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Posted On Saturday, January 08, 2011 at 02:05:38 AM
No one killed jessica |
Director : Raj Kumar Gupta
Actors : Rani Mukerji, Vidya Balan, Myra, Rajesh Sharma
Run time : 140 mins
Certification : A
Rating : * * *
In a nation witness to senseless violence ever since its very inception, the Jessica Lal case has become a cause clbre. There are many specific reasons for this.
The very public nature of the shocking crime, the lack of any motive, the high society people involved, the naked subversion of justice, the public anger, the detailed sting investigation, the dramatic re-trial, and the eventual sentencing.
Justice was served, and the underdog actually won, making this a heart-rending, triumphant story. Yet the film, No One Killed Jessica Lal, though somber and gritty, doesn't become a triumphant story. Sure, it's a well written, dramatic re-telling, but somewhere it becomes a bit filmy and flamboyant, which is a pity.
Vidya Balan plays Sabrina Lal, while Rani Mukerji plays Meera, a TV journalist with NDTV who covered the Kargil war. Hmm, wonder who that is. The first half, which tracks the story from the killing to the incredible acquittal of Manu Sharma, through the years 1999-2006, is taut and gripping.
Vidya's anger and silence at the incredible injustice, the corruption in the police, the use of brute power to subvert justice, the court sequences, are all well handled by the director. Actually, the two leading ladies have no scenes together, while Vidya follows her lonely path, Rani is playing a super woman reporter scoffing at this silly model killing story.
The ambitious Rani only gets into the act when the killer is acquitted. In the second half, the story gets a bit stretched in the telling, specially the investigative bits, with more needless drama, rather than pure fact. However, unlike the real story, the film doesn't peak dramatically enough, leaving you very sombre, and a bit limp at the end.
At the beginning of NOKJ, a title slate announces that the film is a mix of fact and fiction, which detail ultimately robs the film of some of its integrity. This is not a period film it's a riveting drama that unfolded in full glare of the media and public.
Every little detail, right from the iconic Times of India headline to the dramatic re-trial, is based on real events. Yet the film suggests that NDTV broke the key investigative story, when in fact it was Tehelka that stung the key witnesses, which led to a public uproar.
I know because I was personally involved in the Tehelka sting operation, which was led by veteran journalist Shammy Baweja. In fact I plotted to trap key witness, actor Shayan Munshi, and made the phone call offering him the fake film role.
NOKJ has great music, specially the edgy title track, by the talented Amit Trivedi, is well written and very well cast. Vidya Balan once again excels in a brave role, dressing down and playing a dowdy, ordinary girl caught in extra-ordinary circumstances.
Rani is treated like a hero with a dramatic entry and even her own slow motion sequences. Though sharp, Rani tends to over do her smutty, bitchy Barkha act. New girl Myra, who plays Jessica, is vivacious, while Rajesh Sharma is outstanding as the police Inspector.
Zeeshan Ayub does a good job of playing the venal Manu Sharma, while both actors playing Sabrina's parents are searing in their mute helplessness. Though certainly worth a watch, the emotional pitch of this fiction remains below what really happened, in fact.
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Raajneeti Reviews: First one up (ALL Reviews Here)
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|Mistyy||248||47683||14 August 2010 at 4:47pm by .shona.|
No one Killed Jessica- Pictures on Location
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|Zareena||8||2301||08 March 2010 at 8:00pm by -Mmmmm-|
On the sets: 'No One Killed Jessica'
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PYAAR IMPOSSIBLE Reviews here + member reviews
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REVIEWS REVIEWS REVIEWS!
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