Monday, December 09, 2019
Movie Reviews

Posted at: Aug 10, 2019, 7:54 AM; last updated: Aug 10, 2019, 7:54 AM (IST)MOVIE REVIEW - JABARIYA JODI

Lost and laboured


Film: Jabariya Jodi

  • Cast: Sidharth Malhotra, Parineeti Chopra, Javed Jaffrey, Sanjay Mishra, Aparshakti Khurana and Chandan Roy Sanyal
  • Director: Prashant Singh

Nonika Singh

Babli Yadav (Parineeti Chopra) is a firebrand, who beats up her boyfriend in full public glare, in front of a live television camera. Abhay Singh (Sidharth Malhotra) is even more dabang; he kidnaps grooms and makes them marry forcibly. A perfect match! Only when the feisty and the belligerent come together they just do not set the house on fire. Like the title of the film and much else here, their pairing too seems forced and laboured. As things pan out between them there is nothing fresh or organic. 

A pity, for their love is meant to be a counterpoint if not an antidote to the concept of forced marriages (pakadwa vivah) that apparently plagues the state of Bihar. Of course, behind the ignoble act of Jabriya Jodi, marrying off couples against the wishes of the dulhe raja, lie some noble motives. Javed Jaffery at whose behest his son Abhay organises forced marriages quips; ‘yeh na goondagardi hai na dhanda, ye hai samaj seva’.

But before you get conned that the movie is doing a service to society by bringing out the malaise of dowry in the open, let you be informed it’s not even lip service to the cause. Be it the reference to the regressive practice of dowry or its resultant compulsion of shaadi under coercion, both are dealt with cursorily, only meant to bring on the laughs. 

Not a bad idea per se. Who doesn’t want entertainment? Without a doubt many dialogues are crisp and pungent. Since the film ropes in some fine actors, from Sanjay Mishra to Aparshakti Khurana to Javed Jaffrey blessed with immaculate comic timing, you can only expect them to find their groove easily. And they do, especially Jaffrey, who stands out among the bevy of actors with a finely calibrated performance. Chandan Roy Sanyal as Abhay’s friend impresses too. Even if Parineeti plays free-spirited Babli in the formulaic template and muscleman Siddharth can’t bring the house down (literally and metaphorically) till the first half, the mood is upbeat. With a couple of jabriya shaadis happening around you, the atmosphere is light and you go along the flow. 

Post-interval, the tone and tenor try to ride high on romance and the love story takes precedence over everything else. Our rakish hero has a change of heart, his mother emerges from behind the curtains to offer some wisdom to sonny dearest and suddenly the film becomes dimaag se socho aur dil se kaho. And as quickly it stops appealing to either the heart or mind. The last half-an- hour of the movie is devoted to all that we have seen before, umpteen number of times in N-number of films. After all the fuss over jabriya shaadis, love and shaadi, we are told rather sanctimoniously that too by the master mind (Jaffrey), can’t be forced. As if we believed differently! Yawn, yawn… besides who thought the tale of two plucky lovers would meet such a tame and timid end. But there it is, an average prem kahani, in the guise of a satire. Stacked up amidst a novel premise, it peters out and draws a naught. Watch it only under compulsion or duress. On second thoughts, just don’t bite this bullet.


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