“Dh..dh.dhhh..dilli dilli…” – The first time I heard this and saw the trailer of No One Killed Jessica (NOKJ), I knew I would watch it the day it released. I was like, ‘Bloody Amit Trivedi!! How does he manage to create magic every single time’. And yes, the trailer looked gripping as well – Rani’s dialogue – “Tum waha hote na to gaand phatke haath mein aa jati”.
Considering the fact that I am a media student and have done my bit of journalism too there was no way I was not aware of the Jessica Lall case. I am pretty sure that most people, irrespective of their backgrounds, would have heard about the trail and its proceeding and would have wished that the accused was proven guilty and punished.
Somehow, I couldn’t watch NOKJ on the first day. By the time I went to watch, reviews were out. People had already declared that the film was amazing. I hated the fact that I missed it on Day 1. I had decided that I didn’t want to wait further and did not really want any company to watch it (as my normal group had already seen it on day 1). I went ahead and booked my ticket. It so happened that one considerate friend decided to give me company.
Rajkumar Gupta (the man who shot to fame with Amir), Rani Mukherji, Vidya Balan, Amit Trivedi – the names were all impressive. My expectations were set; set HIGH. The first ten minutes however, just let me down. I completed disliked the treatment of the film initially. Vidya Balan’s acting then, I thought was poor. I remember when we have drama classes in school, my drama teacher, Rev. Thomas, would always say that one had to live the emotion well. Even if it means that he had to play the part of dying man, it had to be done so well that it moves people. And here I was, hoping to see some great acting when the news would be broken to Sabrina (Vidya). I don’t think I was wrong in expecting great stuff. After all, it was the same woman who surprised the world with her intense performances in Parineeta , Ishqiya and Paa. But I was not really happy with the way it finally turned out to be. I don’t know why immediately a scene from Baazighar just came alive to me. News is broken to Kajol that her sister fell off the terrace and is dead. She visits the site and the way she emoted. It is indeed a scene that moves me till date. It was a performance that made me fall in love with Kajol. I just couldn’t help but draw parallels between the 2 scenes. One that was so powerful and the other that I wished was powerful. Vidya I am sure had done better stuff in the past. This for me was below average.
Then came a series of performances by the family members, particularly the lady who played Jessica’s mother. Again, I thought was poor. Then, the lady who plays Manu Sharma’s mother who would come in and only say, ‘Kuch bhi karo, mere Monu ko kuch nahi hona chahiye’. Once, twice – it’s ok. Time and again you repeat the same thing. It seemed overdone. Adding to this was the woman who played the role of Bina Ramani, the socialite at whose place the incident happened. But there was one who I admired since his first dialogue – Rajesh Sharma (who plays the cop). I was seeing him with Vidya Balan for the second time; Ishqiya being the first. I still remember how cool I thought he was with his ‘Koo-koo’ in Ishqiya. He was awesome throughout the NOKJ. Once Rani’s character began picking pace, I was thrilled. It seemed effortless and spontaneous. Playing the role of a reporter, reacting to situations and taking critical decisions and standing by them – it is not a very easy thing to portray. She I think did it superbly. Yes, I have to mention that I really liked the performance of the reporter who was keen on pursuing the case further and who was referred to as ‘Cutie’ by Rani. Her timing while doing the sting operation was amazing!
The film was good, barring minor glitches here and there. The first half, for me, was relatively weak. It showed lack for precision. Supers were being shown with incorrect spellings (people might say, I always look at details and find faults. Well, that is what I think defines a master film maker), few scenes that made the audience laugh besides the agony. However, there was one portion that made me ignore all of this – the music. I declare again that I think he is a genius and is probably the next AR Rahman. Myra, the lady who played the role of Jessica as well was good.
The winners of the film, according to me –
1) AMIT TRIVEDI
2) RAJESH SHARMA
(PS: A little beyond the film. Take a look at their official website, the link to which is given at the beginning. I initially thought they had overdone the media and new bit in presenting the website like a newspaper. Well, it’s still worth a look
Also, as the movie picked up pace my opinion about Vidya Balan’s acting changed. She did do a good job. But those initial moments made me pick Rani over her)