Critics’ Verdict: Jha Outshines Priyanka in ‘Jai Gangaajal’
Priyanka Chopra in <i>Jai Gangaajal&nbsp;</i>
Priyanka Chopra in Jai Gangaajal 

Critics’ Verdict: Jha Outshines Priyanka in ‘Jai Gangaajal’

Film: Jai Gangaajal
Director: Prakash Jha
Cast: Priyanka Chopra, Prakash Jha, Manav Kaul

Excerpts from reviews of Jai Gangaajal:

For all its high-minded moralising, Jai Gangaajal plays out like a 1980s vigilante movie. Abha’s (Priyanka Chopra) near-abstract insistence on following the rules – a more uncharitable assessment would be to doubt her intelligence at grasping the reality of the situation – barely fits with the portrayal of a criminal justice system that has completely corroded. The director, who has also written the screenplay, has a deep understanding of how things work in these badlands, and he is not blind to the difficulties of trying to fix what is badly broken. But BN Singh’s (Prakash Jha) solutions are ultimately no different – and certainly less watchable – than the average vigilante flick. Singh ultimately emerges as a more serious and sorrowful Chulbul Pandey, and all Jai Gangaajal needed was a shirt-baring moment to complete the fantasy of justice delivered off the books and in slow motion.
Nandini Ramnath (
The best part about ‘Jai Gangajal’, director Prakash Jha’s latest foray into the country’s badlands, is a surprise acting turn by Jha himself: as a corrupt-cop-with-a-latent-conscience, Jha looks as if he has been doing this all his life, so comfortable is he in front of the camera. Priyanka Chopra’s too-sophisticated unmade-up-make-up is very distracting, even in her few convincing moments. And the film goes on for far too long, even when we know how all of it will end, and even when we are thoroughly enjoying Jha’s authentic’ leheja’ : ‘aap ko koi galat misguide kiye hain’, he says, and we smile.
Shubhra Gupta (
Despite the topical themes it tackles and all the supercharged action that unfolds on the screen, Jai Gangaajal never really kicks into top gear.There is little in the film’s good-cops-bad-cops construct that has not been seen before in Hindi cinema, especially in Jha’s own previous films. Priyanka Chopra, who is nearly always in neatly starched police attire and appears far too glossed-up for the role, does her very best to lend the character the requisite gravitas. But even when she is at her most admirable, for her action-star persona is unable to propel the film out of its inertia. Prakash Jha has a perpetual all-knowing smirk on his face in the early portions of the film - well, he is the director and he should know - but his performance gets infinitely better after Bhola Nath Singh is assailed by a wave of qualms in the second half.Jai Gangaajal is likely to be a letdown for those who expect it to be a worthy follow-up to Gangaajal.
Saibal Chatterjee (

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