The primary target of Anurag Basu’s new film Jagga Jasoos is the little kids. The juvenile simple story is trying to tell them a tale about a boy who is in search of his father. And to make the “conveying a message” part more efficient, the film ends with a sequence where they are talking about replacing weapons with things that would spread happiness. Intended to be a Barfi like fun ride with emotional bits, Jagga Jasoos falls short of its target by a considerable margin.
Jagga is this young orphan boy who was raised in a hospital. He has this stammering issue because of which he wasn’t speaking to anyone. At one point in life he saves the life of a man who later becomes his father figure. But that man leaves him at another point, but kept his contact through VHS tapes. The film is about the journey of the grown up Jagga to find his father when the tapes stopped coming.
As Jagga has stammering issues, he sings to talk smoothly and Anurag Basu uses that logic to make this movie a musical. It is indeed a very interesting and impressive decision looking at the kind of freshness we would get to see on screen. But when you look at the convoluted script of the movie that is stuffed with numerous subplots just to add more of these choreographed witty bits, the musical treatment is a burden to the movie after a point. Much like the previous success of Ranbir-Basu duo, they are trying to invest on genuine emotions soaked in funny moments. But because of its excruciating length, the gap between one laugh and another one is five yawns.
Anurag Basu who made Barfi in the similar platform intends to make the canvas huge this time. After initial sequences set in rural India and outskirts of Kolkata, the film shifts to the African cities. Our lead pair is doing too much adventurous stuff there. They running on the top of the train, they are on the back of ostriches, jumping on top of buildings, flying a small plane and many things that would remind you of something like Tintin. The lack of planning in execution clearly shows up as we can see certain abrupt cuts. And there are way too many characters in this almost 3 hour long movie and you may miss the plot by the time the film ends. Ravi Varman’s cinematography which occasionally would remind you of the frames we see in Wes Anderson movies is one big positive here. An adventure ride kind of a film needs such visual quality. It’s a throughout musical and Pritam and Amitabh Bhattacharya have done quite a remarkable job in making the musical portion sound engaging. Visual effects were extremely disappointing and I must say that I was hoping for a better result in that department because of Disney.
Ranbir Kapoor is easily the best actor in his generation and here also this brilliant actor takes up the challenge and delivers a great performance. Whether it was those humorous scenes or the scene where he breaks up completely struggling to utter a word, you just can’t deny the fact that he was superb. Katrina Kaif has the cute looks to be the companion, but her emotions as always falls flat. Saswata Chatterjee plays the role of Jagga’s father with great conviction. A talented actor like Saurabh Shukla was wasted in a character which demanded very less from him.
Jagga Jasoos should have been a comic book in my opinion. And just like how Marvel and DC introduced various characters in sequels of Superhero movies, Anurag Basu should have used all those numerous characters for different Jagga Jasoos films. Ravi Varman’s frames and Ranbir’s earnest performance deserves appreciation, but the movie is still far from good.
Ravi Varman’s frames and Ranbir’s earnest performance deserves appreciation, but Jagga Jasoos is still far from good.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended