A racy account of Jessica Lall murder trial

Producer: Ronnie Screwvala.
Raj Kumar Gupta.
Cast: Rani Mukerji, Vidya Balan.

MUMBAI: True life stories and newspaper headline grabbers are usually non performers at the turnstile unless dramatised. No One Killed Jessica starts of on a peppy note, almost goes on to become a dullard till it becomes a racy account of Jessica Lall murder trial.

Based on the story of an aspiring model Jessica Lall, who was shot dead by a Haryana politician‘s son at an elite cocktail party in a Delhi restaurant, the film is a right mix of facts and dramatization of events.

The story of political and financial might and fear of reprisal made around 300 witnesses clam up, leaving only seven eye witnesses. The first part is about the murder of Jessica in 1999 and the court case that lingered on till 2006, the fudging of evidence and buying out witnesses till the killer, Manu Sharma, is acquitted.

The momentum is slow as Sabrina (Vidya Balan), sister of Jessica, is on a crusade to nail the culprit. The depiction of her plight takes a lot of screen time but, probably, that is what makes the latter part convincing as the media takes on her case. In a chain of sting operations on the seven witnesses with hidden cameras, the real truth comes out. Star News joins the cause to amplify details of stings and a massive movement for retrial is set in motion.

Rani Mukerjee plays a hero‘s part in the film to put it in film parlance. A celebrated news channel reporter propelled to fame for her on the spot Kargil war coverage, the writer establishes her character in one scene when she chastises a co-passenger on airline. Armed with sting footage and her determination and conviction, Rani makes rest of the film a thrilling watch as the retrial is ordered and culprits brought to justice.

As Rani Mukerjee portrays a flamboyant reporter backed by the power and reach of electronic media with full conviction, Vidya Balan is accomplished playing a subdued, hapless sister of the murdered Jessica seeking justice for seven long years. Rajesh Sharma is very credible as the investigating officer. Myra Karn as Jessica is good with Neil Bhoopalam and others doing justice to their respective roles.

Director Rajkumar Gupta has crafted a worthy film knitting together 10 years of a murder case saga. Music by Amit Trivedi suits the subject; background score adds to the effect. Photography by Anay Gupta is praiseworthy.

                                                        You need patience to watch this movie


Producer: Search Films.
Director: Rahat Kazmi.
Cast: Vivek, Sayali, Charu, Hrishikesh.

Impatient  Vivek is a surprise coming from a group of literate academicians! A surprise, not because of any positive virtues but a surprise because it is so mundane, out of sync with the contemporary and so going backward in time, it is gross! The film is an insult to the sensitivities of even an imbecile!

I V aka Vivek steals his father‘s money for a trip to Goa. His companions are all stereo typical friends, caricatures from a 1960 or 70s film; a fatso, a drunkard, a ...... who cares!

You know there is something amiss with this Vivek guy when a white woman wants him and he runs away! He is a romantic and not into instant sex! Next he sees a girl giggling all the way to Arabian Sea and falls for her head over heels so what if she looks half the size taller than him and half a generation older to him?

The director has this perspective about scenic locations. So the film veers from Goa to Udaipur, where the boy and girl meet again. He thinks it is love which she can‘t profess and kidnaps her on her wedding day! What follows then on is supposed to be comedy, fun and humour according to the makers; for a viewer it is sheer, unbearable torture!

There is nothing worth mentioning in this flushing down of money exercise except cinematography, which is just about okay; from script to direction to performances - all are nonexistent.

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