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JAZBAA - A strictly okay, one time watch thriller that seriously harms itself with all overdone melodrama, songs and many forced philosophical dialogues taking it far away from realism as well as the original. (Review by Bobby Sing)

09 Oct, 2015 | Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / J / Movie Reviews / 2015 Releases

Korean Cinema once again seems to be the favourite inspirational source for the mainstream Hindi filmmakers, as last week we had SINGH IS BLING borrowing almost all its content from the Korean film MY GIRLFRIEND IS A GANGSTER 3 and this week we have Sanjay Gupta's JAZBAA that is supposed to be an official remake of another Korean crime thriller titled SEVEN DAYS.
However since a remake should be reviewed as an individual film first and a remake later (in comparative terms), hence let’s begin with JAZBAA as the latest suspense thriller coming from the house of White Weather films with Aishwarya making a comeback after a gap of 5 long years post GUZAARISH (2010).
Mentioning the three strong positive features of the project, firstly this was a perfect choice of subject by director Sanjay Gupta, as the script had all the essential elements presenting a young, strong (lawyer) mother fighting for her kidnapped daughter along with a suspended police officer helping as a dear friend. No doubt an ideal comeback subject for the talented actress with a lot of potential to be explored on the screen. Secondly with Irrfan Khan being there as the helping friend certainly gave the project a much finer edge exciting a larger part of the viewers. And lastly Sanjay Gupta officially buying the rights of a World Cinema movie (probably for the first time) truly conveyed that the man is really coming back with something different and exceptionally made with a much more positive & changed mindset.
But sadly the above mentioned positives couldn’t help the film falling way short of the expectations raised and even the potential borrowed plot didn’t turn out to be that supportive for Aishwarya due to many major visible issues in the execution. Giving you the basic reason for this less impressive result, it’s the more than required, hyperactive efforts put in almost every department of the film converting it into a visibly ‘over the top’ product trying too hard to present its case in front of the common viewer. And the biggest culprit of them all remain the so unrealistically written cheeky dialogues (especially of Irrfan), that are intentionally added just to (vaguely) entertain the audience aiming at some occasional applause in the theater.
Admitting the truth, yes the dialogues work well as the film begins and one enjoys watching Irrfan rendering them stylishly too till the first 30 minutes are over building a fine base. But once the characters start emoting as per the script’s main track, every such line spoken with all forced philosophy of life becomes irritating enough, straight away reminding you of many copy-pasted life teaching quotes regularly found at FB & Twitter or the ones received in those annoying WhatsApp (spam) messages simply forwarded to everyone present in the contact list.
Exactly the same can be said about Aishwarya’s performance too, that also remains fairly impressive in the beginning but soon steps on to the avoidable ‘overactive’ & ‘emotionless’ gear once the director asks her to start shouting as loud as she can in many repetitive sequences. Besides, I was really surprised seeing the pre and post interval portions in particular where she was made to do everything so hyperactively right from the widely open red eyes to all forceful screaming and the so well-controlled, stylishly conceived running in slow motion. In fact while watching her running I was forced to think that Yes, the only person in the entire Hindi film industry who looks so larger than life and elegantly adorable even while running in slow motion is a Bachchan. But he is the one and only legendary star of the millennium AMITABH BACHCHAN and not Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to put it straight.
Moving ahead the next insertion in the film that fails to make any impact whatsoever is the so overly done colour correction of the frames, particularly the ones (repeatedly) showing Mumbai and its skyline taking it far away from anything seen in the real life. Interestingly its both the dialogues and the colour coding of the film that is not even closer to what we actually experience in our daily lives, hugely affecting the overall impact on the viewer that could have been much more positive, if tackled in a less stylized-subtle manner.
Talking about the music, I have started writing less and less on this specific department of our latest Hindi films, as they are really not interested in giving anything worth writing about since long, with only a rare occasional OST proving to be the important exception. So same is the case with JAZBAA too that does have a couple of above average songs which as usual don’t fit into the film tensed narration from any angle. To be exact, apart from the painfully loud and interfering background score, the film opens with a soul-less track played along with its opening titles and then after some 40 minutes throws a good sounding ghazal appearing from nowhere only to be followed by a typical club-item-rap-song, exactly like the one Irrfan himself had made a spoof of just a few weeks before associating with the AIB boys. (A true irony of our system, quite clearly!)
Coming back to another well intentioned merit of JAZBAA, it does try to present itself as an anti-rape and women empowerment supporting film in its final 30 minutes (ending with a text slide too). But unfortunately the over dramatic melodrama and an easily predictable suspense executed without any inspiring vision, doesn’t let it become one of those significant movies made with a noble aim or purpose of some kind of social awakening.
In the performance section, where Aishwarya plays her strong character of a mother and lawyer in a confusing-overactive tone, there Irrfan Khan looks like walking on a very thin line of getting typecast in all similar looking roles speaking some nasty lines with a straight face, exactly like we have seen him in the last few films. Honestly I also felt as if I was not watching the same exceptionally talented actor in the scene when he starts throwing some hamming tantrums after being told that Aishwarya’s daughter has been kidnapped.
Moreover another specific sequence of the film dealing with the allergic child & her medicine reminded me of an exactly similar scene in a different movie featuring Irrfan Khan only playing the kidnapper worried for the kid-girl (suffering from an asthma attack). The film was DEADLINE - SIRF 24 GHANTE (2006) which was itself an inspired version of an English flick titled TRAPPED (2000). But I really wonder did Irrfan even remember the film and if yes then did he also mention the same to Sanjay Gupta just to provide some added information to his director.
Continuing with the performances, JAZBAA majorly struggles in its supporting cast department too with only Shabana Azmi partially succeeding among many other talented actors in the list. And surprisingly the list includes names such as Atul Kulkarni, Jackie Shroff, Chandan Roy Sanyal and Abhimanyu Singh, simply wasted in their given roles not presented with any kind of powerful portrayal in the script.
So other than few entertaining ‘Irrfan moments’ in its initial reels and then some fairly engaging moments coming in the final 45 minutes dealing with the case investigations and the court proceedings, JAZBAA doesn’t turn out to be anything great or exciting enough as a comeback film of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan made on a potential subject. But you can still consider it as a one-time watch crime thriller saved by Irrfan Khan that surely could have been a lot better minus the overactive treatment given by its director Sanjay Gupta.
Rating : 2.5 / 5
In comparison with its original Korean film SEVEN DAYS.
Taking sides of JAZBAA as an adaptation, it tries hard to use the potential format of SEVEN DAYS focusing on Aishwarya alone. But the only problem is that it tries too hard, putting in much more than actually required crossing the thin line of realism, presenting everything in an artificial tone not reaching out to the viewers either technically or emotionally.
In short, JAZBAA more or less follows the same story progression seen in the original film (which isn’t a masterpiece either), but still is not able to generate any kind of similar impact despite having all the ingredients of making it much better.
Here for friends who think that the comparison cannot be made since the foreign flicks are all based on completely different settings, YES it’s true in general terms, but the other fact remains that the Asian style of living is still much more relatable to us (Indians) in comparison to the other parts of the world. So when you are a watching a Korean film, you feel like relating to its characters and lifestyles much more in comparison of watching an American or British film with people living in completely contrasting (or much better) settings. And probably that is the reason why our film-makers are now more keen in looking up for their inspirational sources in this particular section of the world cinema since the last decade.

