Jabariya Jodi

wogma rating: Add to that never-watched 'To Watch' list (?) - and skip the last half hour

quick review:

Jabariya Jodi is not as much a romantic comedy as it is the story of a boy trying to come out of his father’s unsavoury shadow. But the need for a rom-com climax ruins whatever little it had tried to gain in the first two hours.

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Running time: 145 minutes
Genres: Comedy, Romance, Social
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Jabariya Jodi - Preview

The trailer of the film looks jaded. I didn’t look it up, but wouldn’t be surprised if the film has been long in the making. The release date has changed at least twice already. It doesn’t help that the one-liners in the trailer that fulfill the “com” requirements of a “rom-com” are funny, but I am never sure they will have enough to last through the film.

The story doesn’t seem to be big on conventional romance, which is fantastic. At the same time, there is a fair share of forcefulness in the “romance”, which makes me extremely uncomfortable these days. Again, while the anti-dowry drive makes me happy, the character’s intentions might not be all noble, but might be political.

Of course, we have Siddharth Malhotra and Parineeti Chopra taking us through this, so the film is unlikely to be all bad. Their combination has worked well once and looks like they are carrying it forward here too. Hope there is more to the Jabariya Jodi than that though.

Jabariya Jodi releases on 9 August 2019.

- meeta, a part of the audience

In a boy-meets-girl story, the boy himself is the roadblock to them being together. This one-line plot is intriguing enough to explore further. However, if just this line is repeated over and over again, for most of the 2.5 hours, it is likely to wear you down, and that it does.

A couple of good jokes are watered down because the spontaneity dies a long death.

You could then give it some points for consistency. Yes, it harps on about how reluctant the hero is to marry the woman he loves, though she is willing (and how!) The movie is equally consistent about its pretentious feminism. It opens with Babli (Parineeti Chopra), the lady protagonist beating a man up because he broke up with her. This is to tell us that she is bold and won’t take any nonsense thrown her way. At the same time, though, this fiercely individualistic woman’s single aim in life is to find herself a man. This polarity between the things she does, makes the feminism seem fake. Not only is violence still violence even if it is by a woman, but this woman also HAS to get married and doesn’t do anything other than wooing her man, Abhay Singh (Siddharth Malhotra).

Interestingly, the “wooing the man” bit isn’t even central to the film. There are significant moments in the movie between Abhay and his friend Pappu and others with his mom that are meaningful and show you the kind of person Abhay is. They guide the lost hero through his diffidence and fear. The same cannot be said about moments between Babli and Abhay. Let alone compelling or insightful moments, the scenes with the lead pair together aren’t even enough in number.

The first couple of scenes betweenSiddharth Malhotra and Parineeti Chopra have the potential for chemistry, but there is no more for it to build up. Individually, the actors do their bit. If you chanced upon a Parineeti-scene from this film, you wouldn’t be able to tell which film it is from. She seems to be the go-to girl for a small-town, exuberant persona. She does that well, but hasn’t she had enough? Siddharth Malhotra has a little more variety to showcase here, which is refreshing. But, the accent doesn’t quite land. Fortunately, the supporting cast - Sanjay Mishra, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Aparshakti Khurrana and even the to-be-doctor getting married to Babli pulls the accent and lends believability to the Bihari milieu.

Else, it would have been left to the state’s dish, litthi chokha to carry that burden. The number of times the savoury is mentioned makes you feel like the writer’s want to either advertise Bihari cuisine or have only recently found out about it.

These faults would have meant nothing if there was some focus on the writing. A social commentary, it surely wants to be. But, it is not confident and garbs itself as a romantic film. A romantic movie, it is not for sure. The film is more about the hero’s struggle with himself. Unfortunately, even this isn’t considered in depth. Some sharp lines are delivered almost in passing, like a comment on the thin line between respect and fear, or the loss of love due to the battle between confusion and ego. But, these are left at that. The philosophies aren’t explored maybe for fear of becoming too serious. We want to be a comedy film, after all.

