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NO ONE KILLED JESSICA - REVIEWS (Page 33)

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Posted: 07 January 2011 at 10:26pm | IP Logged
some more audience reactions
 

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Posted: 07 January 2011 at 10:32pm | IP Logged
No One Killed Jessica
U/A; Drama
Dir: Rajkumar Gupta
cast: Rani Mukherji, Vidya Balan, Myra
Rating: ****
What's it about: No One Killed Jessica defines the larger purpose of cinema. It is proof that a relevant issue -- if portrayed cleverly on celluloid -- can be a statement of our times, while maintaining the entertainment quotient.

Celebs at No One Killed Jessica premiere (slideshow)

No other Indian filmmaker has ever attempted to capture the story behind a high profile murder -- and it isn't a half-hearted, watered down tale based in a different city, in a different time zone and with different names. Even though there is a disclaimer at the beginning of the film, there's no doubt who or what the film is about.
The movie begins in 1999 in Delhi, when Sabrina (Vidya Balan) receives a call about her sister Jessica (Myra) being "in an accident" and not long after, dies. It seems like an open-and- shut case. Jessica has been shot by a politician's son at a nightclub with over 300 guests and many eyewitnesses. But the inevitable happens. Money exchanges hands and everything from the witnesses to the forensics report is fixed and the murderer Manish Bhardwaj walks free. Enter hardcore TV journalist Meera (Mukerji), who had no interest in the case until now, as it was too "simple" for her thinking. Outraged by the injustice done, she decides to get involved. She manages to stir the entire nation's conscience and the culprits are arrested again.

What's hot: Every aspect of the Jessica Lall murder was covered extensively by newspapers and news channels, so there are no surprises for the audiences, making it tougher to keep them engrossed. But the director manages to do that. No One Killed Jessica could've easily become a docudrama, alienating the moviegoer but Gupta keeps the appalling events interesting and with almost documentary immediacy.

Although the story is real, the director manages to bring in enough excitement. In portions, the film makes you cringe at the corruption of the system. In equal measure, it also stirs up emotions making you believe that all's not lost yet. The story-telling is effective, the narrative is gripping to the core and every actor is perfectly cast. Vidya Balan always a fine actor, is outstanding here. She makes a solid impact with her strong and silent portrayal of Sabrina. Though her character has no great lines and histrionics, she succeeds in hitting the right notes at the right moments. She brings quiet power to NOKJ, while Rani Mukerji is the hero of the film - with the crackling chutzpah and clap-worthy lines. She does to NOKJ what Sunny Deol did to Damini - she brings the screen on fire in the second half.

Rajesh Sharma as the inspector deserves special mention.

What's not: In a way, a powerful true story trumps all quibbles with the storytelling. However, the film does seem one-sided. Would've been interesting to see a perspective from the other side. Whether it is Vikram's (the model based on Shayan Munshi) side or even one of the other witnesses. Also it could've been trimmed by fifteen minutes to make it crisper.

What to do:
No One Killed Jessica is a must-watch -- because we all want to believe in the power of justice

 

review by Mid-day

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Posted: 07 January 2011 at 10:40pm | IP Logged
Honestly speaking, I've been excited for NOKJ and I'm proud to say the film surpassed my expectations! The movie starts out really slow, yet intriguing in the beginning in my opinion. The Dilli soundtrack was the best way to open the movie LOL it really gets you pumpeeeeed! I feel that some of the scenes really reallly draggeeeeed in the beggining half, like the constant attention being given to the party where Jessica was shot and the depression that fell over her family soon after that incident, and the court scenes . Vidya Balan acted good, but I really felt she could have done a tad bit better as the acting seemed monotonous after a point.

Rani Mukherjhee enters the film with a bang IMO.. I have to say, her look in this film was so PERFECT :| The long hair, the  make up, the clothing, the JHAKAAAS ATTITUDE--The attitude is what contributed to her character the most. I feel that no one other than Rani could have done Meera Geti's role =) The character was fierceless and said everything that came to her mind, and acted upon everything she wanted! I feel that her character makes you want to make a difference in third world countries and fix the corrupt government systems where people can be bought. And the fact that this movie was based on a real incident really makes you want to take the initiative to MAKE that DIFFERENCE, make it happen, and LET JUSTICE prevail!

The film was dragged first half, and honestly it picked up second half, but its a total package nonetheless. The girl who played Jessica, Myra, was brilliant with her role and the music of NOKJ is AMAZINGGGGG!

I do wish Rani was in the movie more though, shes there in the second half mostly.

 I would recommend the movie for people to watch!

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Posted: 07 January 2011 at 10:40pm | IP Logged
^Awesome review! Hope it will be a success at the BO!

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Posted: 07 January 2011 at 11:09pm | IP Logged
Well, I saw it and it didn't live up to my expectations. This film has all the right things going for it such as impressive director, ensemble cast and amazing story but it just turned out to be another melodrama. I am disappointed that guy who made Aamir has made this sensitive and sensational case into a melodrama..

