmi is such treat to watch and even the court-scenes with Atul Kulkarni are absolutely delightful. In the last 30 minutes or so, the film's tempo rises with the sharp and enticing twists raising the energy and knotting up the drama in a gritty climax.
There is intrigue, power and panache in the film but the melodrama often dulls the ups. While its primary cast is excellent, the writers have been sketchy in contouring their characters who are too superficial and lack depth. For instance, Ash sports red eyes all through the film which is apparently a show of her anguish and pain and yet, the perfect mascara is never overstepping the mark. When she spots her daughter in the never-ending bridge sequence, Ash is made to ham. She is abhorrently loud and knowing Ash's body of work, it is evident that the actor merely played out Gupta's directive. Her slow-mo runs and unbearable songs, too contribute in running down the film's zing. Chandan Roy Sanyal, Jackie Shroff and Siddhanth Kapoor are just wasted in the film that could've done well without them lurking in when least required.
Jazbaa is daring, menacing, intriguing and aptly gripping but is never more than a shadow of its original. Novelty is avoidable if the product is able to latch itself to your subconscious (My facourite example of this is Barfi), but Jazbaa barely scrapes through on those grounds. It works but it could've been so much better. 
Had Irrfan not ended the film with the regressive "Mohabbat thi isliye jaane diya...zid hoti toh baahon mein hoti…”, we could’ve considered being kinder. Hoots aside, get some perspective commercial cinema!
We rate the film a judicious 60% 

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