Sunday, July 16, 2017

A nostalgic blabber on Jagga Jasus

This is one of the daring mainstream Hindi movies in recent times. Good to see a totally different kind of storytelling. It's amazing that, in the peak time of his career, Ranbir Kapoor chose such a movie to be a part of. Anurag Basu also deservs a special credit to materialize this movie. Surely, the film has everything in it, to be a flop among the Indian viewership. We can watch the flying cars out of nowhere in Salman-Sharukh's or foreign movies, but can't appreciate such excellent cinematography. We can love La-la-land, but not an Indian musical.

Anyway, this movie becomes closer to my heart, because of the parellels that it creates, related some of the fond childhood memories and movies. Those parallels become evident, just into the first few minutes of the movie. Early on, we discover that all the dialogues are rhymes. Just like what we watched and heard in our favourite Bengali classic, Satyajit Ray's Hirak Rajar Deshe. However, Anurag improves it by making the English subtitles rhythmic as well. Ray only tried rhythms for the Bengali dialogues. Anuraag and his team deserve a special credit for putting all this hard work together. Moreover, we all know how Hirak Rajar Deshe was a satirical depiction of the India Gandhi's emergency period. Similarly, Jagga Jasoos also touches some sensitive issues of the current government, with subtelty and humour.

And then there's reference to Shundi. Shundi, as probably many of us know, is one of the kingdom in the Satyajit Ray's famous children film, "Gupi Gain Bagha Bain". Here, Jagga finds his beloved lost father in the land of happiness, named Shundi. Then, there is a sequence of catching a train which has already passed a certain station. Jagga, the investigator chases down the train with a small plane. In our iconic Indian adventure film, "Sonar Kella", our own idol investigator, Feluda tries catching a passed train by riding a camel in a dessert. And, there are so many more parallels like these ones. Seeing all those, it feels like that Anurag has probably made this film with his "Agapashtala" (means "all along") Bengali part of his heart.

But as with most things in the world, everything is not good in the movie. It's too long. Although I am in favour of artistic freedom, but some songs can really be kept for promotion. A part of those songs could be included in the movie. Also, the ending of the story was stretched unnecessarily long, when the end became pretty obvious at some point. Easily, 30 minutes or more could be saved. Anurag should have understood that a musical is good, only for maximum 2 hours.

Finally, the movie is about boldness and showing what Indian directors are capable of, if they make movies by their heart and not for money. So, cheers to that boldness and independence of art!

P.S - The movie's base-story is the Purulia Arms Drop Case. Thanks to Anurag for bringing this up. You can web-search about this case. But in a nutshell, Congress and Ananda Margis (a dubious Hindu outfit) purportedly tried toppling the democratically elected West Bengal government in 1995 with the help of CIA, by providing firearms from the foreign bodies. So, yeah, Bijan Setu massacre was unfortunate, but some intentions were pretty clear.

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