wogma rating: Beg or borrow, but do watch (?)
Not every case might be a 'Jessica Lal' murder case, which can be repealed by the gusto of the 'aam junta' and one determined news lady. Not everything might come to culmination as easily as is shown in the second half of No One Killed Jessica. But the film gives us, what we need most - the strength to fight our fights and the hope that we will get what we deserved all along - justice.Read more
The turning over off the verdict of the Jessica Lal Muder case to give a life-time imprisonment sentence to a well-connected accused, is a precedent of the power of media, should they decide to use it. Dramatizing it with a strong cast and making it into a Hindi film is the need of the hour, if not anything else. The number of scams that 2010 saw makes a film showcasing the power of the audience, a necessary welcome to 2011.
The trailer makes you look forward to a crisp and strong film.
I'm hoping it's not just a cursory glance at the case, the low court acquittal, the uproar, the supreme court sentence but is a deeper read into who said what, etc. The media/citizen uproar and the sting operation are specific parts that I'm hoping will inspire us one and all.
With music composed by Amit Trivedi and the 'right' snippets in the trailer the initial audience is likely to hit theaters. And this despite the fact that the story is known to anyone who is interested. I'm also hoping the film will also reach out to the people who aren't aware of the details.
The question now is - are the parts that didn't make it to the trailer good enough for us to recommend it to family and friends.
Listen to the songs Here. Awesome, I say!
milliblog has given it a 200 word review instead of their regular 100-worder. That says it all!
music aloud - "9/10"
Bollyspice - "Ultimately, an album certainly worth checking out! Or 3.5/5"
Bollywood Hungama - "This has to be one of the most prestigious outings for Amit Trivedi as he brings in certain maturity in the way he deals with the soundtrack here. Or 3/5"
Hindustan Times - "fails to contain a cohesive sound and is rather mediocre."
- meeta, a part of the audience
Whatever you can expect from a film with - an attention grabbing promo; based on a newspaper story that is close to home for one and all of us; directed by the person who made a strong statement with his debut, Aamir; AND aspires to be a commercial success - is delivered. It's entertaining, it makes its point and it reaches out to us. Then, even if the film simplifies the struggle that the common man has to go through to get his basic right, it feels like it is only so that we keep our hopes strong in this age of a scam a day.
Of course, the state of affairs we live in is disturbing beyond measure. So much so that, we applaud something that should be taken for granted - honest bureaucrats, police, and politicians. As the 'aitbaar' song in the film goes - trust is melting away.
Thankfully, there are cases like these to restore that faith to however small an extent. And thankfully, there are people in the film industry who can and are willing to make such films to serve as reminders.
They also have selected a brilliant team, which brings to screen situations the way that we might have visualized them when we read the newspapers. And more. The story has a good measure of details that are not necessarily known to people who haven't keenly followed the case. The narrative is also kept interesting with the non-linear references to Sabrina's relationship with her sister.
The performances only add to what already is an interesting setup. You love the bitch in Mira (Rani Mukherjee) and the cow in Sabrina (Vidya Balan). You get into their story more because of the bit roles played by a reasonably well-staffed supporting cast.
The earnest but dumb, junior journalist Aditi (Maanvi Gagroo) is funny because of the situation she is put in. I loved the way Aditi's side-story subtly shows how Mira makes up to her. The submissive, clueless, simple middle class man, Sanjit Lal (Yogendra Tikku) makes you feel the frustration his daughter Sabrina might have gone through.
The powerful politician's side-kick is only too proud to "take care" of the witnesses and evidence. And the most impressive was the actor who played inspector (name, anyone?). His role in the case is such a huge finger pointed at the country's administration.
I could've have done with a little less dramatization, for example entry of the key witness into the courtroom. But, I'd much rather see a commercial success for films like these than cater to my preferences.
Isn't it commendable, that a film about such a serious issue leaves you in good humor, without taking away anything from the message. A lot of it has to do with the witty dialogue and amusing (or made amusing) situations. Another huge chunk of credit goes to Amit Trivedi (oh, how I have restrained myself from saying 'the one and only'!) His music in combination with Amitabh Bhattacharya's lyrics tell you a lot more than the basic story itself.
