Saturday, January 15, 2011

No one killed Jessica - Could have been better

Was really excited to see this movie, as it was one of the stories that I had been following when I was back in India. The story that gave the people's voice victory over the powerful and mighty!

Maybe my expectations were very high from the movie (I had wrongly thought it was a Vishal Bharadwaj movie, due to which I expected it to be really good) or maybe it was something else, but it just didnt do the job for me. What was worse was that while watching the movie I could think of a number of things that could have been done to make it better (at least better in my opinion). Also when I went to see the movie, a lot of folks were raving about it already and the shows were houseful. This just set the stage for it to be an awesome movie, but it failed for me. Heres why I think.

First: A movie's impact is only as much as the characters are convincing. If you choose to tell the movie from the angle of a reporter who wants to see justice, that actor should be convincing. Rani just was not. What was worse was they wanted to depict a 'real' work atmosphere as probably goes on in reporting industry (my guess). So it was filled with 'bitch', 'fcuk', 'asshole', middle fingers being shown by her, etc. Which is fine, but if you do it tastefully. A lot of other movies use expletives and other such things, but only where needed and they make the impact at that time. These just seemed to be used here because the Censor board gave a free pass?? The over-use actually lost the credibility of using them.
The lawyer (who was defending the accused)..... what was with the accent???? He was probably the worst actor in the whole movie.
The mom (while I understand was greiving), was again not convincing. She just seemed to be crying fake. Whenever I see anyone crying on the screen, unfortunately I compare the performance to that of Soha Ali Khan in Rang De Basanti when she hears the news of her fiancee's MIG crashing and he dying or Aamir Khan in Rang De Basanti when he comes back from the hospital after there has been an attack during the peace protest and Sue asks him to eat, and he tries to , but just cannot and breaks down! Those are heartfelt performances which bring a tear to your eye too. If you want to strike an emotional chord with the audience, this potrayal is extrememly important.

On the other hand, the performances by the culprit, the inspector and Vidya Balan were very good and kept me engaged. The accused the best amongst them! However I did not understand why he had a different hindi accent (probably haryana accent) and his mom and dad did not!

Second: If you are going to make a film about a real life story and even if u put a disclaimer at the beginning that not everthing is exact and there is some dramatization, if you are taking the victim's and all her family members names, why the hell would you change the name of the accused. And especially when the verdict has been given by the court and case has been closed. This was one of my biggest issues with the movie. Why did you not use Manu Sharma? Are you afraid or were u threatened? Apparently you are not showing anything that has not happened or not recorded within the judicial system. So why not??? It just didnt seem fair to me.

Third: If you are going to have the movie as a narrative, please choose someone who is a good narrator. Rani is not. Many times it was difficult to understand what she was saying and frankly she was narrating as if reading the news. Look at the narrations by Morgan Freman or even our own Amitabh Bacchan in numerous movies or Makarand Deshpande in 'Company'. You have to captivate the audience with the narration if that is going to be a crucial part of the movie

Fourth: Songs. Please start understanding that it is ok if movies with a serious tone do not have songs ... or have just 1 or 2 in the background. Infact its better if they dont have songs at all. Otherwise u lose focus. Except for the title song of 'D..D...D..DELHI' none of the other songs were right in their place.

Fifth: If you are making a movie about a real life character, show her somewhere at least. In the end or the beginning or subtly in some of the tabloid scenes or some other crafty places. What was the point in showing clips of the actress playing her at the end of the movie rather than showing the real person??? It would have been good if you could have showed the real Jessica at that time rather than the actress

Sixth: 'Kuch bhi ho, mere bete ko kuch nahi hona chahiye' ...what was with that dialogue by the accused's mother everytime, even in tense situations. Was that a comic relief??? seemed more like a stupid relief!

I think my problem is that when you make a movie on a topic like this, I expect it to be really good. If u start to make a movie like Dabangg (which I loved btw), I dont expect it to be good or have a serious tone and so enjoy all the stupid things much more. But in a serious movie, dont try to be funny once u have the audiences attention, dont try to make them laugh for comic relief and spoil it. Again I give a reference to RDB, which I think was one of the finest movies along with some other ones... in RDB the first half is complete timepass and u laugh a lot, but once the movie takes a serious turn, it never tries to make u laugh by using some stupidity or even funny dialogues. The only one that comes later is when they have done everything....declared on the radio ...and they now feel relaxed (and the audience can feel that too) and the Roobaroo song is playing in the background...thats when Aamir cracks a joke of 'jail ka khana chod yaar ... daru-varu sab band'. But nowhere before that scene and after Ajay Rathod dies does the movie attempt any comic relief.

Of course this is just my opinion and I am sure a lot of ppl think most of this is wrong, or they might have such points in favor or the movie. Sure no problem. Everyone is entitied to their 10 bucks (price for the ticket) worth of opinion :-)


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