After a kickass Quantico
followed by her proud moment at the Oscars, Priyanka Chopra opts for the
ridiculous with a film that’s an unabashed attempt to launch the filmmaker
himself as an actor. Karan Johar fell flat in Bombay Velvet, Prakash Jha follows suit with Jai Gangaajal.
The Home Minister, local MLAs, their kin and the cops
are all a part of the land mafia of Bankipur district that’s taken the lives of
several helpless farmers. When the influential minister posts upright Abha
Mathur as SP there ostensibly to take care of his interests, his complacence is
busted. You’d think Abha Mathur would checkmate MLA Bablu Panday and his gang
of goons. But no, it's Prakash Jha playing corrupt policeman BN Singh who does
it all, reducing our Quantico girl
to a side player.
While Abha Mathur goes missing through most of the
film, Jha gives himself a role where he plays a wicked cop whose khaki-vardi conscience awakens rather
inexplicably. Jha hands himself all the fight scenes with the Panday brigade,
plays the sympathetic cop who shields a child from Bablu Panday’s wrath and
crowns himself as the ultimate avenger. He’s even got a loud background score
to chuff him up in the many fight scenes.
Strewn with suicides, murders, false cases, rapes and
humiliation of the poor, Jai Gangaajal
is a lengthy mess with no redemption.
Can Prakash Jha carry a complete film as an actor? He
may have been impressive in a short cameo but casting himself in the main role
is the undoing of the film. He’s so much in love with himself as an actor that he
seems to have hardly looked at a workable screenplay and in the bargain demolishes
the Gangaajal franchise.
Manav Kaul, Ninad Kamath and Murli Sharma as the land
mafia do their jobs as required. Priyanka with too much pancake makes a valiant
attempt at sincerity but gets little chance for any heroics with Prakash Jha
hogging all the footage.
For a film that doesn’t deserve a crisp salute, Jai Gangaajal gets a 1.5* rating.
Reviewed bySenior Journalist & Author
Bharathi S Pradhan