Star cast: Rani Mukerji, Vidya Balan.
Plot: The film is based on the Jessica Lall murder case.
What’s Good: The characterisation of Rani Mukerji; the performances of the two lead actresses; the bold script; the music.
What’s Bad: The lack of emotions; the tame climax.
Verdict: No One Killed Jessica will be liked by the city-based, multiplex-frequenting audience but not by the public in smaller centres and those going to the single-screen cinemas.
Loo break: None at all.
To Watch Or Not? Definitely! Aesthetically, very good.
UTV Motion Pictures’ No One Killed Jessica (A) is based on the true-life story of the Jessica Lall murder case and how it had to be reopened by the court due to public outcry against the verdict of holding the murderer not guilty. Although it does not profess to be a blow-by-blow account of the real-life murder case, it borrows heavily from the case
Sabrina Lall (Vidya Balan) and her family are woken up one night by a phone call informing them that her sister, Jessica (Myra Karn) had been shot at. On rushing to the hospital, they are informed by Jessica’s friend, Vikram (Neil Bhoopalam), that Jessica had been shot at by a customer at the pub at which she was volunteering as a bartender that night with him. The customer’s instigation to shoot at Jessica was her refusal to serve him a drink after the bar was closed for the night.
Jessica breathes her last the same night. The murderer and his two friends are soon arrested. What seems to be an open-and-shut case because of the hundreds of eyewitnesses in the murder case, who were present at the pub when Jessica was shot at, turns out to be a nightmarish experience for Jessica’s family. Most of the eyewitnesses back out by lying to the police that they had left the pub when the firing took place. The handful of witnesses, who do decide to testify in court, are bought out and/or threatened by the influential political family of the killer, Manish Bharadwaj (Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub). Finally, the killer is pronounced innocent in the absence of any witness in court and is set free.
Mira Gaity (Rani Mukerji) is a fiesty news reporter working for a television news channel. Shocked by the court’s verdict, Mira decides to educate the public by presenting the truth about the murder before it. No sooner does she gather some evidence to prove that Manish is guilty and telecast her story than public support starts building up. Mira tries to get Sabrina on her channel but a dejected and disgusted Sabrina doesn’t respond to the TV channel’s calls. By now, Sabrina’s mother has passed away because of the shock of her daughter’s killer going scot free. Sabrina’s father has been hospitalised due to the double shock. But once the momentum builds up and the public is ready to come out in large numbers to condemn the court verdict in the Jessica Lall murder case, Mira gets Sabrina to participate in the candle march held in her memory.
The growing public outcry forces the president of India to ask the court to reopen the murder case. Manish’s family members are exposed for buying out the eyewitnesses in the case. Finally, the court holds Manish guilty and punishes him with life imprisonment in the same case in which he had been earlier held innocent.