Movies

Jai Gangaajal….Drab and routine

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Jai Gangaajal, as the title suggests is the sequel to Prakash Jha’s 2003 film, Gangaajal. Unlike its precursor, this film has a female protagonist playing the crusading cop. As is Jha’s wont, the film has a Bihar background and pits an honest police person with a corrupt local politician and his goons.

The police force in the town of Lakhisarai is corrupt and at the beck and call of the politicians, especially the local MLA, ManavKaul. Manav has been winning elections for the last four terms as no one daresstand against him. His strategy is simple, fear. Anyone who dares to raise his voice against him is killed. The police is by his side with Prakash Jha, who takes to acting with this film, is his eyes and ears in the force.

Manav is into land grabbing, having already presold plots which belong to farmers and local bazaar traders. The land is needed for an ambitious power plant which is the dream project of the chief minister and Manav. Both stand to make crores through the deal.The victims, led by Rahul Bhat, are agitating but not with much success. The police frame whoever protests in some or the other case. 

To help his cause and control dissentin the region, the chief minister appoints Priyanka Chopra to take control of the Lakhisarai police force. The chief minister has obliged Priyanka’s family a lot, andas such, he expects her to toe his line. He does not want controversies as the elections are due soon.

As Priyanka takes charge, she realizes that she has to contend not only with Manav and his goons led by his maniacal brother NinadKamat, but also remove the rot which has set into her police force. Almost all officers seem to be working for Manav instead of for the state.

Priyanka arrests one of Manav’s goons for molesting a girl in broad daylight in a crowded street. When the goon is presented in court, bomb explosions in the court house help the goon escape. As Priyanka chases the goon, Jha shoots him as if to show that he is trying to save Priyanka. Priyanka understands that not only Jha and others work for Manav, but are also working against her. 

There is, however, one farmer who refuses to sell his land leading to Manav’s deal being stuck. The farmer is lynched, his daughter is raped and found hanging from a tree. The incident changes Jha. He is no more willing to help Manav and proceeds to arrest Kamat. Encouraged, the mob also gets involved.

The rest of the film is about Priyanka helping her officers regain their confidence and the end of Manav’s empire. In the process,the best scenes are hogged by Jha himself, leaving Priyanka in the shadows. 

The film offers nothing new when compared to other such UP-Bihar Bahubali films. While the first half is fairly gripping, the script loses steam in the second half. Jha’s direction is passable with no sparks of genius anywhere. The film lacks music and romance and is lengthy at 148 minutes (after deleting 10 minutes) with no major stars to pull it through except Priyanka. Priyanka is good as a determined cop. Jha impresses as a corrupt cop turned kosher. Manav is okay while Kamat andMurli Sharma are good.

Jai Ganaajal is a dry film with no entertainment value as such. The opening has been discouraging and so are the reports.

Producer: Prakash Jha.

Director: Prakash Jha.

Cast: Priyanka Chopra, ManavKaul, Prakash Jha, NinadKamat.

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