Jagga Jasoos Hindi Movie Review
Anurag Basu begins on a serious note: the smuggling of arms into India, and then wants to give us serious 'gyan' about how smuggled arms across the world are used for killing...
The film would have earned a thousand stars had they found a fun villain, who wants to get to the treasure of all treasures or something. Because Jagga Jasoos needs a fun villain.
Jagga is a young high school lad who solves problems in his North-Eastern home town. He's an orphan who has been adopted by a mysterious stranger whom Jagga saved. The stranger shows him a way out of his stammering: you must sing!
And they do! Everyone sings. The movie is perfectly choreographed, like a Disney musical, and the stammering occurs perfectly too. And you cannot help but smile through the movie. Hats off to the rhyming skills (four writers have been credited), because you are forced to let go of your phone and pay attention to the madness on the screen!
So Katrina Kaif is telling the story of Jagga Jasoos (lots of comic books!) to kids. How he became the Jagga Jasoos. He solves the murder of a schoolteacher and even figures out why someone should be carrying surgical equipment in his small town...
Katrina bumps into Jagga Jasoos (played brilliantly by Ranbir Kapoor) and he realises that she's trying to solve the mystery of young men being murdered in the area and Jagga realises there is a connect between arms smugglers and the missing young men. He helps her and the two have to escape the police who think Katrina murdered a man who is her informant.
When Jagga's dad does not send him a birthday tape that year, he asks Katrina to help him. She reluctantly agrees, and a mad adventure and comic book chases and thrills begin. Also because Katrina Kaif plays someone who is accident prone. And that adds to a lot of madness.
The trouble with this film is not that the adventure is badly done. It is quite fun. The biggest problem is with the villany. In a film meant to be frothy and fun for kids (and Disney should maybe promote it that way!) the villains are frothy and fun too. Their reason for villainy is not death and destruction in a grown up way. The villains are after some buried treasure or impossible things (just as in Despicable Me, they want to shrink the Moon!). Here the smuggling of arms suddenly seems out of place and scary, if the film is meant for kids. Also Katrina's sad back-story seems very out of place in a fun film.
But this film does most fun things with great gusto! The accidents Katrina has because she cannot seem to help herself, the comic-book policemen, the chorus that sings and dances, the stammering hero, the mad chases on trains, planes and automobiles are sequences done with fun in mind.
You do get frustrated with the film because you just want sequences to stop right before they get too much... But when you see a rock sitting atop a mountain, you know someone's going to lean on it and it will roll down. I loved waiting for such moments, and there were many moments like this in the film. Box Office pundits will revile a fun, adventure caper simply because the arms smuggling is a serious subject and how can such a juvenile film be made around it. But watch it simply because Ranbir has great comic timing, and Katrina - even though she looks exhausted most of the times - makes for a great sidekick.