NOT A GRITTY TALE , JAI GANGAAJAL

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 05 Mar 2016 17:32:35

NOT A GRITTY TALE


 

JAI GANGAAJAL

By Aasawari Shenolikar

“ MADAM / SIR, Aaj aapne hamein mardb ana diya. ” This is uttered by a couple ofpolice officers, and the recipient is AbhaMathur (Priyanka Chopra),the SP of Bankiganj, after shebeats up a few goons with these two uniformed guys just standing by and enjoying the show.

Reason - the khaki clad pot bellied men are on the payroll of the corrupt politicians and will not raise a hand when the localrogues torture the aam aadmior aurat.

But the gutsy Abha Mathur, looks everyone squarely in the eye - be it the crooked Minister or the dishonest MLA-and is not daunted by their veiled threats or open intimidation.

Written, directed and produced by Prakash Jha, Jai Gangaajal is not a sequel to the gritty Gangaajal but is a fresh take on the age -old socio political issues that are still dogging the country.

Unfortunately, Jha takes too much on his plate andthe film that revolves around the power-hungry and greedy politicians , the corrupt police officers, the land mafia, the farmers ' suicide , the frustrated aam aadmi becomes chaotic and confusing as it loses steam and focus as it trudges along.

However, rather than portraying PC as the hero of the film and making it one more in the 'women empowerment' list of films, Prakash Jha, who debuts as an actor with Jai Gangajaal, ensures that he bags the most footage, thus overshadowing PC.

As his character sways from the bad cop to the good cop, he not only gets maximum screen space, he also gets the plum scenes and the dialogues and a platform to show his histrionics.

PC is left merely mouthing dialogues about ' how we should not take the law in our hands and follow the system ' and a couple of scenes where shegets topickupthe ‘ danda ’ and bludge on the criminals in full public view. The talented actor plays her partwell, but it's hard not to notice her perfectly made up face, her well-coiffured hair and the botoxed lips.

If Jha is known for making realistic cinema, he should have made certain that the character he has etched for his leading lady is also as realistic as possible.

Why should PC look as if she has just stepped out of a parlour after beating to pulp a few goons ? And it is hard to digest the fact that a police officer (Jha), who is so steeped in the rotten system, (he owns a five star hotel!) that he will not bat an eyelid to sell his own father, becomes straight after one moral lecture by the SP, a lecture that is as insipid as coffee that has gone cold.

PCis earnest and tries hard tolend credence to her character, but despite the hype and the promotional campaigns - including the National Anthem by the Jai Gangaajal team at multiplexes - PC is not going to take home any awards for this role.

Jha is competent, but then there is too much of him in the film. Manav Kaulas Babloo Pandey and Ninad Kamat as Dabloo Pandey play the evil guys who are out to make everyone's life miserable in the film.

Rahul Bhat is the IIT gold medallist, Harvard returned guy fighting for the rights of the farmers and he surfaces now and then to question ' why ' this ishappening and  ' how ' it can be stopped.

There is so much pandemonium happening on the screen that the audience fails to connect with the film and its characters.

The ennui that sets in after sometime is shattered by the raucous background score and the blaring songs that talk of the corrupt system.

Jai Gangaajal drags and you heave a sigh of relief when it’s time to trudge to the Exit sign. Not power packed!

The Hitavada Rating: ✯ ✯