Posted: 06 January 2011 at 11:23am | IP Logged
Nikhat Kazmi 's review in TOI
Story: Based on the murder of model Jessica Lall (1999) in an uptown eatery in Delhi
and her sister, Sabrina Lall's fight for justice, the film showcases contemporary India
as it is. The mockery of the legal procedure, the loopholes in the policing system, the corruption in the power circles, the vulnerability of the common Indian: Sabrina's ( Vidya Balan
) struggle -- powered by the feisty journalist, Meera Gaity's dogged investigation and the people's crusade -- brings life to newspaper headlines that still haven't been forgotten.
Movie Review: No One Killed Jessica
(NOKJ) is a film that unleashes a myriad emotions in you. The hard facts of modern India's most written about case are well known by almost everybody but the director Rajkumar Gupta's (he'd already displayed his talent in Aamir) dramatic handling of the crime, the criminals, the crusaders and the victim creates a storm, once again. The film makes you feel angry, sad, frustrated, bitter about the umpteen flaws in our administrative and legal machinery. But more than all this, it fills you with hope and confidence about your own self. NOKJ reaffirms the power and the efficacy of the ordinary man who can -- and must -- make the difference in a dismaying world. Unlike super hero sagas, the film doesn't just showcase two feisty women -- Sabrina and Meera -- who take on the might of the fecund Indian state. Instead, it throws light on the fact that the whole nation came together, joined the Justice for Jessica crusade and displayed how power actually resides in people rather than politicians and their puppets. That's the heartening message the film throws out loud and clear at a time when the state of the scam-tainted nation isn't too edifying.
The pitfalls in making a film that draws its drama from real life are many. NOKJ could easily have unspooled like a soulless documentary that cuts and pastes newspaper headlines in cardboard collage fashion. But kudos to the film maker and the performers for infusing whole lot of soul and body in the film which races across like a hard-punch thriller. From the first phone call which informs a sleepy Sabrina of her sister's death to the candle-lit vigil at India Gate, NOKJ is a racy crime drama that relentlessly draws you in. And when its not the riveting screenplay (Rajkumar Gupta) and the dialogues which hold your attention, it is the actors who grab eyeballs with their power-packed portrayals. Rani Mukherji's rendition of the 'bitch', Meera Gaity -- a balsy, cuss-word-spewing newshound -- is sure to give you an adrenalin high. Newcomer Myra's Jessica act is full of life and endearing. But it is Vidya Balan's Sabrina who steals the show with her quiet courage, her absolute ordinariness and her complete disbelief at how someone with a pistol in his hand and power in his head could shoot down somebody for a mere drink. Watch Balan's body language and her aimless travels in Delhi's public transport and you'll understand how the common man survives in India: against all odds, albeit with courage and dignity. A word about Rajesh Sharma's cop act: it's poignant and brilliant. He's the cop who unabashedly takes a bribe for not beating up the politician's son in custody and yet does any and everything to fight for justice.
The film has an impeccable first half and could do with some editing in the second half. But the high drama, the arresting performances and the spunky audio track (Amit Trivedi) make NOKJ a memorable viewing.
A word about:
Performances : Everyone puts in an impressive act. If Rani is impeccable as the world-wise, hard-talking, foul-mouthed journalist, then Vidya's common man (read girl) act is stupendous. The rest of the ensemble cast fits in perfectly in their respective roles.
Story : Rajkumar Gupta's taken newspaper headlines and added heart and soul to them.
Dialogues: It's copy book Delhi that comes alive on screen. From the betel-stained thanas to the high-heeled social circuit, the lingo has no false ring.
Cinematography : Delhi looks beautiful, ominous, heartless and all-heart too.
Music: Amit Trivedi's heavy-metal tracks form the right ringtone to this hard-hitting film. Case in point 'Dilli Dilli' and 'Aali re'.
Styling : Rani's uptown TV journo garb and Vidya's almost dowdy -- and functional -- dress sense are totally in sync with the story.
Inspiration : Real life.
Read more: No One Killed Jessica - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/movie-reviews/hindi/No-One-Killed-Jessica/articleshow/7223464.cms#ixzz1AHTEiJxj