Jalsa Hindi Movie

Feature Film | 2022 | Drama, Thriller | 2h 8min
Jalsa is a drama that does not try to make you weep. You may feel that it holds back a bit too much, but its approach suits the issues it deals with. The raw and powerful film also has great acting.
Mar 20, 2022 By Sreejith Mullappilly

Where To Watch:
   Amazon Prime

A woman driving her car late at night dozes off for a while as a girl jumps right in front of her vehicle. The girl is perhaps dead, but the woman drives away in fear. An accident happens as you make a bad choice in a split second. But it becomes worse when you flee from the scene.

As for the person responsible for the hit and run in Jalsa, it eventually starts to rot away at her conscience. The actor who plays the part is so good that you can feel her guilt without her having to spell the emotion out. Guilt manifests as anger in her in a way that can make a person without empathy mistake it for callousness.

On the other hand, the mother of the victim also faces complex circumstances and feels conflicting emotions. Society views her differently from the other women. Society implies that she played a part in letting her girl go out late at night. It is as if she broke some moral rule in doing so. Even her husband feels so.

The best thing about Jalsa is that the emotions of the two main characters are connected but their tracks run parallelly. In other words, the woman who contributed to the hit and run incident knows the identity of the mother of the girl. But the other woman does not know the identity of the culprit. In most movies of this kind, this moral dilemma sets the stage for a tense thriller. However, Jalsa is not a thriller. It thrills but does not belong to the conventional thriller genre.

It is a drama that explores the psyche of mothers as well as the relationships between women from different classes and between women and kids. Director Suresh Triveni does not stage the plot of Jalsa up for some cheap sentimentality. This means the movie does not try to tug at your heartstrings at any point. Some may feel that it holds back a bit too much, but I find this approach suitable for the issues it deals with. The emotions here are raw and powerful while the acting is world class.

Vidya Balan is amazing in virtually every movie she does in Hindi cinema. After Kahaani, Jalsa serves an example of how Balan is bold enough to make her character not easily likable. Watch her in the scene where she gets angry at the mother of that girl. Balan has the lines, but she speaks those as if she feels a sense of class superiority.

Shefali Shah is also magnificent here. It is barely believable that she is the same actor who plays DCP Vartika Chaturvedi in Delhi Crime. In the role of a powerful cop and the mother of a concerned daughter, Shefali marries authoritativeness, grace, ferocity and empathy. Here, she plays a helpless woman with a sense of servitude and perhaps the same amount of ferocity as the DCP character. Shefali makes her anger palpable without histrionics.

There are other important actors in the movie. As Ayush, a child with cerebral palsy, Surya Kasibhatla's performance never comes across as showy as the actor also has that health condition. Rohini Hattangady is also perfectly cast as the grandmother of Ayush.

Jalsa is not without flaws, though. How does a hit-and-run case that involves a high-profile person fly under the radar for so long? The movie also uses too many coincidences to tie up some potential loose ends. But as I said earlier, Jalsa is not a thriller, so these minor flaws are excusable.

Sreejith Mullappilly