When it comes to Hindi movies, Jalsa is one that is hard to slot. With its unmatched cast, it has a lot of things going for it. The performances by Vidya Balan, Shefali Shah, and Rohini Hattangadi are top-notch. Even the supporting cast is well-done. However, one thing that the film does not manage to do is show the true colours of people.
The first half of Vidya Balan in Jalsa is a heart-wrenching affair that leaves you on the edge of your seat. The film is well-made, with a strong cinematography and some great scenes, but the VFX ruins one of the film’s darkest sequences. It is also 2 hours and six minutes long, which feels like an eternity to some viewers. Vidya Balan’s performance is a highlight of the film, especially in the emotional scenes with her mother. The final third of the film is dark and compelling, and she gives a performance that’s a knockout.
The film also attempts to comment on the societal disparities in wealth by cutting between working class homes and posh apartment complexes. However, its overstuffed plot is counterproductive in its attempt to make its critique more powerful. In addition, the characters are merely stereotypes that represent social stereotypes. Despite the film’s attempt at social commentary, Jalsa’s filmmaking is not strong enough to make a strong statement. Instead, it simply tries to weave together a bunch of pressing issues without analysing their causes.
As the leading lady in the film, Vidya Balan is on top of her game. Shefali Shah’s performance is excellent, too, but her work is somewhat subordinate to Shefali Shah’s. The two women are unlikely to become friends, but Vidya’s performance makes up for it. The movie also features some strong performances by Shefali Shah, who has been making her mark as a rising star on the Bollywood scene.
Shefali Shah and Vidya Balan give all they have to play their characters in Jalsa, a modern drama about the sacrifice of truth to power and self-interest. While it is not a didactic film, Jalsa is a wry examination of human foibles, with a few points of wisdom articulated. This movie is one that you will want to watch, but it’s important to remember that it’s an art film, and its audience isn’t expecting an Oscar-worthy performance.
The plot revolves around the lives of two women, a famous journalist Maya and her house help Ruksana. Ruksana takes care of Maya’s disabled son, Ayush, and her daughter, Alia. Both women are at odds with each other, and the film follows their attempts to work through the situation through secrets and lies. The two women’s contrasting personalities and varying social backgrounds make for an interesting watch, and both actresses are worthy of praise in this movie.
Vidya Balan is a delightful presence as Maya Menon, a tough-as-nails reporter who is torn between her work and her ailing son. In the film’s opening scene, she swaggers around in a red dress, a neat bun, and black high heels. Vidya’s character has a roller coaster of emotions, but she keeps the audience entertained and wants more.
This movie’s writing is designed to have a domino effect, placing characters with a purpose and agenda. Even the smallest moments are designed to serve a purpose. It has all the elements of a riveting novel, but ultimately falls short. While there are a few good moments, Jalsa isn’t quite as strong as its potential. The film’s script, while compelling, doesn’t do it justice.
The script is smart and witty, with strong performances by Shefali and Vidhatri Bandi. Shefali Shah’s character is a wounded, rage-filled mother. The cast is superb, and the film’s evocative music is a treat to listen to. The film’s cinematography is outstanding and the sound design is wonderful. The film’s ending is particularly touching, as Maya is left comatose and unresponsive.
Shefali Shah plays Ruksana, a mother of a teen girl. She is incredibly distressed at the thought of her daughter suffering. Although Shefali Shah doesn’t say much, her facial expressions convey her emotions. The other supporting cast includes Surya Kasibhatla, Rohini Hattangadi, and Shashank Mohan Yadav.