(* Mild Spoliers Ahead)
Anyway as I have always considered the process of studying remakes, equivalent of taking an essential lesson of cinema in educational terms, hence would like all the interested readers to watch SEVEN DAYS too and study only four major points in comparison to JAZBAA that would say it all (as given below).
1. With an almost equal duration, see how SEVEN DAYS begins with a tense scene accompanied by a superb background score coming to the point in the first minute itself (continuing the tension right till the end) and how JAZBAA begins with a quite casual approach establishing the lead actress first with a song as a typical Bollywood film and then keeps dropping the tension level in the mid due to the reasons mentioned in the review. 
2. Moving ahead than the original, I seriously wish director Sanjay Gupta had taken the opportunity to portray the central character of a woman lawyer in a positive light in front of the viewers. But instead he doesn’t deviate from his source at all and even goes one step ahead adding a dialogue saying “Bekasoor hamaari fees afford nahin kar sakte” (The innocents cannot afford our fees) openly presenting the lead character as a negative personality or a mean unethical professional which could have been changed quite easily.
3. Thirdly just look at the way the two films present the character of that first criminal saved by the lady lawyer in court. Where in the Korean original he turns out to be a clear winner in front of the audience making a major entry in the climax, there in JAZBAA he is not able to make any kind of connect or powerful impact on the viewers despite making that nice gesture in the end.
4. Lastly and most importantly, a mother remains a mother whether its Korea, India or any part of the globe without any slightest of doubt. Still it largely depends upon the director that how he wishes to convey the fact on the screen in a similar scene. To understand the statement better, simply do a comparative study of the finale sequence when they find the daughter lying unconscious in a horrible state. Just see how the mother as well as the daughter react in two different films in those few minutes and you will be easily able to conclude, which film emotionally moves you more, strongly connecting to the characters on the screen so intensely.
In the end would like to point towards another irony of our system projected by Irrfan Khan only (like the club-item song mentioned before). In his last week’s film TALVAR the character of Irrfan (of an investigating officer) never even once mentions any kind of bribe taken by the police proving the department to be as clean as a Holy River. But in JAZBAA a similar character of a police officer is clearly talking about the bribe (demanded in crores) to save his own job.
In fact that’s how two different films try to portray the department distinctively due to their own specific purposes as explained in the review of TALVAR in details.
Give it a thought if possible.

Tags : Jazbaa Review by Bobby Sing, Jazbaa Film Review by Bobby Sing, New Bollywood Movies Released, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com, Inspired Film from the Korean film SEVEN DAYS, Official remake of Korean film SEVEN DAYS
09 Oct 2015 / Comment ( 0 )
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