Someone Killed Jessica

The official trailer was out there for anyone to bite and I did too. Two talented actors and one powerful wrong could it go! A hybrid of fact and fiction, Rajkumar Gupta (after his promising debut film Aamir) narrates the story of two women with the Jessica Lal murder as the background. The director did justice to the extent that he managed to draw some great performances from Rani Mukherjee, Vidya Balan and Rajesh Sharma.

Strongly backed by Amit Trivedi’s background score, the film manages to keep you entertained through out barring some gimmicky scenes - esp the ones where purportedly the then President Kalam accepts public sms’s in support of Jessica and Manmohan Singh delivers a speech. Rajesh Sharma who plays the role of the cop handling the case does well in expressing frustration at the system’s inefficiency and elitist hypocrisy. Vidya consistently keeps the character believable with her appearances completely stripped of all the excesses. While Rani’s performance is among her best, there seems to be confusion in the overall character sketch - she talks like a bitch but doesn’t quite act like one; she wants to be associated with the biggest stories in media and shuns the Jessica Lal’s murder case but is suddenly bothered about justice being denied when the murderer walks away scot free. It leaves me wondering if she was genuinely interested in correcting the wrong done or she could foresee the potentially big story she was going to be a part of.

Overall there were, no doubt, some tears (or more of a sniff!), some anger and giggles. But the movie left me wanting something more - rave reviews followed but I came out disappointed - was I the only one? Was I becoming a loathsome cynic?

Luckily, I laid my hands on Rang De Basanti for the nth time and found my answers. Not very often do you come across films which spark an inspiration - Rang De Basanti’s candle march and Lage Raho Munnabhai’s Gandhigiri (incidentally both were 2006 releases). RDB was fiction but made us question our indifference towards everything that goes on around us. It inspired us enough to believe in the power of few to raise our voices against the power. And what hurt was the fact that “No one killed Jessica” had the potential of rekindling those emotions and driving the power of people yet again! Unfortunately, it does nothing more than be acknowledged with some good reviews and hopefully a couple of awards. I fear there’s another film in the making with the recent Aarushi case which will serve only as a good plot and nothing more.

- Padmaja Nagarur

Rating: 2.5/5

Is it worth watching: Maybe..but just once


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