Review - Jail: you sense the claustrophobia
The word spells gloom, the vision it creates makes a shiver run down the spine. The things you've read about this thing called prison invoke the worst of your imagination. The Neil-Madhur combination brings this harshness to life.
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A Jail - the subject matter is so grim that the treatment can only be depressing. You see a few characters but it’s the jail that adds, deletes and depletes what had defined them thus far. Parag (Niel Nitin Mukesh) is the one you care for, you want him to get out of this jail. And while doing that, you are sucked in; in to the atmosphere, living one day at a time - sometimes hopeful, some days aimless. And you want to avoid acknowledging that creepy feeling - real life prisons must only be worse. And this is because Parag turns narrator and you see this essay through his eyes. The plot moves on only because life does.
What is shown is mostly what we know already. And yet we must have seen only a small percentage of what really goes on in those barracks. We don't see the boredom a prisoner must have gone through. Why should we care? They are the ones who have defecated society. We have to live in their fear. They might as well rot here to the fullest before they are sent to hell. But then, there are also the ones who repent, the one-time offenders, and … the innocent - yet to be put on trial or worse - proven guilty.
You also are introduced to the other inmates of these jails - the policemen in-charge. What a thankless job that is!? What crime did they commit to be forced to spend their days and nights with the worst that humanity offers? Let alone the day-to-day problems they face from the higher ups, the judicial system, the politicians and their own family.
Yes, Madhur Bhandarkar has taken upon himself to sensitize his audience to the plight of the people who live in a world we know exists and choose to ignore. He does so in a matter-of-fact tone. He doesn't sermonize, he doesn't glamorize. He just opens the door and ironically lets it be so.
Writer Madhur, has chosen one representative for each set of people that constitute an Indian jail. He doesn't necessarily fill in the flesh in detail, but there's enough for us to make a fair judgment about the characters. Parag doesn't say much. But even if you don’t take into account the acting skills used, there's a lot in the writing that tells you about him. There are other characters narrating similar feelings and you know what he's thinking. It is extremely well-woven into the narrative.
There is actually only one main character in the film. And it's risky - banking on just one actor, not even a lady lead to stride alongside. The bet worked. You don't miss more detailed characters. His misery, his hope are enough to agonize you through the 2 hours. Manoj Bajpai is only a bonus. The two show what silence can convey.
The plot cannot be broken down into an introduction, a conflict, and a climax. The first and last parts are way too short. In fact the climax seems too simple and quick. The pace suddenly changes and it ends almost abruptly. But, even so, there's no preaching, there's no epilogue. And that must have been a difficult-to-resist temptation.
This is an autobiography of a prison. Not one prisoner or two. But it’s a peek into a few years of a jail's life. Inmates come and inmates go. You see it, you smell it, you sense it. Parag's misfortune - of being at the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong person - is only incidental. But you will be thinking constantly of the people he represents - the innocent.
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: In general, the environment of the jail is pretty violent even if there is not violence shown. In addition, this has some gun fights and beating up, torture scenes.
- Language: More or less clean, though murder and killing is indicated through language used.
- Nudity & Sexual content: A bar song, indication of masturbation and oral sex.
- Concept: Life in a prison. W character who's a bar dancer by profession, extra-marital affair,
- General Look and Feel: Its dark and grim. I'd keep the kids away for this reason and lots more.
Jail - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Website Facebook Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Percept Picture Company, Bhandarkar Entertainment
- Director: Madhur Bhandarkar
- Lead Cast: Neil Nitin Mukesh, Mugdha Godse, Manoj Bajpai
- Supporting Cast: Manish Mehta, Arya Babbar
- Story: Madhur Bhandarkar, Manoj Tyagi, Anuradha Tiwari
- Screenplay: Madhur Bhandarkar, Manoj Tyagi, Anuradha Tiwari
- Dialogues: Raghuvir Shekhawat, Raghuvir Shekhawat
- Cinematography: Kalpesh Bhandarkar, Kalpesh Bhandarkar
- Editor: Devendra Murdeshwar
- Background Score: Amar Mohile
- Action Choreography: Parvez Khan
- Music Director: Shamir Tandon, Toshi, Sharib Sabri
- Lyrics: Sandeep Nath, Ajay Garg, Kumaar, Turaz
- Costume Designer: Amrita Sarkar, Mandira Shukla
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 135 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi