Film: Jabariya Jodi

Director: Prashant Singh

Cast: Sidharth Malhotra, Parineeti Chopra ,Javed Jaffrey, Sanjay Mishra,Aparshakti Khurana

 

Jabariya Jodi is a masala entertainer that is long past its due date. Apart from addressing a new social issue, the film conforms to all tropes and stereotypes associated with a big masala entertainer. Starring Parineeti Chopra and Sidharth Malhotra in the lead, Jabariya Jodi follows the usual arch of a romantic drama; from its inception — childhood romance opening sequence — to the separation of lovers and their reunification at the end.

There is nothing new in the writing of a film; its production design is way off the mark. Jabariya Jodi stands solely on the performances of its actors. Parineeti Chopra and Sidharth Malhotra reunite after Hasee Toh Phasee (2014) in Jabariya Jodi and their chemistry is like an instant take-off from where they left. For those, who have not seen the former film will find no problem in believing the established romance as the ‘quickness-of-relationships and marking-territory’ have become a part and parcel of romcoms these days. One song is enough to establish how much the two leads love each other and the development from the first eye-contact to everything that follows thereafter, in just a matter of minutes.

If, on one hand, Jabariya Jodi talks about mutual love and respect for both sexes and tries to establish that throughout the film, it discredits that same tall claim with unexplained long overhead shots, close-ups of Elli Avram in the film’s opening item number.

Despite playing larger-than-life, hard to believe characters, Parineeti Chopra and Sidharth Malhotra try to do justice to their characters for the most part of the film. Sidharth’s character is more believable because the DNA of the bad-boy-who-is-good-at-heart has been played with a lot in Hindi films. His Bihari dialect sometimes slips into a school teacher mode educating all on the ills of dowry sometimes, but mostly works well for the narrative. His performance is decent; some innocent glances here and there do much work than the lofty writing of dialogues given to him and his father, Javed Jaffrey, who plays another badass character.

On the other hand, Parineeti’s character is poorly written. It seems that the only language of a liberal-modern-educated-woman that Bollywood understands is of an outspoken, gutsy woman with a short temper and all heart. There are no nuances to it, except the range of anger and the actions undertaken in its influence. Despite that, Parineeti was more believable as an educated Bihari woman whose only concern in life is to have a relationship, ‘pyaar’ and marriage. Another box women are fit into after showing that they are out there against the society and challenge all notions of stereotypes associated with it.

Sanjay Mishra was mostly dazed and confused for his part which was great, and Javed Jaffrey was in the villain mode. His comic timing here and there saved many a moment in the film.

The hero’s sidekick shifted to become heroine’s best friend in the form of a character written for Aparshakti Khurana, Santo. A best friend to Babli Yadav (Parineeti Chopra), who goes to all the extents to see her happy.

Despite having strong actors play supporting roles, the writing of Jabariya Jodi could not do justice to their efforts.

It would be a waste of time to comment on the look and costumes of the lead actors that stand out; for the obvious argument that they played larger than life characters.

The music suited well the genre for which it was made. Romantic tracks aided the scenes in effect in numerous places.

Jabariya Jodi’s duration could have been shortened, especially from the second half where the pace gets slack. The film is shot in the heartland and is beautiful in most places. A few scenes stay behind and so does a small moment that did not deal with the social issue that the film addressed. It was perhaps the only thing that struck after the film — Desi parents own their children’s lives and demand regard for bringing them up every time the kid tries to do their own and step outside the shade of the palm tree. That piece of dialogue that Abhay Singh’s (Sidharth Malhotra) mother Sheeba Chaddha gives him that, there is a very thin line between respect and fear, and that one should not fear anyone so much that they lose self-respect for themselves, is a piece of advice the director Prashant Singh could have literally taken for himself. One could fare much better if he did not lose hold of the little bit of voice that every film they make gives them an opportunity to say.

Rating: 1.5