The long weekend is here but before that we at Popcorn Reviewss would like to wish everyone Happy Holi. And the weekend is packed with so many new releases that we have lost count of it. But we will get to them one by one, so stay tuned and continue to show your love and support. First up, I finished watching the New Hindi film Jalsa on Amazon Prime. Not only did the film have a stellar cast but its trailer was extremely intriguing and probably in the neo-noir space. So then is the film worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Jalsa follows the story of a high profile hit and run case. Will the culprit be caught? The story is a chilling psychological drama amidst the class divide. The high rises of Mumbai almost add to the claustrophobia. The mood is created through some dark shades of the city. The screenplay opens with a shocking opening sequence that instantly commands your attention. The actual event lasts for only a split second but it is enough for you to sit up and take notice. As the drama further unfolds, you are introduced to all the characters and how they fit in the puzzle. There is so much to lose as the point of view of the other characters are shown along with the victim’s family and the culprit’s family. The layered screenplay is enough to keep you engaged throughout. One drawback though was that the writing did not aspire to go all out and was just held back at any given point of time. Take for instance, the final act where the makers had a choice to end the film on a very dark note which would have been satisfactory and probably discussed for a long time. But they went ahead with a safer option which kind of made me wonder if the writers were confused on how to end it. The writing is slightly confused and doesn’t pick one side. This at times does go in its favour too but the end just seemed diluted, especially with the terrific buildup. But overall, a gripping screenplay which does not feature a single dull moment.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are conversational and sharp with little to no melodrama which was a great thing. It did leave the desired impact for sure. The BGM is pretty good and also sparingly used with does its bit in heightening the drama. The cinematography and production design are top notch. Director Suresh Triveni who had last directed Tumhari Sulu is in terrific form here. Even though the writing is wobbly, he manages to hold your attention throughout thereby presenting an intriguing drama.
The performances are excellent here by the entire ensemble. Manav Kaul as Anand impresses in a cameo. Sahil Brown as Alam and Junaid Khan as Rizwan have their moments to shine. Kashish Rizwan as Alia is first rate especially in the terrific opening act. Ghanshyam Lalsa as Pradeep and Shrikant Yadav as More are brilliant and they really leave a mark. Rohini Hattangadi as Rukmini and Surya Kasibhatla as Ayush are just so natural onscreen. Iqbal Khan as Amar is terrific and it was so good to see him on the silverscreen again. Vidhatri Bandi as Rohini is probably the find of the series for me. She is brilliant and delivers a memorable act. Vidya Balan as Maya internalises her character brilliantly. She is always in control and never over compensates. The turmoil of her character is wonderfully brought out by her. And it is Shefali Shah who is just so brilliant as Ruksana. She lets her eyes do so much of the talking in a role which stays with you after the film is over. This is truly an acting masterclass by Shefali Shah and Vidya Balan if ever there was one.
Jalsa is a chilling psychological drama with stellar performances. Available on Amazon Prime.