Power… this one thing that is more abused in our country than it is used for what it’s meant for. From politicians to traffic cops to telephone linemen to the relatives of a bureaucrat; everybody is somebody in our country. The film, No One Killed Jessica opens with the same thought, albeit about the city of Delhi. Delhi, where no one killed Jessica Lall and no one killed Aarushi Talwar. Is it the city or is it the people or is it the system? Director, Raj Kumar Gupta’s second film after the very well made Aamir (2008) tries to ask the same question. No One Killed Jessica is a great attempt at making a hard hitting and brave film based on a real life incident that shook the nation’s conscience. I say a great attempt as the film makes a point but beyond the emotion, it falls short of achieving cinematic excellence.
The film opens with a spectacular credits sequence with the sensational ‘Dilli Dilli…’ track that sets the tone of the film. In fact, the music by Amit Trivedi with Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics is the film’s one of the biggest strengths. Talking about strengths, the film’s leading ladies, Vidya Balan and Rani Mukerji shine as Sabrina Lall and Meera Gaity, a journalist with striking similarities to NDTV’s Barkha Dutt, respectively. The first half of the film belongs to Vidya who sensitively portrays a girl in her twenties who is vulnerable and at the same time determined to get justice for her sister’s murder. Rani makes a powerful comeback with a fiery character and once again shows what a powerhouse of talent she is. I only wish that she was made to scream a little less. Rajesh Sharma as the chief investigative officer on the Jessica Lall murder case also deserves a special mention; he is believable as a frustrated cop.
With a powerful subject, good performances and a superb soundtrack, No One Killed Jessica could have been an outstanding film. However, the film is not consistent and has its fabulous and dull moments. The film really moves you but also drags in parts; some of the court sequences actually make you cringe due to the way they are shot with extreme close-ups. The film could have been fifteen minutes shorter for a much more impactful narrative (screenplay – Raj Kumar Gupta; editing – Aarti Bajaj). Having said that, hats off to the director and the producers, UTV Spotboy for making a relevant film like this. It is the right time for Hindi cinema to experiment and present real or realistic stories on screen; no matter if it doesn’t have a hero, people will come to watch as I saw today in a packed theatre. I recommend watching No One Killed Jessica once for the subject matter and the great performances by the cast.
My rating: * * * Three stars on five
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Just discovered your blog. Admire your commitment to writing reviews every weekend. I too have a hobbyist blog – http://bombaycinephile.blogspot.com, but with a terrible frequency of reviews
As far as the movie is concerned, my views are very similar to yours. I didnt find any one particular scene bad or boring. The movie does a fairly decent job of heightening your anticipation at critical moments, but then lets it peter away instead of landing that knockout punch
You can now watch movies via http://www.flickstree.com. Flickstree helps you to find movies you would love to watch with completely personalized movie suggestion. It also tells you where you can see these films online as it aggregates 18 different platforms worldwide like Netflix, Eros Now, iTunes etc.
Thanks for your feedback, it does get tough for me too to write regularly with work and laziness over the weekends 🙂 But this year am going to write at least once a week… a resolution of sorts…
I checked out your blog, you’ve reviewed many many films and I love the way you’ve sorted them – by ratings 🙂
NOKJ is well intentioned but an average film; thanks to the dearth of good films, it’s going to do good. Though, it’s nice to see Rani back on screen.
You can now watch movies via http://www.flickstree.com. Flickstree helps you to find movies you would love to watch with completely personalised movie suggestion. It also tells you where you can see these films online as it aggregates 18 different platforms worldwide like Netflix, Eros Now, iTunes etc. You can also rate and review the movies. Flickstree is India’s first online movie aggregator and movie recommendation platform.
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