Director: Anurag Basu
Paisa Vasooli: 2.5 / 5
Who makes three hour films these days bhai? Ok ok, they do… But then there is something called quality in quantity. Jagga Jasoos by no means is a children (only) film. It sets off to be a musical-spy adventure, hits the first hurdle and falls flat on its face.
Jagga Jasoos is about, no prizes for guessing, Jagga. He has a stammer issue so whenever he talks, he has to sing. Hence, the WHOLE film is a song. Yes, you read that right. Anyway, Jagga stays in a hostel in Ukhrul, Manipur and loves to solve the local crime cases. Jasoos is the detective inside Jagga. This film deals with him finding his father, who is presumed to be dead.
Well, the film begins with Katrina Kaif narrating Jagga Jasoos comics to a group of children. Come on, you get one of the worst actresses ever to narrate your film; Mission Failure. To top that, she looks quite botoxed. We used to love her and dream about her but that is history. Anyway, back to the film. So, the film is divided into three comic books: Jagga Jasoos and the Clock Tower Mystery, Jagga Jasoos and the Giant Wheel Murderer and finally, Jagga Jasoos and Mystery of the Red Circle. These are the adventures Jagga goes through to reach the climax and by that time you’re already half asleep.
The heart of the film is Ranbir Kapoor. Ranbir is anyway a master of playing this overgrown bambino (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Wake Up Sid, Besharam, Barfi!). His character is Barfi-meets-Harry Potter-meets-Tintin and he does well. ALL his dialogues are ‘sung’ and that itself is a big deal to pull off. It is hard to think of anyone else doing a Jagga after watching Ranbir. Hrithik, maybe? Nah, too mechanical.
Though, Ravi Varman’s cinematography is on point and you feel in a fantasy land throughout the film but Jagga Jasoos is a clear reminder of how far behind our animation is from the West. We have had better VFX (Ra-One is great example) in the past, so, watching Jagga Jasoos is NOT progress. There are certain scenes which make you cringe (Katrina Kaif in a bus window, Katrina-Ranbir on the Ostrich, initial scenes Ukhrul scenes of lakes and trains).
Jagga Jasoos does begin with a promise. And believe me, as you really have to follow the narrative in the beginning and get used to the oh so perfect over the top halla-balloo, which is fine because it is a musical. Where it fails is the (super) predictable plot and loose screenplay. A detective film is supposed to have a mystery attached to it and Jagga Jasoos has none.
Bollywood’s introduction to musicals (No, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham is NOT a musical even if it had 13 songs) is not BAD we’d say. At least the viewer knows how they work. Ranbir’s brilliance and Katrina’s (botox) pout, an amazing score by Pritam with Ravi Varman’s 4 / 5 cinematography CANNOT save this ship because the Captain (Anurag Basu) is on a completely different tangent than required.
What could have been a path breaking film, is just a soda without the fizz. You decide, because this a weird world these days, some people like soda without the effing fizz.
Dalip Singh Grewal
He loves fantasy, the kind where he's in a situation and pretends to be the third person watching the situation from outside. He flies helicopters for a living. He takes long breaths because he's heard 'Life is the number of breaths you take'.