Sure, I would have liked the setup in the first half to have led up to something a little less anti-climactic. Sure, the pace could have been a little better in the first half, which might have made the second half look better. Yet, these seem like mere nitty-gritty when you notice the emotional high that the film has left you with. And especially when you compare it to the huge reminder it is. Of our strength, if only we choose to use it.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Nishtha Bhatnagar, Alpha : ...I am sure director Rajkumar Gupta was put up against as a mammoth challenge where he had to inform, educate and entertain all at the same time. And he manages to perform all the three roles with elan and precision.... full review
Thumbs up, by Naresh Kumar Deoshi, Apun Ka Choice : ...Kudos to director Rajkumar Gupta - delivering another ace after his debut film Aamir - for making a brave film that keeps you hooked for the most part, dipping only slightly in the second half when it stretches on needlessly... full review
Thumbs up, Best Of Bollywood : ...UTV, the producers, do smart work and skillfully embed a scene from Rang De Basanti where the characters are shown taking candle-lights to stir a movement. This of course, is true, because this scene was a catalyst in garnering public support for the Jessica Lal case.... full review
Thumbs up, by Steven Baker, Bolly Spice : ...After a string of over-hyped and over-budget offerings from Bombay cinema in the final quarter of 2010, No One Killed Jessica is a welcome antidote, and it will be interesting to see what awaits this powerful film at the box office. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama : ...Script-wise, the director has tried to remain faithful to the episode that occurred during that fateful night and also what transpired subsequently, but besides depicting reality on celluloid, he adds the thrill element to the plotline, which makes it very viewer-friendly. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Harjeet Singh Rakhra, Desi Martini : ...f Vidya has given strong performance as a seductress in Ishqiya, playing a subdued and unglamorous Sabrina would have been a cake walk for this talented actress.... full review
Thumbs up, by Ameetbhuvan, Desi Martini : ...Vidya Balan, as Sabrina Lal, sizzles in an understated deglam role. She brings a sense of grit and determination to the role, and makes one empathize with the anguishh and will to fight the system come what may. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Yusuf Poonawala, Desi Martini : ...The music of the film by Amit Trivedi, comes across as jarring, especially pre-interval. Besides the 2 famous songs, Dilli, Aali Re, the songs in the film, even though in the background, come across as a hindrance.... full review
Thumbs up, Dunkdaft : ...My only complaint to Rajkumar Gupta is - why the name of culprit is changed in the movie? Manu Sharama deserves to be hated by each who watches this movie. Or you thought Jessica and Sabrina's names should be retained to get more eyeballs ?... full review
Thumbs up, by Sukanya Venkatraghavan, Filmfare : ...The film itself is self-assuredly placid in places and riveting in others. Yet at times you wish there was just that little something extra that would make you want to jump through hoops. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Mayank Shekhar, Hindustan Times : ...The narrative is gripping, the music score (Amit Trivedi) uplifting, the screenplay tight enough to allow for very few slippages (only towards the end).... full review
Thumbs up, by Sarita Tanwar, MiD DAY : ...the film does seem one-sided. Would've been interesting to see a perspective from the other side. Whether it is Vikram's (the model based on Shayan Munshi) side or even one of the other witnesses. ... full review
Thumbs up, Mixed Bag : ...I have an intense desire to say that the performance delivered by Rani Mukerji was her best so far, but i would be exaggerating if i make this comment. The same goes for Vidya Balan and the remaining cast of NOKJ... full review
Thumbs up, Movie Talkies : ...Gupta has managed to stick to facts and yet add the right amount of fictional elements to make a film which is engrossing and extremely engaging as the main protagonists go through a sea of emotions in their journey towards justice and truth.... full review
Thumbs up, by Raj Narayan, MSN Entertainment : ...The movie sticks to a taut narrative and a reasonably tight script, though one really cannot understand the reason behind director Rajkumar Gupta's belief that only fire-spewing television anchors can fight crime and injustice and that heroism equals machismo.... full review
Thumbs up, by Satyen K Bordoloi, Now Running.com : ...In this case Tehelka, who did the sting investigation and Star News (and not NDTV that walks away with the praises in the film) that aired the footages did manage to right a wrong... full review
Thumbs up, by Noyon Jyoti Parasara, Now Running.com : ...Director Raj Kumar Gupta tries his best to keep his narration true to life. However there are times when he lets go off his restraint and the speed goes slack... full review
Thumbs up, by Khalid Mohamed, Passion for Cinema : ...Audaciously, Raj Kumar Gupta has avoided the temptation of jamming in gratutious commercial elements. The superb music score by Amit Trivedi is deftly used in the background throughout, instead of the eminently catchy songs becoming a pretext for a cabaret or two.... full review
