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Jagga Jasoos  : Brilliance Detected & Deserted
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Friday, July 14, 2017
Romance
Anurag Basu
Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Sayani Gupta, Saswata Chatterjee

Ranbir Kapoor’s choices have always been curious. He does it once again by teaming with his Barfi! director Anurag Basu to attempt a refreshingly new musical genre and succeeds too, to a large extent.

 

Set against the infamous Purulia arms drop and the global war industry, Anurag Basu crosses an Indian version of Tin Tin with the sweep of a Broadway show and ties it up with an emotional chord.

 

Your heart goes out to Jagga right from the time he’s abandoned at birth and brought up by the hospital where he was born. He doesn’t talk because he stutters. An unexpected heart connection is made with Tutti-Fruiti alias Badal Bagchi, a patient who gently prods him to sing his lines instead of uttering them and watch how he won’t stutter while singing.

 

And thus a musical is born with Shiamak Davar’s stimulatingly creative choreography.

 

But there’s heartbreak again for Jagga when Bagchi abandons him at a boarding school promising to visit him and the young boy is sharp enough to detect when Tooti-Fruiti is lying to him. It’s a sharpness that gets honed over time with Jagga helping the local cops solve a mystery or two, soon joined by Shruti Sen, a journo.

 

Shruti’s heart has been broken too, and she’s klutzy. More ‘bad lucky’ as Jagga puts it, comparing her to Bagchi who has dropped off the radar.   

 

There are vibrant moments of song and dance sprinkled all over like ‘Tum dono hai bad lucky,’Galti

se mistake’, ‘Sab khaana khaake daru peeke chale’ and ‘Ullu ke patthe’, all invigorating in composition, choreography and picturisation.

 

Jagga sets off with Shruti to find Bagchi in some place called Mombaca and together they help halt the arms drop at various points with shooters on their trail. It’s wacky with long-necked giraffes, ostriches and other animals and birds looking on. Out here, S Ravi Varman’s cinematography has the visual vastness of a Hollywood Western.

 

But en route Anurag Basu doesn’t know who he’s catering to. Way too long at 2 hrs and 41 mins, if Anurag wanted to position this as a children’s film,I’m not sure if the Purulia arms drop and profound statements about the war industry is the right way to connect with them. The narrative is also not straightforward with Katrina Kaif playing a sutradhar of sorts and being a part of the adventure. Somewhere the writing needed to be neater and the editing sharper.

 

But Ranbir Kapoor is so compelling an actor, he taps the heart when Bagchi’s birthday wishes fail to arrive and he refreshes you when his feet start moving to another set piece. Saswata Chatterjee as Bagchiis another actor who helps hold it all together. Katrina Kaif as Shruti tries to keep pace with Ranbir and is better when she doesn’t have dialogues to mouth.

 

While commercially this will not find great acceptance, I’d say, watch it if you have the patience.  

 

For Ranbir, for Shiamak’s choreography and for Anurag attempting to break fresh ground, Jagga Jasoos gets a 3* rating.

 

Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author

 

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