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In a desperate attempt to depict the emotional turmoil surrounding Jessica Lalls case, No one Killed Jessica is at most straight and simplistic. Raj Kumar Gupta’s second venture works for its honest dramatization of reality despite being melodramatic at points let down partly by a slow paced narrative. Alleviated with a sequence of stirring dialogues and hard hitting investigations it’s engaging but that’s pretty much about it.
Jessica is callously murdered by a politicians son in a restaurant. A series of investigations follow. Bamboozling politics surrounding the case lead to manipulations, weird calculations and the witnesses are threatened for their lives. Justice isn’t delivered but Sabrina(sister of Jessica) isn’t here to leave without a fight.300 witnesses, 3 suspects, 7 years and an Indian couldn’t still get justice.Here’s Sabrina Lall fighting hard for her sisters brutal murder. She has the nation behind her. She’s accompanied by Meera, a path breaking journalist who shake the foundations of judiciary system that’s become a cushion for the corrupt to exert their influence.
A fictional drama is always expected to have a powerful treatment but No One Killed Jessica has frequent drops in intensity and many loose ends to register such an impact that’s fulfilling. Yet it holds fort because of its characterisations and efficient performances from its leads. This is especially detectable in the scene where the cop interrogates the murderer and the one where Rani manages to convince Vidya to march ahead for a peace procession. Barring such heart thumping scenes, the film is clichéd with its proceedings. All you get are splashes of brilliance in every department to save the film. We always wait for the big moment but are marred by the inconsistency on display. Never can a spectator completely feel engrossed or fascinated as there’s always an ingredient missing to take the emotion to the next level. The film roars initially with its ferocity but stems down too soon in the first half. The second half meanwhile is consistent with its flow with many peppy moments.
Rani Mukherjee as a brave reporter ,leads the pack with a performance enriched with an unmatched ease sinking into her role effervescently. Mouthing a lingo that we’re always used to, she’s very natural and brings the much needed credibility and authenticity to the stereotypical character. Credited with better lines than Vidya Balan, she marks a spectacular comeback after a lull. Vidya Balan in this outing as a hardened elder sister is plain and restrained not being her usual self. She doesn’t exhibit an emotional pain that was so necessary to invest life into her character. The man who played the cop for no doubt has the best scripted role, performed with such spontaneity and conviction . Other characters do their bit but rarely raise any sparks in their screen time. The compositions and the background score by Amit Trivedi stand out. The tracks “Dilli” and “Aitbaar” are a striking testimony of such a monumental effort. The cinematography ranges from being starkly ordinary to exceptional but never really catches on. The dialogues too on a similar note are discrepant and are not compatible with the characters. It’s a pity that Raj Kumar Gupta with his incoherent writing ,fails to rake in the best from his disposal. But he’s a filmmaker to lookout for in the future at least for the utter uniqueness in his themes.
Instead of being moved by the story, I felt exhausted at the end of it.The movie may have served the purpose of immortalizing Jessica but it’s no where the level it ought to have reached. Hindi cinema has matured but just that it needs time to nurture. This one may have been a futile attempt in this regard but it deserves appreciation for what it wanted to convey. It bears a reasonable resemblance to the likes of Halla Bol and RDB but sadly misses the bus. The film is stretched by at least 30 minutes. If you need a reason to watch this one, it’s got to be Rani Mukherjee.
Go,have a nice time but keep a check on your expectations!
My Take:3/5 (Above Average/Watchable)