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.
Bobby Jasoos Review: Direction, Editing and Screenplay
Samar Shaikh makes a stable debut and as a first timer he must be complimented that his skills are quite etched contrary to the story he had picked up. Though the stretched gags of ‘Aamna Ki Talaash’ et al drag on tediously, Shaikh needs to work on his scripts better or probably use the scripts better. The film’s screenplay in the first hour is terrific. Building up the taut tapestry, infusing it with enigma and lacing it with edginess, the filmmaker fails to maintain the tone consistent throughout. It all falls flat with the climax turning sappy and sobby. The after climax shot of the father-daughter reconciliation seemed deliberate, unbelievable and forced.
If there’s anything he should be complimented on, it is Vidya’s character: the credit for which he must share with his writers. It is a well written, layered character who lies more in the real world, somewhere between the over confident and in-confident. The earthly flavor of Vidya’s character however is undone in the last scene where the brooding father who has been unsupportive of her career decision all through the film suddenly has a change of heart out of the blue : only to probably put an end to the film, ay?
The music too is forgettable except ‘Tu’ which I can’t have enough of it.
Bobby Jasoos Review: The Last Word
Bobby Jasoos could have been a crisp, lucid and marvelous film but the overwrought emotional factor got the better out of the story. Plagued by an underwhelming second hour, sloppy editing and a conveniently done hurried climax, the film counts well only for Vidya’s ability to carry a film solely on her shoulders. Her cutesy chemistry with Ali scores too. But know that a detective story hasn’t done well when you crack the story before the detective himself. I am going with a 3/5 for it.
Bobby Jasoos Trailer
Bobby Jasoos releases on 4th July, 2014.
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