Actress: Vidya Balan, Zarina Wahab
Release Date: 4th July, 2014
Cast: Vidya Balan, Ali Fazal, Arjan Bajwa, Anupriya, Supriya Pathak, Tanvi Azmi, Aakash Dahiya, Rajendra Gupta, Kiran Kumar, Benaf Dadachanji, Prasad Barve, Zarina Wahab
Director: Samar Shaikh
Writer: Sanyuktha Chawla
Producer/s: Dia Mirza, Sahil Sangha
Plot: Bobby is the oldest of three sisters, way past her ‘marriageable age’, her sister Noor, the textbook good daughter is in the prime of it, and the youngest one Zeenat is 11 nowhere near it.
Her father Haroon Ahmed, a repairman in the Deccan railways, is responsible for five women. His wife, Zebonisa who protects Bobby fiercely and will do anything to have peace and harmony at home, she has a warm effervescent personality and can see the lighter side of almost any situation.
Ammi’s widowed sister Kausar also lives with them, she is Moghulpura’s known matchmaker, Bobby discovered her jasoosi abilities first when she was sent for background checks by Kausar Khala for matches she was making in the area. The desperate need to break free from background checks on cheating grooms, tracing family history keeps pushing Bobby to look out for lucrative and adventurous jasoosi opportunities.
In a community where a woman’s identity is lost in a burkha and marriage is a duty, Bobby keeps breaking the rules. At thirty she dares to dream of a successful Private Detective Business and especially hates the whole preoccupation with marriage.
Pista house se lekar urdu galli tak, Mehendi gali se hotel naaz tak Bobby knows all the nooks and crannies of Charminar and its nearby Moghulpura area. She has skill, she has ambition, she has courage, all she needs is a big break.
This oportunity comes with Aneez Khan in all his steely, mysterious and yet regal glory, only someone as local as Bobby can help end this man’s search. Bobby’s Pvt. Ltd. Business finally kickstarts with unbridled enthusiam, but in the process fails to understand the motive behind Khan’s quest. Will Bobby succeed in solving Khan’s case? Will she truly understand the reason why Khan has come to her? Will it all be too late when she does?
Bobby Jasoos is set in the core of the still unadulterated milieu of Hyderabad. The part of the city that is considered the oldest but is slowly yet steadily accepting change. Bobby is the voice of Indian youth and celebrates the aspiration that defines them. Bobby Jasoos is about the triumph of the human spirit as it survives the chases and thrills through the bylanes of Charminar. Bobby perseveres, fights the odds, learns from her losses and strives to solve a case that seems way too much for her.
Rating: 3/5 Stars (Three Stars)
Star cast: Vidya Balan, Ali Fazal, Arjan Bajwa, Anupriya, Supriya Pathak, Tanvi Azmi, Aakash Dahiya, Rajendra Gupta, Kiran Kumar, Benaf Dadachanji, Prasad Barve, Zarina Wahab
Director: Samar Shaikh
What’s Good: Vidya’s thunderous performance and the cheery chemistry she shares with Ali Fazal.
What’s Bad: The half baked second half and a pretty predictable climax which spilled over into the melodramatic zone quite needlessly.
Loo break: Some!
Watch or Not?: Bobby Jasoos makes a half decent attempt to attain the wholesome pace and the gritty thrill of Sujoy Ghosh’s Kahaani. And going by this film’s first half alone, it is semi successful. But that’s all. Minus Vidya, the film is quite a staple Bollywood affair which I had hoped was earnest about breaking the stereotypical shackles. Lamentably, Bobby Jasoos entangles itself gravely in gratuitous family and love issues. In my opinion both Balan and her character deserved a better ‘Kahaani’. Not half as bad but falls notches below the desired cut.
Bobby is 30 year old, who qualifies as pretty much a burden on her family simply because she has chosen for herself an uncanny career. Bobby is a private detective who is neither qualified nor trained to be one.
After being shunned by all, she decides on opening her own firm. She is pretty much a flop at it till one day a rich man gives her big bucks to solve a case. It seems that Bobby gets lured by money into a path of misdeeds. Can Bobby clear her conscience off it and fix it all right? The movie holds the secret of it all.
Bobby Jasoos Review: Script Analysis
The idea itself seemed straight out of McCall Smith’s detective series but wasn’t even remotely close to it in terms of flavor. To give Sanyukta Shaikh full credit, she keeps her story bubbly and original. Throughout the first half, I was engrossed in the narrative. It was a jaunty tapestry of fun and mystery in equal measures. The pace was just about right and till interval the film seeps you in with terrific vigor. But with the second half wrapping up into a convoluted climax, the spry look begins to fade away with the agility of the story wearing out.
As an afterthought, I was sure the blame of it goes to the film’s cracked storyline. The statement won’t be incorrect if we say that the movie tries too much at one shot. Had the focus remained on keeping intact the thrill, adding dashes of a refreshing romance, the film could have been far better.
I loved the nuances of the script though which renders to its lead actress a great deal of power. The film opens with a couple making out and a maulvi clicking them while they are at it. The disguises are perfectly toned and gives the story the rightful pitch that was expected of it. For a film of this mettle, the climax doesn’t do it any justice. It wasn’t unexpected or out of the blue. Though the lit up face of Vidya after finally establishing her prowess as a Jasoos makes it seem a little better, the problem lies alone with the way the mystery of the movie is wound up. It is done too easily, it is not unexpected and it is tad bit melodramatic for my taste. I only have my expectation to blame for it all.
But it would be going too far with it, if I say that the film completely falls below my expectations. At one department, it quite surprised me. The romantic track was quite par excellence. From that one scene in a dingy alley outside Tassavur’s house to the scene where Tassavur describes Bobby’s qualities to his father only to realize how similar Bobby is to the imagination he has of a perfect girl in his mind, are all perfect ones. Also the non conclusive ending is a winner for me always. More than the disguises or Vidya, quite eerily the love and warmth of Bobby’s chemistry with Tassavur worked!
Bobby Jasoos Review: Star Performances
Vidya Balan is lively in her spirited performance. She revels in her role brilliantly and though some might presume that this is Kahaani Part 2, the contents of this is not even on the same plane as the Sujoy Ghosh marvel. Fiesty, fiery, fearsome and firm, she brings alive the character brilliantly on screen probably even elucidating it beyond its sketched contours. She is at her undeniably charming best but the story doesn’t live up to her caliber.
Ali Fazal is another revelation. I guess he has hardly ever grabbed for himself an eye grabbing part but in this film despite a very overshadowing presence of Balan, the guy shines. He could have been used more but in an out and out woman centric film, his role gets ample bandwidth and Fazal uses it well.
Rajendra Gupta plays the stereotype without improvising his charcater at all. Surpriya Pathak isn’t anything like her Ramleela pinnacle. She has again settled for ordinary role and seems content with them. Tanvi Azmi is absolutely wasted in the film and so is Zarina Wahab.
Kiran Kumar is not sensational either. He doesn’t achieve something extraordinary with his role but is just passably good at what he does.
Arjan Bajwa is noticeable but his character lacks the required steady stay throughout the film. The association with the climax was pretty predictable and the needful mystery element doesn’t quite fit the bill.