Jaadugar, the new Netflix film with OTT superstar Jitendra Kumar as the leading character, is a story that is crowded and cliched. When the gallery starts to sing in the movie’s climax, you will hope that all of it is a dream sequence. But unfortunately, it isn’t, and that’s one of the major issues with Biswapati Sarkar’s writing. With magic, football, and love trying to find their space in a tediously long movie, Jaadugar from Sameer Saxena fails to impress.
The movie is set against the backdrop of a city named Neemuch. They have a local football tournament in which our hero Meenu’s dad and uncle used to shine. After the death of Meenu’s parents, the team became weak, and his uncle Pradeep has been trying to get them that trophy, which was his brother’s dream. How Meenu’s romance and his love for magic come in the way of his uncle’s efforts to make the team win that tournament is what we witness in Jaadugar.
The crowdedness of the plot is the basic problem I felt with the movie. The movie starts off giving us the impression that this is a movie about a small-town guy wanting to be a great magician. But then the football track comes in almost like a humor side track. After a point, romance comes into the picture, followed by football which takes control of the narrative after that. The underdog team’s rise is a template that we all can guess. And the moral dilemma the movie tries to enforce on its central character couldn’t achieve the complexity it aspired to have.
Jitendra Kumar delivers the least impressive performance in his career. Perhaps a significant share of that criticism goes to the writing. The self-oriented nature of the character is presented in a very one-dimensional way. We don’t empathize with Meenu as his love for Disha and Magic always stayed on a superficial level. Arushi Sharma as Disha was okay in her role that was pretty much on the cheesier side. Javed Jaffrey as Pradeep gets a chance to play a role with many layers, and the veteran was fine in that character. The teammates of Meenu looked perfect as those characters. Manoj Joshi, as Jaadugar Chabra, did his part neatly.
The treatment given to this movie is almost like a TVF series. There is an episodic nature to the packaging, which wasn’t really required. Many things that eat up the screen time feel inconsequential in totality. The aim is to find a balance between the three prominent tracks in the film. But sadly, the most predictable track dominates the screenplay, and it rarely moves you emotionally with its graph. The song Kya Khela Re was top-notch, and the quality of the song saved the climax of the film from being a cringe-fest.
Sameer Saxena’s film has the texture of a TVF original, which is a positive. But it is unsure about its aim and wants to achieve too many things. Jaadugar is that kind of movie where you will find it hard to narrate it to someone with full conviction. The moral conflict they have created in the film feels more like a desperate attempt to link two tracks that were going in parallel.
With magic, football, and love trying to find their space in a tediously long movie, Jaadugar from Sameer Saxena fails to impress.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended