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‘Bobby Jasoos’…open and shut case

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MUMBAI: Bobby Jasoos is a curious mix of a light film, a romantic film, and a Muslim family social drama while also packing in a bit of suspense.

Vidya Balan belongs to a traditional Muslim family from Hyderabad but her interests are not very traditional. She wants to become a private detective. When she seeks a job at an established detective agency, she is turned down. She then decides to start her own agency right opposite this agency. Her assignments are from fellow Muslim men and women from her neighbourhood, a dense Muslim locality.

 One of her clients is Ali Fazal; every time his family wants him to get married and choose a girl for him, he asks Vidya, Bobby Jasoos, to find some negative thing about the girl and to convey that to his parents so the marriage is put off. However, these are petty assignments earning her in the low thousands. What is more, she has to use the tea stall of a friend, Akash Dahiya, for her meetings with clients and has to order tea so that he gets some business for letting her use his joint. Her other sidekick is Prasad Barve, who runs a cyber cafe in the area.

But Vidya has a problem at home. While her mother, Supriya Pathak Kapur, loves her like any mother would love her ward, her father is upset about her way of life and refuses even to talk to her. That is the family drama part of the film.

Producers: Dia MIrza, Sahil Sangha, Reliance Entertainment.

Director: Samar Shaikh.

Cast: Vidya Balan, Ali Fazal, Arjan Bajwa, Zarina Wahab, Supriya Pathak, Tanve Azmi, KIran Kumar, Rajendra Gupta, Prasad Barve, Aakash Dahiya, Anupriya Goenka

While working on her petty cases, Vidya suddenly gets her big break. Kiran Kumar, a very stern and suspicious looking person, walks into her life and offers her an assignment with wad of currency as well as an expense account. All she is given is a name and age of a girl and a birthmark on her palm to trace her. With funny trial and error methods, Vidya manages to find her.

With this success follows another assignment at double the fees. She has to find another girl, again with only a name, age and a birthmark. Vidya is elated and wants to share her success with her father, but he will have nothing of it. For him, this is not how a traditional Muslim girl of 30 behaves.

Somehow, Vidya succeeds in tracking this girl too through the pretext of carrying out a screen-test for a TV serial. And, now, Kiran Kumar is ready to give her a third and last case. She has to find a young man and is given his name but this time there is no birth mark. Only hint is that the boy has a toe missing in his right leg. But, by this time, Vidya is convinced Kiran Kumar is not a good man and lays a trap to find out his background. This is also the time to end the cat and mouse game and open the cards.

Bobby Jasoos is basically a Vidya Balan show in toto. Her various getups are well done but the real Vidya pops out of each of them. But what is good about the casting is that, in the supporting cast, the film has a host of veterans in Kiran Kumar, Rajendra Gupta, Zarina Wahab, Supriya Pathak, Tanve Azmi and an effective Arjan Bajwa. The veterans live up to their reputation while the rest of the supporting star cast also does well. Ali lives up to the confidence of casting him.

But as Vidya’s two lives are juxtaposed: that of family and her love to play detective, the film wavers, loses grip. The suspense created around Kiran Kumar and Bajwa shadowing Vidya turn out to be damp squibs. Gupta and Vidya’s equation, which remained ice cold throughout, changes in a few minutes’ worth of melodrama, which is cliché. Thankfully, there is little of music to slow the pace further.

 With Hyderabad as backdrop and a Muslim background, the release of Bobby Jasoos bang in the middle of the month of Ramzan shows utter lack of wisdom. 

‘Lekar Hum Deewana Dil’… going nowhere

Lekar Hum Deewana Dil is a campus love story. There is a usual group of a bunch of friends, which includes the lead pair. The bunch generally has a good time because they are never in a class room but hang around the campus all day. The hero sports a guitar around his neck on daily basis. So what’s new?

Armaan Jain and Deeksha Seth are college friends and they are in love but not quite aware of the fact, while to rest of their friends it is obvious that there is more than mere friendship. These two realise they are in love only when they have guzzled a few bottles of beer. Every love story needs a villain so in their case, the villain is the north-south divide. Deeksha is a south Indian and her father believes in maintaining traditions.

Producers: Dinesh Vijan, Saif Ali Khan.

Director: Arif Ali.

Cast: Armaan Jain, Deeksha Seth.

Besides his guitar, Armaan also owns a bike, mandatory for any college going young man in films! When Deeksha’s father is determined to marry her off to a suitor from his own community, she and Armaan decide to elope. Their first stop is Goa where they take shelter at Armaan’s uncle’s place. Soon the uncle betrays them and informs his family. The couple has to flee in hurry. And, of all the places, they land up in Maoist territory! Meanwhile, they have found the time to go through a temple wedding.

Their stay at the Maoist camp is used to force in an item song and put on test the romance of the two immature people. Their love snaps under pressure and the bad circumstances they have landed in. The couple now hate each other as much as they loved earlier. Back in Mumbai, the divorce procedure starts at a family court. Sessions with a marriage counselor don’t work as both start fighting at the very sight of the other.

As the divorce process is in progress, both embark on a great nostalgia montage of their good times together. Such montages have saved many broken romances in so many films so far so why should it not work here too? After all, love stories are all about happy endings. This is no Romeo and Juliet.

Despite launching a new pair, with the hero much touted as the grandson of late Raj Kapoor, the film seems to be more about saving money rather than spending on it. With two new faces, there is nobody in the supporting cast whom one may have seen before. To add to that, even the promotion leaves much to be desired.

The story is woven around a very flimsy plot. Screenplay is poor and so is the direction. With a song being forced in at every excuse, just a single number, Khalifa….. seems to have worked with youth. Rest of the aspects are below average. As for performances, Armaan is certainly not an actor; he is too raw and chocolaty. Deeksha, because of her south experience, does better.

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