The film doesn’t make much of an impact on that count either. A couple of good jokes are watered down because the spontaneity dies a long death. It is as if the writers knew the weight of the punch line and slowed the reveal down. It literally transitions in slow motion! And this is only the beginning of the drama. The bright and loud town in Bihar builds up to an inevitably typical climax that made me want to scream, “nahhhhiiiiiiii.” Of course, that would fall to deaf ears, so you just sit through hoping against hope that all your predictions fail. Instead, the film slips and falls while bruising the viewer’s senses.

- meeta, a part of the audience

35 reviewers(?) - 3 yays 8 so-so 24 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha, Bolly Spice : ...The climax at a wedding where everyone is shooting at each other seems to go out of control. But otherwise director Prashant Singh does an admirable job of controlling the riot of colours, sounds and flamboyant visuals that assail our senses in a film about Bihar which is not shot in Bihar.... full review

Thumbs up, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, JABARIYA JODI is a decent entertainer and works because of the novel idea of forced marriages, performances and hilarious and witty dialogues. At the box office, it will do decent business before the Independence Day biggies take over.... full review

Thumbs up, by Joginder Tuteja, Planet Bollywood : ...This is the second time Sidharth Malhotra and producer Ekta Kapoor are working together (after Ek Villain) and the set up is entirely different. Just for the manner in which Sidharth has approached this character and delivered a fine performance, the film deserves an extra star. Watch it for some harmless fun in the offering.... full review

So-So, by Susri Sahu, Bollywood Life : ...Watch it for Sid and Pari's dialoguebaazi and earnest effort. But otherwise, you will not miss out on much. We are going with two and a half stars. So, are you planning to watch the film this weekend? Tweet to us @bollywood_life and let us know!... full review

So-So, by Devesh Sharma, Filmfare : ...Summing up, while Jabariya Jodi is saying all the right things, it falters in the execution. Better attention to detail would really have made a wealth of difference for the film.... full review

So-So, by Madhuri V, Filmi Beat : ...Sidharth Malhotra-Parineeti Chopra's game of 'uthhan-uthaayi' deserved a better story-telling. The makers failed to strike a balance between a light-hearted comedy and a socially-relevant subject and instead, present a messy fare to you.... full review

So-So, by R.M. Vijayakar, India West : ...At the end of the day, if you want undemanding fare or are fans of the lead pair, “Jabariya Jodi” is an okay one-time watch. It could have been in the list of the great small-town light dramas that have embellished Hindi cinema in the last few years. After a delightful confection like “Hasee Toh Phasee” (2014), the Sidharth-Parineeti pair faces a steep come down, even if their chemistry remains as good as before.... full review

So-So, by Umesh Punwani, koimoi : ...All said and done, Jabariya Jodi is an entertaining funfair backed with a comparatively much-serious issue. It boasts many rib-tickling one-liners and actors those have nailed in delivering them. A time-pass watch if you minus the drama!... full review

So-So, by Gayatri Nirmal, MiD DAY : ...The supporting cast adds life to the film. Jaaved Jaaferi plays the perfect political personality, who drags his son Abhay into the business of wedding kidnappings. Actor Sharad Kapoor, who is best remembered for playing Prakash in the film Josh (2000) is impressive. Aparshakti Khurana (Santosh Pathak) wins the audiences' heart with his performance; he plays the perfect friend to Babli and secretly loves her.... full review

So-So, by Ronak Kotecha, Times of India : ...Jabariya Jodi starts on a promising note, but loses steam along the way. It tries to throw light on serious issues with lighter moments, but gets tangled in a melodramatic and unrealistic narrative that doesn’t feel all that jabardust.... full review

So-So, yahoo! India : ...This story had a lot of potential and what comes together very well is the performance of the supporting cast.... full review

Thumbs down, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...May be I am missing something here, so do let me know if you recall any such song in the history of Hindi cinema in your valuable comments below.... full review

