Touted as Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s comeback vehicle, director Sanjay Gupta’s Jazbaa is incredibly melodramatic and high-on-action. At 2 hours 10 minutes this movie keeps you engaged with its pace and slick screenplay. It’s only when the emotions get converted into an emotional drama (Mrs Bachchan is perpetually good at it), you start shifting in your seat and go tch tch. But for the most part Jazbaa keeps you involved, engaged and produces those much-needed nail-biting moments at regular intervals. The proverbial juglabandi between two dramatically different characters (played by Ash and Irrfan Khan), their insecurities and how their interests are intertwined with the narrative set amidst a larger-than-life conflict will have you hooked, for sure. ALSO READ: Jazbaa music review: This music album is not bad at all!
Cast in an age-appropriate role (mind you the diva is 41!) Aishwarya Rai Bachchan plays Anuradha, a single mother of a ten year old school-goer. She is a lawyer by profession and leaves no stone unturned to get what she wants. There is no hint of inhibition as she fights a case for criminals as long as she walks away with a victory and get that fat pay-cheque in the end. She lands in a trap when her daughter gets abducted. The kidnapper sets one condition to return the kid in exchange—the high-profile lawyer must defend a rapist and murder ( Chandan Roy Sanyal). In walks Yohan (Irrfan Khan, whistles!). The cool-as-cucumber ex cop with a shoddy record has feelings for Anuradha. He hesitates to confess his love for her. The two join forces to tackle the tricky situation. The sequences start unfolding at rapid speed with Yohan and Anuradha showcasing their grey sides, their insecurities and how they manipulate only to get justice. Sanjay Gupta keeps the narrative interesting with complexities of the character as well as the situation against the timeline within which the two protagonists must make a choice to save a life and perhaps to survive! Watch Video! Irrfan Khan’s exclusive chat with India.com
Keeping the screenplay on a tight leash Gupta unfolds the narrative in a crisp and a concise manner. Bolstered further by the strength of the actors, especially irrfan Khan who conveys so much by doing so little, Gupta makes sure that the audiences get enough thrills. The dialogubazzi is perfectly in sync with the style of narration. Shabana Azmi and Chandan Roy Sanyal have done justice to their role.
The unconvincing and not-so-aptly placed melodrama does no good to the otherwise edgy thriller. While most heroines past their prime hesitate to play their age, credit has to be given to the world’s most beautiful woman for playing the mother of a ten year old. Ash shines in her role barring a couple of scenes where she hams and goes over the top.
Our Verdict: Sanjay Gupta’s Jazbaa is one breezy filmi ride with enough thrills that go well with a bucket of ‘masala’ popcorn!
Our Rating: 3 stars