Much is said and written when a female pioneer project is presented to an audience. Also in Suresh Triveni’s Jalsa, two strong and fiery female characters can be seen leading the film. It is obvious to expect many strong conversations, emotional outbursts and dramatic manifestations, yes, you will get plenty of all of these. But the speed, or the way things happen, bothered me throughout. Somewhere, I missed the front and back space switch in the story. And the spoiler gives nothing, the climax can make you very frustrated. Questions that came to my mind after watching the film – Is Bollywood ready for a bold and experimental cinema? Is it fair to leave the audience to understand the decision the way they want it? In the guise of breaking the rules of regular cinema, does the jalsa make things a little more complicated than entertaining? (Read more: Deep Water Movie Review: Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas Shine in Adrian Line’s Return Thriller on Toxic Marriage)
One thing that works in favor of Jalsa, however, is that it does not attempt to create a social commentary, preach the sound, or educate the audience about the divisions that exist between classes. There may be many subtle hints about these inequalities in the community, but it will not make you bored.
Jalsa narrates the story of famous journalist Maya (Vidya Balan) and her cook Ruksana (Shebali Shah), who also takes care of Maya’s talented son Ayush. Things get worse when Ruksana’s 18-year-old daughter Alia is involved in a tragic accident. This unfortunate incident causes a fight between Ruksana and Maya, and they both try to deal with the situation with a few lies and unraveling secrets.
With a full running time of 128 minutes, director Suresh Triveni seems to be in a hurry to finish the film quickly without turning many pages of the book. Whether it is the background stories of the actors, their characteristics or why they behaved in a particular way or the presence of certain characters in the story – many are unexplained.
For example, we are never told why Maya and her husband (Manav Kaul) are separated, why Maya’s mother (Rohini Hattangadi) lives with her, what her son is suffering from, and how long Ruksana has been working at Maya’s house. , Is there anything more between the ambitions of Maya and her colleague trained journalist Rohini George (Vidatri Pandi )- these details, though small, would have added depth to the story.
Jalsa starts with a great note, in the first few minutes, it engages you successfully and makes you curious to know if justice will be served. When we discover the truth, we encounter many flaws within the police, politics, the media and the rich. Then, the less privileged leave the barrel scrapings to choose how.
Triveni, who co-wrote with Prajwal Chandrasekhar, focused on the story and how it moves forward, with dialogues by Abbas Talal and Hussain Talal. But in the midst of all this, the producers did not pay much attention to the character curves. They are often half-baked and seem to be quite one dimension without many layers to explore.
Despite the half-baked character sketches like this, the acting at Jalsa is impressive. Vidya Balan is in excellent form. Sassy as an employed woman, vulnerable as a caring mother and rebellious as a daughter, she plays her role to the fullest. Scenes like her screaming or trembling in fear say a lot about her understanding of the character. Filling him beautifully is Shefali Shah, who exhibits a restrained acting. The way Shah was emotional with his eyes and expressions was incredible. She doesn’t speak for most of the movies, but you relate more to her character. She struggles but the conflict that holds it all within her moves on.
The other actors, as mentioned, have short and significant parts and do justice to expecting the story from them. If Rohini George’s character was properly engraved, it would have helped the film a lot. Nonetheless, the jalsa leaves you with a lot to think about, guess, feel and finish. Watch this on Amazon Prime videos from March 18th.
actors: Vidya Balan, Shebali Shah
Director: Suresh Triveni