My friend said “It’s Tintin”, after he caught a trailer of Jagga Jasoos in which RK was seen dancing in school uniforms. I didn’t get his fantasy then. I watched the film. He was spot on. In fact it’s a ‘Tintin meets Indiana Jones’. It gets a whopping ‘go for it’ recommendation from my side despite being overindulging in parts – specially towards the end when it steps beyond the 62nd page.
- Visuals are stunning. I don’t know which scenes were sets, which were outdoors and which VFX; I don’t care. The frames look beautiful – straight from an animated comic strip… the sky, the water, the greens, … the ostrich, everything made in heaven.
- Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Saswata Chatterjee, Saurabh Shukla, Rajatava Dutta – knowing the Bengali names in the list, I can safely call it a casting coup. By the way, “Have I told you lately that I love” to watch Katrina Kaif? I always did, no matter what the cynical world had to say about her stiff accents. The role Saswata essayed was initially assigned to Govinda. He opted out citing a creative fallout. The movie took long in its making and finally saw the light of the day… thankfully!
- I’ve never seen Manipur hogging the limelight this long on the celluloid. Mind you, it’s still a Hindi film. Ukhrul? I have never heard beyond Imphal and Loktak lake. Kudos to Anurag Basu to venture something so offbeat!
- It’s a Bollywood musical. I honestly don’t remember experiencing anything of this sort before. Pritam had an extremely difficult task of not falling into pits of repetition and yet sound mushy, fantastic and plain. He does. I can’t say if there are hit songs, but it’s endearing to listen throughout. He delivered exactly what Mr. Basu asked for. This is what a Tintin must have been made of… if it were written in Hindi. Pritam goes from cartoon to hiphops to North East folks to dance moves to African beats!
- RK is Tintin with the spike on his hair. He is jolly, lovable, plausible and a great actor. He plays Indiana Jones too. Saswata C does the Sean Connery act. He plays the Henry Jones, Sr… but highly indigenous. What a gift he’s to the contemporary Indian cinema! Hope he gets noticed more to the larger mass.
- It’s Bengal all the way. That’s not a prize, in general. But for me, it was a bonus I didn’t have any expectations of. It stretches beyond Kolkata (and its trams) to far west… Purulia (yet another lesser name on the map). Almost all the lead characters bear a Bengali surname: Bagchi, Sengupta, Maitra etc. Then there is ‘Agapastala’ and ‘Shundi’ – it took my Bengali ears a couple of seconds to adjust and sink them in… with all my hospitable heart. If 70% of Hindi movies brazenly display Delhi and Punjabi nuances and references, the taste-buds must welcome such a change.
- The first half is outstanding. However the film falters as progresses. I’d classify JJ as a comic adventure flick. Such movies are common in English. It’s meant to have no substance or reason, but just for moving from one funny or adrenaline-dripping sequence to another. The problems with JJ are explained in the opening scenes, albeit in a different context. It’s the clash between the left and the right brain of Mr. Basu. He couldn’t restrain his left brain in totality and cared to pause to explain things, tie events with reality and give a deep meaning into the plot. That stretched the film and surely made it more expensive while taking a toll on its engrossing index. Having said that, I can’t really deduct marks on an experiment so passionate and goodhearted. It’s an honest dream visualized by its makers and I’m happy to see it.
# RK, Anurag Basu and Pritam Chakraborty – this is their 2nd memorable trio-work. Barfi was marvelous.