Well, going for the performance, Rani nailed it because she was absolute firework and vibrant on the screen. She lighted up and gave the character a new dimension. Barring that her character was "stereotypical" strong feminist...Vidya as Sabrina was little dull and boring at times. I don't see the angst and fire that i would imagine in Sabrina's eyes...One of the scene that was worthwhile of Vidya was the last scene. Personally, this was neither a great role for her and she didn't added any life to it.. 

The suprise package was the newcomer Myra who played jessica in the film and she was a delight on the screen..I hope to see more of her in future films...Amit Trivedi's music rocks and Di Dilli was still stuck after the movie...

I would give 2.5/5 because it was much better than the usual cinema but I really expected better from the starcast and the director itself...


Edited by Kyaktsar - 07 January 2011 at 11:13pm

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Posted: 07 January 2011 at 11:37pm | IP Logged

Subhash K. Jha speaks about No One Killed Jessica Click here to add this article to My Clips

By Subhash K. Jha, January 8, 2011 - 11:20 IST

No One Killed Jessic 'Wreath petition'...In a sequence brimming with a savage irony the mother of the murderer visits the slain girl Jessica Lal's parents and lays a wreath on the deceased girl's photograph.

The stoic Murder India has only one speaking-line in this dialogue-oriented extremely thought-provoking treatise on justice and social awakening. "Kuch bhi karo mere Monu ko kuch nahin hona chahiye," she whines from behind the curtains as her powerful politician-husband plots to exonerate their laadla son from the murder charge.

Justice will be drunk. For a while the murderer Manish Bhardwaj (Mohammed Zeshan Ayyub, looking like a cat that got the cream on its head while aiming for the mouth) is allowed to go scot-free. How did this monstrous travesty of justice happen in this celebrated real-life case?

This, as they say, can happen only in India. Apna Bharat Mahaan. And one says this without irony after watching in rapt attention Rajkumar (Aamir) Gupta's stupendous take on a headline that ripped across the lives of the rich and powerful and the exceedingly pretentious elite of Delhi.

No One Killed Jessica straightaway takes us into the world of Jessica's sister Sabrina Lal. The phone rings in the dead of the night to announce that Sabrina's ebullient sister has hurt himself. "Go get her treated. She's always hurting himself," Sabrina mumbles in her sleep.

The hurt, this time, is far deeper than expected. Wounds too deep to be repaired open up in our socio-political and legal system as Sabrina's case becomes a cause celebre...once again! In re-creating the heinous crime from 1999 and the woeful attempts to suppress evidence to save the life of a bigda raeeszada, director Rajkumar Gupta is dead-on accurate. The mood of justice-smothered prevails from Frame 1. Cinematographer Anay Goswami swoops down on Delhi (the sutradhar of the plot, so to speak) to capture the mood of sweat grime and crime. Amit Trivedi's wry resonant rippling sinewy music casts a zingy spell over the goings-on. Trivedi in fact invests a 2011 feel to the happenings in 1999 without subverting the periodicity.

No One Killed Jessic Aarti Bajaj edits the footage with an austerity that gives us barely a chance to grieve for Sabrina and her distraught parents. We don't miss the mother's glazed eyes, though. The pace is relentless, perhaps a little bit too much so. Why the paranoid persistence about creating a breathless pace? We weren't going away anywhere, Mr Gupta.

No One Killed Jessica is a persuasive powerful and pungent docu-drama. The narrative is remarkably devoid of overt sentimentality. The let's-get-on-with-the-job-of-nailing-the-bas***ds mood goes effectively with the investigative journalist Meera's character.

As the Kargil-returned, cynical, horny chain-smoking foul-tongued bitch (her own description) Rani Mukherjee returns to the screen with a bravura performance. Looking like a million bucks and exuding a torrent of temperamental emotions Rani furnishes the fight for justice with an emphatic elan. Yup, she's got what it takes.

Cleverly Sabrina Lal's character is transformed into a mousy timid quivering virgin-working girl (which the real-life Sabrina is not). By portraying Sabrina as an anti-gregarious creature of the shadows, Gupta immediately and effectively creates a contrast between Sabrina and her deceased vivacious sister Jessica (Myra, sunny screen presence) and of course between Sabrina and Meera.

The contrasts are not killing.

This is an implosively crafted screenplay shot with deft unsentimental hands that avoid the over-emotional moments by simply getting on with the business of getting justice for the Lal family.

Indeed, No One Killed Jessica does full justice to Jessica's memory. There are moments of great cinema strewn across the plot. Moments such as the one where Sabrina tells Meera she has no emotional freedom to do any of the normal things that girls her age do, or when the awkward untrained journalist struggles to tell Sabrina on camera that she can understand what the family is going through. And Sabrina retorts, "No you can't. You don't know."

For us from the outside it's very difficult to empathize with a family that has gone through a tragedy of such emphatic enormity. It's even more difficult for a filmmaker to avoid seeming exploitative in recreating such a celebrated real-life tragedy. Rajkumar Gupta has managed to make a sensational motion picture without resorting to sensationalism.

No One Killed Jessic Yes, the film could've been less 'obvious' about its dramatic conflicts. Very often you feel the main characters are doing exactly what you'd expect them to, given the ghastly situation. Whether that is a good or a bad thing cannot be easily determined. Just where the filmmaker's integrity dissolves into his temptation to make the headline-driven plot cinematically inviting, is a debatable issue. But this film doesn't allow us to doubt its intentions.

