The much delayed Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif starrer Jagga Jasoos has finally hit the screens today. If the trailer of the film gave us a feel of an adventure musical, the chemistry between Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif’s chemistry made it even more alluring. But is it worth your hard-earned money? Let us tell you…
What’s it about:
Let’s get to the basics first. Jagga Jasoos is NOT a kiddie film. What it is though is Bollywood’s answer to a musical. The sing song format lapped up by Hollywood now gets a desi twist courtesy Anurag Basu. Jagga Jasoos also is highly inspired by the Harry Potter series and the popular TinTin comic books. Jagga is an odd mix of these two with shades of Sherlock Holmes. Ranbir Kapoor plays the stammering child who can only converse through songs to have a meaningful dialogue. Katrina Kaif plays the narrator and his sidekick on this roller coaster adventure that pans out on screen through colourful chapters. Basu’s technique breaks the shackles of a linear storytelling attempting to do something different and unique. There are also parts that have political references to various times in history, some real others fictions. The songs are the medium of story telling and once you surrender to this new concept things get a bit easier to comprehend. Apart from the various adventures and mystery cases to be solved, Jagga Jasoos also studies the innocence of a child and the impact of adults around him in early life.
Ranbir Kapoor is the lifeline of Jagga Jasoos. He is what makes the film watchable and engages you on every level. He takes to playing Jagga with such ease that you don’t even think of it as an attempt to play a character. Without Ranbir, JJ wouldn’t have been what it is. Basu and RK have managed to create a fusion of perfect timing and the magic that is needed in making a film special. Despite the unconventional format and disjointed storytelling, it is Ranbir who rescues Jagga from becoming an utter mess. Basu showcases his inner child in several sequences, especially the early scenes of Jagga’s childhood. The innocence of jumping in puddles, being lost in your own imaginary world, these notions that we have all drawn from Enid Blyton books as children come alive on the big screen in Jagga. A special shout out to the special effects team and the cinematography for making Jagga a visual treat. Pritam and Basu team up to give one of the best soundtracks of the year and the background score plays a very important part in some key sequences in the film. The humour and the jokes are old school, the slapstick enjoyable. Katrina and Ranbir’s introductory scenes in the second story of the first half as immensely entertaining.
Like I said in the beginning, you either take to the musical part of Jagga or you end up twiddling your thumbs in restlessness. I struggled to keep up with the narrative early on, despite liking the score and the songs, it was the over the top indulgence in every frame and scene that took away the joy of enjoying the small things. There is too much of sync and perfection in a lot of moments in the film. Less is always more, and there is too much of sigh and sound to behold in the film. Katrina’s introduction as the narrator to the different chapters and storylines fell flat. I also felt that Shruti as a character was weak and flawed as compared to Jagga who was rock solid. Jagga is a cross between Harry Potter (the bike that resembles a broom stick, the spectacles, living under a staircase) and Tintin (adventures across continents and solving mysteries, that hairdo!), but he’s also a confused character. The stuttering and singing song way of talking gets tiresome way too soon and the interest in staying with the narrative of solving these mysteries dies a premature death. Jagga is also way too long, a risk that lot of musicals take. In the case of Hollywood films like La La Land, Moulin Rouge or Chicago, the storytelling felt organic and natural, in Jagga it feels like a staged effort to impress you with every scene. Basu needs a pat on his back for trying the genre with full enthusiasm, but sometimes it also pays to curb the same!
What to do:
Jagga Jasoos is only worth a watch for Ranbir Kapoor’s class act. As a musical, the film falters on several notes.
Rating: 2.0 out of 52.0 Star Rating
Reviewed by Tushar P Joshi
**** Very good