Before you go ahead reading my opinion, here’s something to let you know how much of a Bollywood freak I am.
In a typical Friday with an anticipated release, much of my time is spent on googling the reviews of the movie, or waiting for tweets of the critics. I am not a guy who would go in for the First Day First Show without knowing the outcome of the film. So, reviews are what I rely on to judge whether I could watch the film, no matter how dying I am to actually watch it.
Jagga Jasoos, a film mired with controversies and delays has been on top of my most anticipated releases since the trailer broke out. It was not just me, but the entire industry who was waiting for the verdict on 14th of July. After all, everyone wanted to find out whether this full-blown musical was really worth the wait and money. Will audience accept it? Will it turn out to be good?
Even with those mixed reviews and a dwindling BO performance, I thought I should give it a try. As the beginning credits rolled and the first song “Pictureshuru” played in the background, I just couldn’t resist the wide smile on my face. I had made the right decision.
What followed, is a journey of Jagga and Shruti as they set out to find Jagga’s Tutti-Futti and alongside crack an illegal arms deal. All of it styled like a Disney film, choreographed like a musical and visuals that constantly reminds you of the days you used to read comics and imagine yourself in those situations. It’s outlandish and very far away from reality. But it takes you into the world you once believed existed.
If you like your movies to connect with your sensibilities or leave you thought-provoking, you can wait for the next week’s release Dunkirk. But if, like me, you want to experience your childhood again, forget for those 3 hours that you are a grown, matured adult you should meet Jagga.
As blurred and haphazard as it may be, I understood the vision director Anurag Basu had for the film. He wanted to make a film specifically catering to the kids, with a plot set against a true-life historic event that adults accompanying the kids would relate to, and in a format that was more tried and tested in the west. On the latter, he delivers. Even if the music is headache inducing for some, all would agree that making songs like these, penning lyrics that would make us understand the character and take the story forward and choreographing every scene and not merely playing them is tough. Very tough.
The film has its flaws, sure. The arms drop premise isn’t explained well and there were unnecessary addition of 2-3 songs which didn’t quite take the story forward. Katrina, although serviceable had the film’s most comical moments and a better actor would have lifted those scenes several notches above.
I wouldn’t say the good overshadows the flaws, but it is the unique experience really that makes it impossible to hate the film. Moreover, the passion with which it is made, delayed and exhausting it may be for the team, is truly commendable for an industry which seldom looks for creativity over capital. Lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya, Composer Pritam, Cinematographer Ravi Varman, the crazy-minded Basu and a (literally) speechless performance by Ranbir Kapoor try hard to give you a movie experience like no other
Jagga Jasoos is like that guy in class who solves a problem in a method not specified in the syllabus. Many laugh over it and consider it trash, while some give a pat on his back and appreciate his different approach. Which one of the two are you?
That will answer your query of whether to watch the film or not.