Jagga Jasoos - a disappointment both as a musical and as a comedy

Describing a film as a musical is a misnomer as the genre does not exist and in any case music as we knew it has virtually ceased to exist Hindi films which have lyrics that pass off as songs.

Jagga Jasoos takes inspiration from various sources like the popular comic series, The Adventures Of Tin Tin, Hollywood musicals of the sixties and some from India. It has described as a musical, adventure, romantic, comedy.

Ranbir stutters in his speech.His father, Saswata Chetterjee suggests that if he converses in verse he will not stutter. That is what makes it an excuse of a musical as he rhymes all his dialogue. Adventures are aplenty but lack impact as they happen suddenly and are forced most of the time. As for comedy and romance, they are missing.

Ranbiir Kapoor is a school student staying in a hostel (time he grows up to more mature roles if he wants his films to work) who plays jasoos (detective) on the side. His comic books are popular and a journalist, Katrina Kaif, reads them out to a bunch of children regularly. This is perhaps the longest introduction of a hero in any film!

The film starts with the much publicised Purulia arms drop incident. Saswata, who was a sole witness to the dumpingt vanishes soon after. Getting down to tracking him, Jagga Jasoos is roped in as a result of Katrina having narrated two of his adventures to children. In one of the stories Katrina who has gone to follow the story of the arms drop, gets involved with Ranbir who is after the arms smugglers.

This takes the film to half time in the film when Ranbir decides to trace his father. He asks Katrina to join him. In the process, they land up in Africa and realize that though the main arms dealer is some two headed man who owns a Russian circus, some of the Indian officials are also involved, including Saurabh Shukla, a government investigator.

Shukla thinks Saswata has been killed by his men but oddly enough, is told by Ranbir that his father is very much alive and is somewhere in Africa! Why should he do that when he knows Shukla is not worthy of trust? So Ranbir along with Katrina are searching for his father while Shukla is out to eliminate them.

The usual chase follows as Ranbir and Katrina find ways to escape like in a train, a car, a scooter or even an airplane conveniently placed for them whenever they need them.

The film clearly has a very loose script and hinges between being a children’s film and a serious subject of arms smuggling. The director has no grip on the proceedings and there are many glitches. With just Ranbir and Katrina with a couple of unknown faces to Hindi screen, it becomes a drag and the length of 142 minute duration adds to the woes! The film being dubbed as a musical fails as only the already popular number Galti se mistake…passes muster. Cinematography is good. The climax has been rushed.

As for performances, Ranbir Kapoor shows no improvement, and Katrina seems to be losing her charm. Saurabh Shukla does well as usual. Saswata Chetterjee does very well.

Jagga Jasoos has taken almost three years in the making but comes up with a totally disappointing result.

Producers: Siddharth Roy Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor, Anurag Basu.
Director: Anurag Basu.
Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Saurabh Shukla, Saswata Chatterjee.

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