Director: Anurag Basu
Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Saswata Chatterjee, Saurabh Shukla
You have to applaud Ranbir Kapoor and Anurag Basu for their magical film Jagga Jasoos. A film that is rich in music, visual delight and the best of all, a wonderful experience that will stay with you like your own happiness. It’s very hard to tell a story that is less in dialogues and more in songs but Basu has achieved that feat, making a beautiful connection with the audience. It has a flawed script but nonetheless, its execution is top notch.
Ok, so take a story of a detective Jagga (Ranbir Kapoor) who is in search of his missing father. Jagga is a brilliant detective due to his outstanding observation skills. He solves many cases and one day, he embarks on a journey to know what happened with his dad. Now, the story is not so uncommon; so what’s so special about Jagga Jasoos? It’s the way this story has been told. The interest generating Jagaa’s character from his childhood to present day, his highly strong and emotional bond with his father, his investigative acumen, his ability of case-solving and eventually finding about the truth of his father, all have been dealt with a magical blend of music and visuals.
After Barfi, it is expected that Basu is going to give that appealing look to the film with Ravi Varman’s cinematography and he has again succeeded in it. The cases Jagga solves are good but the presentation is great. It has both comedy and darkness. The locations become more fairy-tale like due to the treatment by Varman which are colorful and energetic.
Ranbir Kapoor is the ultimate reason why Jagga Jasoos has worked so well. There is no doubt why he is the best actor of this generation. Almost every defining scene of the movie is told through a song and there come his expressions which are sharp, funny but most importantly, interesting. He keeps the story flow smoothly and you can’t take your eyes off his impeccable performance.
Image Source: UTV Motion Pictures
Ranbir’s stuttering, the pro-active look when he is solving the case, his longing for his father and the way he looks at Shruti (Katrina Kaif) touches your heart. His dance in Galti Se Mistake is engaging so is the way he cries when he doesn’t get a gift from his dad on one of his birthdays. I repeat, Ranbir Kapoor is the best actor of this generation.
Pritam is equally vital to this film as Basu as he is, in a way, has given the soul to the film in the form of songs which constitute the major part of Jagga Jasoos. Just think, there’s a song only based on one dialogue ‘Sab Khaana Khaake Daru Pee Ke Chale Gaye’ and it just connects with you. Every song, how simple or deep, has been crafted to feel lively. It’s also Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics that take the songs and film to higher level.
Now, I am coming to some flaws of the film. Sometimes, ambition makes you overlook a few important details. Jagga Jasoos feels lengthy in the latter stages. It could have been an absolutely effective story had its length been kept for 2 hours 15 minutes or so. The part when Jagga goes to find his father is dealt poorly. It is messy and it feels disappointed because till now, every scene had so much depth and visual-musical pleasantness. The final chase is very ordinary and lacks the quality.
Also, the bigger picture of the movie is fine but a small time detective, without any contacts, solving major crimes, is still not convincing. A slight cinematic liberty has been taken by Anurag Basu which was a put off. Katrina Kaif is not really suitable for this role as having so much to contribute with the role; the makers should have cast a better actress. Sure, Katrina is charming on screen, but her expressions are linear or I can even say, negligible. Thanks to Ranbir, those problems are not much evident as he is seen in almost every frame and his presence is dominant.
On a final note, I would say this, watch Jagga Jasoos to see how a story can be told in a better way. The honesty of camera work to show the characters and their expressions, the clever usage of music, locations to give you a feel of a peculiar world, these are not easy tasks but when many cinematic departments endeavor to do something different, the result is astonishing. Jagga Jasoos is that wonderful product. It has flaws in script, but it is a film that you should experience for its unique treatment.
Jagga Jasoos works for its wonderful and magical execution, helmed by Anurag Basu. Ranbir Kapoor is outstanding as a sharp detective and his performance is the best thing of the movie. If only its story would have been shorter and more logical, it could have flied much higher. Overall, it’s an engaging movie.