Thumbs up, by Magik, Passion for Cinema : ...What worked for me was the way the story was intertwined vis-a-vis the micro and the macro of life. Dying soldiers. Dead model. The powerful. The powerless. The victim. The witness. Helplessness abounds. Whoever you are. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...One of the most priceless scenes of the film is where the murderer’s ghoonghat-clad mother tells her minister husband “kuch bhi karo, mere Monu ko kuch nahin hona chahiye”. But did this important (it speaks volumes about the murderer’s upbringing) scene need to be repeated thrice? ... full review
Thumbs up, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ...The film makes you feel angry, sad, frustrated, bitter about the umpteen flaws in our administrative and legal machinery. But more than all this, it fills you with hope and confidence about your own self... full review
Thumbs up, by Rummana Ahmed, yahoo! India : ...It's interesting how the narrative ties the crime to Delhi's arrogance and abuse of power where every conversation starts with, "Janta nahi main kaun hun?"... full review
So-So, by Gautam Chintamani, Buzz in Town : ...The second half simply ignores Vidya Balan and one wished Gupta had parallel cut a little more like in the first half where Rani Mukerji doesn’t have many scenes but is never missing. ... full review
So-So, by Bollyfan, Cinemaa Online : ...This is where Vidya Balan rises to the occasion with aplomb. She delivers yet another rocker of a performance to follow her grand acts in Paa & Ishqiya, establishing her as one of the most dependable actresses out there.... full review
So-So, by Manu Agrawal, Desi Martini : ...A dramatized, viewer-friendly version for the uninitiated. For people who have already followed the entire course of events, this becomes a history lesson. The Director could have gone the extra mile, offering some food for thought or inspiring people for a change.... full review
So-So, by Renuka Rao, DNA : ...the screenplay and story development are precise, enjoyable even. But they can’t add much to the film as the story is something that the audience is already aware of thus ruling out the element of surprise. ... full review
So-So, by Deepa Deosthalee, Film Impressions : ...But by showing the entire operation being carried out by a real news channel, he has himself distorted the facts and it is quite possible that audiences may in fact believe it was NDTV and Dutt that took the lead in the campaign. ... full review
So-So, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...Virtually every single supporting character is a cardboard caricature, and watching those courtroom scenes in which witnesses are called to testify, is nothing short of sheer torture because of the amateurish acting that's up on display... full review
So-So, by Ajit Duara, Open Magazine : ...Crowded with details, populated with dozens of bit characters and spread over years, No One Killed Jessica is a noble presentation but an exhausting movie experience.... full review
So-So, by Namrata Joshi, Outlook India : ...There are some interesting smaller acts like the cop played by Rajesh Sharma. Or Samara Chopra as the sexy-’n-spunky Naina Sehgal (inspired by Malini Ramani). But characters like Jessica’s mother turn out flat and Mallika Sehgal (a nod to Bina Ramani) gets caricatured. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Rony D'Costa, Desi Martini : ...Saying Fuck, bitch and some other abusive words doesnt make one look agro & tough and when Rani says those lines it looks like she is saying it to make an impact. It doesnt come out as her personality.... full review
Thumbs down, by Aniruddha Guha, DNA : ...Vidya Balan underplays Sabrina, letting the silence speak instead. Her face remains resilient in her pursuit for justice, even if the body language is timid. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Sanjukta Sharma, Live Mint : ...A film is sloppy if any or some of its parts are hurried through, but in No One Killed Jessica, the glaring negligence of everything except how the two main characters should appear and act spirals it down to the realm of mediocre Bollywood... full review
Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Amit : A good summarization of the events that happened.
Yay! Thumbs Up, by bollywood gossip
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Maine Dating
Yay! Thumbs Up, by minesh modi : we hope the movie’s experimentation with two actresses works out well with the audiences.
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Movies : The journey of these two women goes trough intense trauma and relentless pressure
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Nikita Saxena : Fantastic Movie
Yay! Thumbs Up, by no one killed Jessica Review : The political thriller, set in New Delhi, was believed to be based on the controversial Jessica Lal
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Pakiisp
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Ritu : 95
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Rocky j
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Saurabh
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Shweta
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Trupz
So-So, by Bollywood News
This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.
Manish wants a drinks at a party after the bar is closed. Celebrity bartender, Jessica Lal, refuses. Manish gets angry and pulls out a gun as a threat. He ends up shooting Jessica. What happens next is a story we all have read about. Now is our chance to go watch it.