Thumbs down, by Deepa Gahlot, cinemaah : ...It would take a lot more effort and talent to make either a dark comedy or a hard-hitting drama about this strange and region-specific crime. Jabariya Jodi is not that film.... full review

Thumbs down, by ARNAB BANERJEE, Deccan Chronicle : ...What we finally get is a predictably clumsy and dispensable 144-minute film that collapses while attempting to figure out what genre to adopt!... full review

Thumbs down, by Anupama Chopra, Film Companion : ...Debutant director Prashant Singh’s first instinct is to make the film so colorful that you forget the lawlessness of what you are seeing... full review

Thumbs down, by Rahul Desai, Film Companion : ...And you see Sharad Kapoor making a comeback to Bollywood in a role so futile that his psychopath character from Dastak might have murdered everyone here in the blink of an eye. At one point, exasperated with life, he mourns, “my sister is waiting at the mandap for the second time today and you all are busy doing this family drama!”. I would have laughed if not for the fact that this was the 142nd minute of a film that has managed to make me feel like a Jabariya critic today.... full review

Thumbs down, by Anna MM Vertticad, FirstPost : ...Jabariya Jodi makes the worst of his films so far look worthy of National Awards though. For one, it has the depth of a teaspoon. More important, it is dull dull dull.... full review

Thumbs down, by Vishal Verma, Glamsham.com : ...Please send a copy of ANTARDWAND to the writers and director of JABARIYA JODI. Produced at a budget of 1.5 crore by Dr Romen Kumar Jha, ANTARDWAND by Sushil Rajpal was based on the cases of groom kidnapping starring Raj Singh Chaudhary and Swati Sen. The movie won the National Film Award for Best Film on Social Issues in 2009.... full review

Thumbs down, by Manjusha Radhakrishnan, Gulf News : ...While the context of groom kidnapping is a rich idea, it isn’t milked well by director Prashant Singh either. Take the plunge if you are a fan of Chopra and put a ring on it only if you are a glutton for half-baked ideas that don’t materialise fully.... full review

Thumbs down, by Jyoti Sharma Bawa, Hindustan Times : ...Jabariya Jodi could have been that film but, alas, it is as flavourless as the ‘litti chokha’ served on pristine white ceramic plates– for sometimes, you like to get your hands dirty.... full review

Thumbs down, by Ankur Pathak, Huffington Post : ...And that’s Jabariya Jodi’s problem. It’s neither a well-made social commentary, nor an entertaining romantic comedy. What it is is a Jabariya headache to sit through.... full review

Thumbs down, by Lakshana N Palat, india today : ...Jabariya Jodi is a frustrating and excruciatingly painful watch, peppered with very few moments worth remembering. It’s even more annoying because it had a good premise and could have done much more with leads like Sidharth, Parineeti and Aparashakti. It's like a wedding you're forced to attend, where the biryani is no great shakes either. 1.5 stars out of 5.... full review

Thumbs down, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...How about giving these actors more to do, Bollywood? Better roles may end up making their jodi’ worth our time. The rest of it is a waste of time and talent.... full review

Thumbs down, by Ambika Sachin, Khaleej Times : ...If only the makers had kept it a pure mindless fun movie, it might have worked. Jabariya Jodi pulls us in too many directions and lacks a cohesive script to keep us engaged. The only saving grace, if it can be called that, is some fabulous dialogues that keep you chuckling even as you wait for the movie to come to an end. Much like this gem, which the hero’s friend sprouts at one point: “Jabariya shaadi is like Chinese goods, you can’t guarantee how long it will last.” We only wish the movie hadn’t lasted so long.... full review

Thumbs down, by Uday Bhatia, Live Mint : ...As Babli’s steadfast friend and emotional piñata, Aparshakti Khurana does his reputation no harm. This is the only silver lining I can offer. It’s been a year of offensively bad films – PM Narendra Modi, Thackeray, Kesari. But anger and disgust will keep you awake, which is more than I can say for Jabariya Jodi.... full review

