Onto the next release of the weekend and I finished watching the new Hindi film Jaadugar on Netflix. I must admit I was the most excited for this film out of all the new releases. One of the reasons for it was Jitendra Kumar who was coming fresh of the success of Panchayat 2. Secondly, the makers involved in the film are prolific storytellers and they keep pushing the envelope in telling heartfelt amd endearing tales which are not quite in the mainstream yet. Its trailer was honestly magical and a concoction of football and magic. Another good thing being that the trailer did not quite reveal the story, something that many trailers are guilty of today(which is why I rarely watch trailers these days), which was a great thing. So the film had many things going in its favour. So then does Jaadugar manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Jaadugar follows the story of a young magician who just cannot play football even to save hos life. However, he must indulge in the game for the love of his life. The story is goofy but magical and it has a vibe of a Hrishikesh Mukherjee film. Do not enter this film thinking it is a slice of life film, it is more of a fantasy where you just need to trust the filmmaker and his world. The screenplay standing at almost 3 hours meant that the drama got slightly repetitive in certain places making it a tad too exhausting. I wonder if this same product could have been cut into a 6 part webseries. But there are many things to like here in the screenplay.
The screenplay never gets too heavy for your liking at any point. It opens with a commentary of the place where the drama is set in with football being the prime focus. Cut to the introduction of the protagonist and his cute little love story number one which lasts only a few reels. The moments created are light and breezy with magic being an integral part of the story. The proceedings are interesting and engrossing although a little stretched in places.
The focus oscillates between magic and football making it a unique match in heaven. The cute little love story number two of the protagonist slowly brings with it a conflict which is a little different although simplistic from what you have seen. The reason given wasn’t entirely satisfactory for me but from there on the focus shifts on the sport. There are moments which are goofy and silly but that is the world which the writers had intended to create in the first place. If anything, the screenplay feels slightly disjointed in certain places as an effort was clearly being made to balance the sports, magic and love elements.
The football bit is decently shot and the on field antics are quite entertaining. The drama is fairly predictable except at certain plotpoints which constantly drive the drama forward. The final 30 minute onfield football drama is pretty good and it also somewhat steers clear of the standard tropes of a sports drama. In between the elements involving magic are exceptional and they really leave a mark. Overall, a light and breezy screenplay with several goofy yet heartfelt and magical moments!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are light and they nevrr get heavy and eventually they leave a mark. The music is sweet and gentle and blends well with the goofy drama which unfolds. The BGM is also pretty good and conveys some of the emotions beautifully. The cinematography is pretty decent. The editing is a little choppy and could have been a little better. Director Sameer Saxena has done a pretty good job although his direction is slightly rough around the edges. But he is able to bring some beautiful emotions in play along with a touch of humour which was a style mastered by Hrishikesh Mukherjee.
The performances are pretty good. Dhruv Thukral, Shaon Zagade, Amit Golani, Aajay Mehra and Sameer Saxena all leave a mark in their respective roles. Raksha Pannwar as Dipa is first rate. Rukshar Dhillon as Ichha looks cute and has a sweet presence onscreen with a nice little performance. Veterans Manoj Joshi and Jaaved Jaaferi both do an excellent job although the latter’s character could have done without a lisp( the comic timing was being missed out on). Arushi Sharma(who was last seen in Love Aaj Kal 2) as Disha looks pretty and does a fabulous job. There are scenes where she commands your attention in what was a towering act. Jitendra Kumar as Meenu has a quiet little charm which he always brings to his characters. He is endearing and sincere here and definitely makes his presence felt even in emotional scenes where he shows his range as a performer.
Jaadugar is a goofy little magical tale which has its heart in the right place. Available on Netflix.