Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bobby Jasoos, a mystery of modest charms.


 Ideally, a film about a private detective would marvel with its tightly plotted and well-scripted twists and turns. Bobby Jasoos is more focused on the detective herself, enthusiastic and smart and also a little foolish and inconsiderate, basically a nicely fleshed out female protagonist that not many actresses in Hindi cinema get to play in most of their films, but Vidya Balan seems to, in nearly every film of hers.

Bilkis Ahmed, the titular Bobby, is determined to become a private eye despite opposition from her father and derision from a more experienced detective, who laughs her out his office, time and time again. Unfazed by this, Bobby sets up her own shop, and not long after, a mysterious Aneez Khan (Kiran Kumar) hires her with a big paycheck to track down a girl with very few clues to identify her by.

The central case of the film unfolds at a nice pace, but perhaps more satisfying is just to watch Bobby in action, and all the side characters that help her or deter her. She's a fantastic, career-driven woman over 30, and that's just really refreshing, in many ways. You could argue the film should've aimed higher, delivered a more devastating twist, filled in those plot holes deftly, but I'm content with what it is; a Vidya-flavoured treat that surprises positively in some aspects, and is a bit of a letdown in others.

Bobby's love interest is the newcomer Ali Faizal's Tassavur, a popular TV journalist who is one of Bobby's initial clients, as he hires her to look into the backgrounds of girls his father wants him to marry, so that the match can be derailed and he can continue being a bachelor. From their initial scenes, you can tell Bobby is both annoyed and exhausted by this guy, but their continued chemistry is undeniable, whether they're bickering with one another or becoming partners in crime. Ali Faizal is a real find.

As delightful as the romance was, I didn't find myself in need of the other masala features, such as the many (unmemorable) songs the films has. Equally unimpressive is the bit of broad comedy the film takes a swing at by having Bobby in various disguises; a gimmick that doesn't quite work as well as the genuine situational comedy. It's really hard to criticise, though, that's how much of a treat the film really is. There are a number of other little things I could discuss as mildly disappointing facets, but again, they're so minor, I feel like I'm quibbling, or spoiling things about the film others should probably see for themselves.

So I'd without a doubt recommend it. In a year full of fun, interesting female roles, this is one of the most fun, and if you like the lead, you'll easily enjoy this one.

2 comments:

Filmbuff said...

Bobby Jasoos was a delightful movie and I saw it on the big screen coz i was sure being a vidya balan movie it won't be disappointing. I feel sad that the movie has not done well commercially. Ali Zafar is a true find indeed. Good review indeed. Good to see you back in blogging land. Culturally it is an authentic hyderabadi movie. The supporting cast were excellent especially supriya pathak and tanvi azmi.

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