‘Jagga Jasoos’ was an irrelevant word in a dialogue in Ranbir Kapoor’s previous film, ‘Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani’. His character was
Jagga JasoosRanbir is brilliant. The rest is not.
‘Jagga Jasoos’ was an irrelevant word in a dialogue in Ranbir Kapoor’s previous film, ‘Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani’. His character was also in the habit of stammering every once in a while. This must obviously have caught Anurag Kashyap’s fancy when he decided to pen down Jagga Jasoos. The film has been in production ever since, with the making riddled by cash-crunches, unsuitable shooting schedules and a certain rivalry between the lead actors. Five years and a messy break-up later, Ranbir Kapoor (also one of the producers of the film), and Anurag Kashyap present to us an almost three hour long Disney movie, with a lot of quirk and Katina. So, is it worth a watch? Read on.
First let’s meet the actors:
Ranbir Kapoor as Jagga
Katrina Kaif as Shruti Sengupta
Saswata Chatterjee as Tooti-Footi
Saurabh Shukla as the comical villain
Jagga Jasoos is above all things a Disney musical. There are 10-odd song sequences, Jagga does not speak, he either sings or stammers. Katrina is lady bad-luck, and she too, for obvious reasons, doesn’t really have too much to say. So if you aren’t in the mood to watch an unreal musical intended for six year olds, you can very easily dismiss the idea of buying a ticket for Ranbir’s latest film (most likely another commercial disappointment). If however, you are one of the more curious, more adventurous film-goers, you may want to read ahead.
Jagga Jasoos is an adventure film. Jagga is a lonely school boy, who doesn’t have too much in the name of family. He has a keen eye and a knack to see beyond the obvious. This makes him a relatively good detective. (The kind you would find in Enid Blyton novels). After giving us a glimpse of his sleuthing abilities, the makers then present us with the actual plot. Jagga must find his father who has abruptly gone missing. He doesn’t have too much help, not even a high-school certificate, but he does have his trove of bad-luck, Katrina Kaif. A reporter who can’t seem to walk straight or as much as drink water without spilling it. This unlikely duo set out to find Jagga’s dad, but soon find themselves entangled in things much murkier than they had expected.
This is the premise, however, the film is not presented to us in this sequence, its haphazard and badly edited. The movie spends too much time simply being quirky or fantastical, and very little time adhering to the ill-conceived script. Another issue is the blatant pilferage. Anurag Kashyap has repeated his infamous act of unnecessary plagiarism. Jagga Jasoos looks very much like Ace Ventura. Half of the gags are hopeless repeats of black and white Charlie Chaplin films, and Pritam hasn’t shied away from bringing us soundtracks similar to popular Mexican tunes.
In contrast, what works for the film, is that it is very different from usual Hindi cinema. It’s fresh and unconventional. After all, how long can one watch the same boy-meets-girl story. How long must we endure the tiring tirade of illogical melodramas. Jagga Jasoos isn’t a wonderful film, but at least it tries to step out of the regular Bollywood comfort zone. (A step in the correct direction). If only Jagga Jasoos could have added a little more emotion, fewer quirks, more dialogue than dance and song (and of course, any actress but Katrina), it would have spelt-out a fun evening.
Ranbir Kapoor has done it again. He has acted brilliantly in a film that was doomed from the start. Why the superstar does not change this pattern, even after so much negative reinforcement, is beyond comprehension. With Jagga Jasoos, he went a step further and invested his own money into the production. Ranbir Kapoor obviously is tired of mundane scripts, and wants to create spectacular cinema. The issue is, that in order to achieve something so ambitious, you require directors like Christopher Nolan and writers like Quentin Tarantino. Until that fateful day, we really hope he gives us a few hits.
Katrina Kaif is a hindrance. Nothing more. In this film, she doesn’t even try to act well. We really don’t appreciate her string of bad performances. Saswata Chatterjee and Saurabh Shukla keep the film alive with their indvidual charm. However, they too have been inefficiently utilized by a director who was in over his head.
In summary, the majority will dislike the film. Some may even crib about having spent their hard earned money to simply watch Ranbir Kapoor ‘make silly faces at them’. If you aren’t a child, or are well adjusted in society and content with the average Bollywood blockbuster, you are definitely going to hate the movie. If however, you are slightly gifted when it comes to lateral thinking, you might even like it. Because at the heart of it, Jaggas Jasoos isn’t bad. It’s just badly made. The editing department is the major culprit. Screenplay and Background score is over-emphasized and the songs are stolen. Only for trying something different, we give Jagga Jasoos an extra star. 3/5 in total.
You will like this film if: You liked Tees Maar Khan, or you are a hard-core Jim Carrey fan
You will dislike this film if:You liked Kal Ho Naa Ho, Ek Tha Tiger or even Drishyam
Best performance: Ranbir Kapoor