The Jengaburu Curse Review
The Jengaburu Curse Review (Picture Credit: IMDB)

The Jengaburu Curse Review: Star Rating:

Cast: Faria Abdullah, Nassar, Makrand Deshpande, Sudev Nair, Melanie Grey, and ensemble.

Creator: Nila Madhab Panda

Director: Nila Madhab Panda

Streaming On: Sony LIV

Language: Hindi (with subtitles).

Runtime: 7 Episodes, Around 45 Minutes Each.

The Jengaburu Curse Review
The Jengaburu Curse Review (Picture Credit: Youtube)

The Jengaburu Curse Review: What’s It About:

In a remote village in Odissa, a man goes missing. His daughter Priya Das (Faria) returns from London to solve the mystery, only to get entangled in it. In the centre of it, all sands a now mined mountain that is laying its course on them now. The curse unfolds, and Priya has to now save her community.

The Jengaburu Curse Review: What Works:

Some content pieces are not just about entertainment; likewise, some filmmakers walk out there with causes. Their ideology might align with some audiences while it might even be rejected by many, but it is still a cause that deserves to be addressed. Nila Madhab Panda, a filmmaker whom a feature in The Hindu calls ‘The Human Face Of Climate Change,’ is one such voice who rigorously talks about the impact of our ruthlessness on our surroundings leading to climate change. His trilogy Kaun Kitney Paani Main, Kadvi Hawa, and Kalira Atita, (the last one brought him a national award) is an example enough about his voice and cause.

So when he creates an entire show for a platform as good as Sony LIV, he now has the entire slate to talk about what he believes in. The Jengaburu Curse takes the ‘mythology blended into the thrills of real-life tropes ahead. It ties the fictional past to the real present, explaining how there was a whistle-blower for the aforementioned fantasy, and they weren’t entirely wrong. The curse is still a curse, and it could mean any form of harm.

With his partners in crime, Mayank Tewari (Newton, Delhi Crime, Raghini MMS. PS: We don’t talk about The Accidental Prime Minister) on dialogue and screenplay, and Nikhil Ravi for additional screenplay, Nila creates a premise that delves between the effect of commercialization and greed on indigenous communities and the nature. There are intertwined as the fuel for their existence is the Forrest that is been killed. A mountain they were told not to dig at all is now being mined. There is a certain mysterious venom it throws out. Jengaburu means a red mountain, and now the red is in their water streams, slowly killing them.

The writing in The Jengaburu Curse is commendable for the fact that it takes its audience to a landscape that has been mostly used as a stereotypical parallel plot. The problem here is way beyond Naxalites and the visual appearance of people coming from there. There are tribes still not in touch with the progress. They attack a vehicle in the quest for clean water and are labelled Naxal terrorists mindlessly. The law system is absent, and the cabinet of ministers are useless. There is a sharp political commentary, and Mayank Tewari’s experience works well here. He co-wrote an International Emmy Award-winning politically charged show, if you remember, Delhi Crime.

While the premise is strong, the drama in Jengaburu Curse comes from the fact that a woman with no armour decides to fight an entire system and a ruthless one. Nila’s idea is probably to make us believe the fight for cause doesn’t need an army. One person is enough, and it is translated well.

The Jengaburu Curse Review
The Jengaburu Curse Review (Picture Credit: Youtube)

The Jengaburu Curse Review: Star Performance:

Faria Abdullah is as natural as she can be as Priya. The character comes organically to her, and it doesn’t seem like she is acting. Her emotions land well, the vulnerabilities can be felt, and the rage evokes what it is supposed to. The actor is good at what she is expected to do.

Makrand Deshpande, though he doesn’t get much to do, is an excellent actor, and such parts are a cakewalk for him. Talking of cakewalks, Nassar knows what is expected out of him and brings the correct amount of drama to the table. Sudev Nair is a good choice, but he doesn’t get much to do in the larger scheme of things.

The Jengaburu Curse Review: What Doesn’t Work:

While the mythology and the real world do walk quite closely in The Jengaburu Curse, they don’t blend entirely. The biggest reason behind it is that we never really enter the mining base until the very end. And when we do, it isn’t enough to understand the magnificence of it. Like we aren’t shown how that landscape looked before machines turned it into a mining settlement. So our empathy is always with the tribe; it is never much with the mountain that is now dug to extract the poison, which is gold for the rich. Because we haven’t ever seen the mountain, or its insides considering it is the main character.

The screenplay keeps circling in the outer orbit for a long time and rushes towards the core when it sees a chance. The rush can be seen, and maybe a gradual walk towards the core subject could have worked better.

Many characters Don’t get a satisfying Redemption, good or bad. We are told that the ore that is being extracted from the mountain is capable of running a system stronger and wilder than AI and Quantum Computing. Still, the way we are told about it is so half-baked that you look at it as another brand of crackers for your Diwali celebration. Which is not the way the makers want us to see, I guess.

The Jengaburu Curse Review: Last Words:

The Jengaburu Curse is a show that comes out of a mill run by some strong voices. This is not your breezy stuff, go in prepared, and there is no harm.

Must Read: Kohrra Review: Violence Is In The Idea & That Idea Wraps You In Its Melancholy Till The Very End

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