Sometimes, even Bollywood needs to get real!

15Jan11

No One Killed Jessica: Movie Review

How is it possible that a man shoots a bartender at a party with 300 guests and no one sees it happen? That’s the question India – it’s people, the police force and the judiciary – was forced to ask when the court acquitted all accused in the Jessica Lall murder case due to lack of evidence and witnesses.

Based on the murder trial, which turned into one of India’s most high profile ones, Rajkumar Gupta’s “No One Killed Jessica” asks this question again and follows Jessica’s sister Sabrina’s (Vidya Balan) quest for justice. Unfortunately, the movie does so in such an over-dramatized way with clichéd dialogues and stereotypical characters that the viewer is forced to laugh instead of feeling any real emotion.

In April 1999, Manu Sharma, the son of an Indian politician, shot Jessica at point blank range at a party in New Delhi when she refused to give him a drink as the bar had closed. When the trial began, everyone, including Jessica’s family and the Indian media, thought it was an open and shut case. But Sharma’s family bought off all the witnesses and government officials in the case and seven years later, in 2006, the court acquitted all accused.

The ruling caused an outcry in the Indian media and public and after months of protests and campaigns, the case was reopened and Sharma was awarded life sentence.

Rani Mukherjee gives a strong performance as star reporter Meera Gaiti and brings the scenes to life with her strong screen presence. Balan tries too hard to play the introverted and subdued Sabrina and forgets to add any personality to the character. The biggest blow to the film is the weak supporting cast who unfortunately had important roles to play. Myra Karn (Jessica), Neil Bhoopalam (prime witness Vikram Jaisingh) and others are awkward actors and the pathetic dialogue delivery takes away from what could have been the most moving scenes in the film.

My only advice (and prayer) for Gupta for the future would be: keep it real, please!

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One Response to “Sometimes, even Bollywood needs to get real!”

  1. I want to watch the movie though. I remember all the protests that we were part of, as college students. It must have been bigger for you no? As a journalist and as Delhiite?


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