Thursday, January 6, 2011

No One Killed Jessica Movie Review: Bold and Beautiful

What a way to start New Year 2011. No One Killed Jessica is powerful cinema, just the way as one expected it to be. Director Rajkumar Gupta who directed the fantastic ‘Aamir’ shows that the first one was no fluke. A movie based on the story of the murder of Jessica Lal at the Delhi nightclub in 1999 and the subsequent case, No One Killed Jessica stays as realistic as possible, peppered with some entertaining ‘to the gallery’ elements.

Story of No One Killed Jessica: Though this subject of a girl being murdered when she denied to offer drinks was covered in movies like Madhur Bhandarkar’s Satta and Raj Kumar Santoshi’s Halla Bol, they were always used to move the plot ahead rather than being the heart of the matter. No One Killed Jessica begins with Meera Gaity (Rani Mukherji) who introduces life in Delhi where a tussle in the streets can have fatal repercussions to a person on the receiving end of someone who has political connections.

Sabrina Lal(Vidya) wakes up one night from a call that tells her that her sister has been shot at a party, just because she refused to serve drinks to a politician’s son. Sabrina finds it to her shock that the law is just a puppet in the hands of Manish (her sister’s murderer) and her father who has a lot of clout. Evidences are tampered, witnesses are bought, the police is bribed and investigations are stopped.

Meera (Rani Mukherji) who had once not given much of an importance to the case finally decides to take it up, and plunges head-on, especially when she comes to know that Manish has been acquitted from the case, almost seven years later after the incident She then does a series of investigations, fuels a mass public movement that results in public outcry. The case reopens and Manish is sentenced for life.

Plus points of No One Killed Jessica: Rajkumar Gupta showed that he knows his cinema really well with Aamir. Though Aamir was a remake of Cavite, No One Killed Jessica is a representation of a real life incident, a case that is one of the biggest example of public driven justice. Check out list of Bollywood films plagiarized from Hollywood.

Though the first half is a bit slow, the second half is quite explosive as Rani’s character goes full throttle. The dialogues are acidic and in-your-face, nothing filmi here. The editing is slick and the music by Amit Trivedi is a winner.
RajKumar Gupta has taken cinematic liberties in No One Killed Jessica, specially in the second half. Rani’s character is totally fictionalized, the police inspector who is investigating and the names of the characters are fake, but for a reason.

There are some tight close-ups in the scenes, the kind you see in Ram Gopal Varma’s films. It is nice to see UTV using some intelligence and putting the Rang De Basanti scene in the film. After all, Rang De Basanti’s candle-lit march scene did have an influence as a catalyst in reopening the Jessica Lal case.

Best scenes in No One Killed Jessica: There are some very good scenes in the film that can leave an impact . Special mentions being the shooting incident, the drama in the court, Sabrina Lal’s mental conflict specially when she is not able to see an elephant ahead of her, as she is lost in her thoughts, her meeting with Manu Sharma’s family, and of course, the Rani Mukherji’s ‘Gaand Fatke Haath Main Aathi’ scene. It is very good to see that the director has employed metaphoric techniques in the film to make the scenes imaginative, which are anyway short and crisp.

Performances in No One Killed Jessica: Vidya Balan is outstanding in the role of Sabrina Lal. She has shown the vulnerability of a woman who is helpless as a commoner in the face of elements that are trying to subterfuge the case. Rani on the other hand, signifies the vitriolic entity, which is rebellious enough to give it back to those very elements. Both the ladies are in top form. In this performance oriented cinema, you see some shining performances by almost everyone in the project.

Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub not only looks like Manu Sharma, he plays the role very well. Neil Bhoopalam as the prime ‘hostile’ witness in the case and Rajesh Sharma as inspector-in-charge also perform very well . A noteworthy mention should be about Myra, who plays Jessica Lal aptly.

Conclusion: No One Killed Jessica is an amazing movie, not to be missed.
Rating:****(Very Good)


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