Thumbs down, by Mayank Shekhar, MiD DAY : ...As for the jodi you probably walked in for: How about you catch their hugely under-rated Hasee Toh Phasee first? Audiences have unfortunately forgotten that fine movie (with that lovely Vishal-Shekhar song, Zehnaseeb). This couple might similarly forget this film rather soon too.... full review

Thumbs down, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...That the film features a character who gets grooms to say I do’ without their consent, the obvious track to consider would involve allowing him a taste of his own medicine. But by the time he gulps down this bitter dawaai, the audience will have already succumbed to boredom.... full review

Thumbs down, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...Don't think twice (thinking won't take you anywhere anyways if you decide to watch Jabariya Jodi): give it a miss.... full review

Thumbs down, by Piyush Chopra, Now Running.com : ...With both of their careers in the middle of a downward trend, Sidhharth Malhotra and Parineeti Chopra would've been hoping for a repeat success together after Hasee Toh Phasee. Alas, Jabariya Jodi fails to emulate the quirky charm and sweet emotional core of that much superior film, and all it manages to be is another proof that good films are made from good screenplays, not a producer's false idea of a winning lead pair.... full review

Thumbs down, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...Between an earnest Sidharth channelling Mithun Chakraborty’s dancing expressions to appear uninhibited and good-natured Parineeti showing off her red highlights in what seems to be a tribute to cousin Priyanka’s hair colour in Love Story 2050, Jabariya Jodi constantly confuses tacky as terrific.... full review

Thumbs down, by SHILPA JAMKHANDIKAR, Reuters : ...Chopra and Malhotra are stilted and ineffective, and their chemistry is non-existent. It is almost as if the two were dragged to the sets of the film and forced to act – just like the characters in the film. Much like its title, “Jabariya Jodi” is a forced and unnecessary effort, one that we could all have done without.... full review

Thumbs down, by Nandini Ramnath, Scroll.in : ...Sidharth Malhotra bares his teeth a lot, and Parineeti Chopra grimaces ever so often to signal her seriousness, but their characters are too wispy to leave any traces. The supporting cast, which includes Sanjay Mishra, Sheeba Chaddha and Chandan Roy Sanyal, put on their best professional faces for the course of 144 minutes. The humour is as forced as the romance, and the biggest question goes unanswered: what is the movie really trying to say?... full review

Thumbs down, by Vinayak Chakravorty, Sify Movies : ...Jabariya Jodi is a case of jabariya filmmaking. That's not amusing at all.... full review

Thumbs down, by Deborah Cornelious, The Hindu : ...The redemption then for Jabariya Jodi is fleeting and in spurts. Thanks to a cracking supporting cast, the film isn’t entirely an oppressive watch. Sanjay Mishra, as Babli’s patient and benevolent father, shines in every moment he’s on screen. Javed Jaffrey as Abhay’s father, is equal parts the menacing wannabe Bihari politician-cum-thug as well as sassy joker. Some of the most deliciously cheesy lines are devoted to his camaraderie with subordinate goons. Aparshakti Khurana as Babli’s pal Santo is hilarious in spite of the injustice meted out to his character. It’s as if every single actor, with the exception of the lead duo, have done their best for Jabariya Jodi. Unfortunately, it’s just not enough.... full review

Thumbs down, by Gaurang Chauhan, Times Now : ...Moreover, the whole romantic angle between Sidharth and Parineeti fails to work. Abhay's reason for not marrying Babli isn't that big of a conflict that it needs a 2 hour and 23 minutes run time to resolve.... full review

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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Lots of fist fights and guns hots
  • Language: A few curse words
  • Nudity & Sexual content: A couple of lip-to-lips, a making out scene, talk about sex
  • Concept: A girl wants to get married to a boy who is unwilling even though he loves her
  • General Look and Feel: Bright and loud

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

Comments (2)

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this is a good movie.

good movie and great story

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