Movie Review: The Biggest Problem With Jai Gangaajal is its Length
While Priyanka Chopra is busy shooting for Baywatch, we here can watch this week’s new release, Jai Gangaajal starring – Aviators! Actually, it has Ms Chopra playing a top cop but considering it is Bollywood, aviators are a must for people in uniform. With perfect hair and makeup, SP Abha Mathur has her task cut out for her.
Bankipur is reeling under the atrocities of two evil brothers - Bablu and Dablu played by Manav Kaul and Ninad Kamat respectively. The gigantic responsibility of maintaining law and order falls on Priyanka Chopra’s pretty shoulders as she negotiates between corrupt politicians and the scared aam aadmi. There is also a foreign-returned social activist Rahul Bhatt, who makes abrupt entries into the narrative.
But the captain of this team is Prakash Jha. He is the director, writer and also the actor who reserves for himself the meatier scenes and a more rounded character. For all the hoopla surrounding Priyanka Chopra’s role as a tough cop, there is more of Jha’s machismo than Priyanka’s mardani act.
The plot resembles an over-stuffed suitcase. Prakash Jha in his typical style has packed in everything from drama to melodrama. Crowd-pleasing dialogues, charged emotions and an angry Priyanka, making mincemeat of the goons perfectly choreographed to the beat of the dhol are the mainstay of the film.
It’s not like Priyanka hasn’t tried enough but when the focus is on her mascara-laden eyelashes and neat ponytail as she catwalks in slow motion to tackle the rogues, one can’t help but get a taste of Prakash Jha’s brand of masala.
Manav Kaul nails it as the slimy MLA Bablu, colluding with the land mafia to cheat the innocent locals. He along with Ninad Kamat have both imbued their characters with just the right dose of sinister sheen. Even Priyanka for her part is sincere but they remain cardboard cutouts with very little insight into the inner workings of their mind. Jha as police officer B N Singh has an unfair advantage of being a better-written character.
The overarching theme of revenge and vigilante justice is tackled albeit in hyperbole. But the biggest problem with Jai Gangajal is its length. At 158 mins, it’s just too long. Go for it if you must, but keep your expectations in check. It definitely falls short of the original Gangaajal. I’ll give it 3 QUINTS out of 5.