I’ve watched a couple of movies lately and have been itching to write about some of them. I went for Kapoor & Sons most recently. It was a great evening because the movie was really good and we followed it up with dinner at Mezza 9. We went for Jai Gangaajal during my trip to Delhi, and though I am not a fan of either Sonam Kapoor or Priyanka Chopra; I think we should have probably opted for Neerja. Between hubby and me, he is the real movie buff and downloads all the latest stuff, most of which I don’t end up watching. But he downloaded some of the Oscar nominee movies recently and I finally watched The Danish Girl (showing my tongue to Sow & Hg who never accompanied me for this one, when it was in the theatres at Baroda, despite promising to) and Spotlight. I also watched Spectre and Steve Jobs a few days back, erm… not sure why I did so, didn’t particularly enjoy any of the two.
My hubby wanted me to write about Jai Gangaajal especially after I went on and on about why I didn’t enjoy the movie, he probably thought my blog was a better outlet for me ;). So I’ll start with this one and here goes:
This should never have been promoted as a woman centric movie or one targeted at women empowerment, because it was clearly not. I would have lesser issues with the film had it just been promoted as another one from the Ganga Jal franchise. The movie was all about Prakash Jha, it was not about Priyanka Chopra at all. He had the better dialogues and all the impactful scenes, and he was quite brilliant at them no doubt. He is the hero of the movie, the one who manages to put things right after his sudden drastic transformation from corrupt to ethical. Priyanka Chopra, who has given powerful performances in the past (Barfi and Mary Kom), delivered a lacklustre one in this film. She is the good one in the movie, the one with the principles and the ethical stand. But she somehow looks helpless and lost in a number of scenes. She also looks quite subdued, and pardon me, like she’s suffering from a sore throat and slight fever. I kept wondering throughout the movie if she might have been unwell during the majority of the shoot, because she can really do so much better. The one scene I liked in the movie, where she was in her element – getting off the jeep, taking the ‘dandaa’, and giving it to the goons harassing the girl. The scene I disliked – the one just before the climax where Prakash Jha asks one of the other police offers to help ‘madam’ who is fighting the villain and leave him (who has been shot). Because ‘madam’ can’t take care of herself and he can, even in this injured condition? Quite frankly, I hated that dialogue and the way it was shot; like she was incapable of handling things by herself and always needed her subordinates to take care of the situation. A movie in which a man thinks a woman is not capable on her own cannot have anything to do with women empowerment. I am not a subject matter expert, nor am I a feminist, but I think everyone who does well at their work should be given their due credit. It really has nothing to do with the person’s gender. Something my mum in law said that got me thinking – it is difficult to imagine a lady police officer as corrupt, we tend to think they are not. If that is true, more and more women should be a part of the police force and things would be very different. Food for thought.
This is an absolute must watch. It is a brilliant movie based on a true story that has been narrated to perfection. Watch it for its performances. Watch it for its razor sharp edit. Watch it because there is not a single moment in the movie that should not be there. I loved this one; I loved every line, every scene, and every character. I was amazed that something like this actually took place in reality. I have studied journalism, but never practiced it after college. Yet the media eccentricities and perversions that take place in India trouble me to the point of feeling a slight guilt. As if by being a part of the world of journalism at one point in my life, no matter how remote and tiny, makes me responsible for everything that is reported to feed the voyeuristic tendencies of the masses. I guess as long as there are the kinds of media practitioners shown in the film, and if what is shown is even somewhat close to what actually took place, there is still hope. The foundation of the fourth pillar of democracy might be shaky but it’s still holding up for the time being. Watch Spotlight to understand how a team of reporters brought to light a hidden issue that was causing havoc in the lives of hundreds of children and adolescents, how they took on one of the most powerful entities – the Church – and encouraged people to stand up for what was right. Watch the movie for the mesmerising restraint shown by Liev Schreiber, the simplicity of Rachel McAdam’s character, the depth of Michael Keaton’s performance. But most of all, watch Spotlight for Mark Ruffalo and the scene which shows his outburst; his anguish over the on-goings uncovered, it is sure to touch a chord within you.
To be continued…