The performances are pitch-perfect...in Rani's case, bitch-perfect. She makes the aggressive journalist Meera come alive in places like the conscience,that are not visible to the naked eye. Like the conscience. Vidya Balan's slouch, hesitant demeanour, soft-spoken speech patterns and a smothered pain and hurt make Sabrina Lal a character you empathize with because she isn't screaming for your attention. She's just doing what her conscience tells her. From the wanton adulterous saucy village wife in Ishqiya in January 2010 to the repressed anguished casualty of urban callousness in this film...what a range Vidya reveals!

The rest of the cast of virtual newcomers is outstanding. Rajesh Sharma as the conscientious cop (the only voice of reason in an establishment filled with treason!), Neil Bhoopalan as the primary witness (who turns hostile because in his words he was offered a bullet or a crore and he wanted neither), Satyadeep Mishra as Rani's quietly professional boss (Pranoy Roy knocking 30 years off) and of course Myra as Jessica...these are real people, not actors.

Cleverly No One Killed Jessica ends with Jessica posing pouting and blowing kisses into the camera. The poignancy of the provocative postures somehow reminded me of Jodie Foster in The Accused where the girl having fun is gang-raped in a bar.

Do we still punish women who dare to have a good time in a male bastion?

No One Killed Jessica fills you with hope on many levels. While you look ahead with enthusiasm for more such quality-conscious cinema in 2011, you also look into a further future where justice will be done and human life won't be snuffed out for a drink. This is a tale that had to be told. It is told in an edgy, gritty warm and provocative tone. Take a bow, Rani (welcome back!), Vidya, Rajkumar Gupta and the absolutely enthralling supporting actors. No one seems to be acting. Artifice is not one of the film's many qualities.

Thank God for small mercies.

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Posted: 07 January 2011 at 11:43pm | IP Logged
^^ I didn't read the whole review but ahh! when the politician's wife said that "Kuch bhi karo mere Monu ko kuch nahin hona chahiye,"dialogue..I really wanted to punch her in the face.


Edited by -Nitya- - 07 January 2011 at 11:46pm

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Posted: 07 January 2011 at 11:47pm | IP Logged

A must watch movie

By K N Gupta

Eye TV India Bureau

Cast: Vidya Balan, Rani Mukerji, Neil Bhoopalam, Myra, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub

Director: Rajkumar Gupta

Critic's I-view

Click for larger view

'No One Killed Jessica' is a movie based on true story of a crude murder of a pretty and socialite girl in Delhi by a power hungry neo rich youth on the one hand, and that of an equally determined young sister struggling to get justice, on the other. And, film director Raj Kumar Gupta of the 'Aamir' fame leaves no stone unturned to portray the event as emotionally as possible with the help of his screenplay and dialogues aided by excellent performances of the main as well as the supporting cast. Hence, the movie deserves a watch.

 

The movie begins with Rani Mukherji playing the character of Meera Geyti talking about Delhiites' boast of their being above the law. You may remember that this is Rani's kind of a comeback movie after her flop 'Dil Bole Hadappa'. With this, she regains her status in the industry. Here, she plays a TV journalist who had covered the Indo-Pak Kargil war, but considers the Jessica Lall's brutal murder as a closed case. On second thought, she decides to bring the culprits to justice, and starts working on it.

Click for larger view

As said above, model Jessica Lall while working in a chic night club in south Delhi is killed by a power-driven young son of a politician. Her fault is that as bartender she refuses to give Manish played by Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub a drink. In anger he shoots her at point-blank. She succumbs while being taken to a hospital. So, her sister Sabrina Lall decides to seek justice; she struggles hard in society which reflects contemporary Indian scenario where the law is full of loopholes and just unfavorable for commoners. But, Vidya Balan in the character of Jessica's sister Sabrina Lall, continues her fight . Luckily for her, Meera Gaity (Rani) as a determined journalist comes to her help. So also the people through their constant movement help her; they lead a candle light march at India Gate to open the eyes of the authorities.

Click for larger view

The cast comprising top stars likes of Rani Mukherjee and Vidya Balan shoulder the movie. Both enter into the skins of their characters. Rani's performance is considered the best ever so far, and Vidya Balan's isn't far behind. In fact, she plays the major role as Sabrina Lall. She reflects a commoner's courageous struggle for survival against all kinds of odds in the metros of India. The same way, Rajesh Sharma as a cop fares brilliantly. He pursues odd roles inasmuch as he takes bribe to take care of a politician's son while in the police custody and also helps the opposite party in their just cause.

Click for larger view

The movie has weak points too; it's repetitive at times and lacks tight editing and the consequently bores at some places. However, the same is remedied to a great extent by the cast's brilliant performance, the cinematographer's equally poignant portrayal of the capital and more importantly Amit Trivedi's music, especially his Dilli Dilli and Aali Re songs.

Significantly, the movie is a lesson for commoners to fight for their rights until they get justice as it can be delayed but not denied for long. The movie's story proves it beyond doubt.

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