Jagga Jasoos


Jagga JasoosWho is your favorite detective character? Is it Sherlock Holmes, or is it Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple or Byomkesh or is it Feluda? Did you read Hardy Boys or was it Nancy Drew stories? Think hard and you will find that the detective characters are usually all logical thinkers. They are keen observers and find a way to connect pieces of information that the reader has missed or ignored. They say that the brain has two halves. The left brain controls all what is logical. The right brain is the center of creativity. The artists and film makers all use their right half of their brain as they come up with their stories and artwork.

Jagga Jassos is tries to create a detective character who is predominantly right brained. In doing that Anurag Basu takes a shot at creating a detective character in a different format. Jagga is an orphan who has grown up in a hospital. He sleeps under the staircase (inspired by Harry Potter perhaps) and avoids speaking because he is painfully aware of his stammer. One day Jagga meets his foster “father” in the hospital who is recovering from a fracture (hence called Tutti Phooti – not Fruity). Tutti Phooti tells Jagga to speak in rhymes and create his own tunes so that he can use only the right half of his brain. That is an important ground rule of the universe that director Basu creates in the film. This also remains the boldest move in the film.

Jagga JasoosJagga Jasoos is an out and out Disney film. It is a comic book that has come to life. There are bright colors and a range of emotions done in bold (a tad oversaturated) color. You travel to exotic places and like any good detective story, the film takes you to exotic and fictitious locations or ask your Bengali friends where is Shundi. The locations create the fantasy Disneyland complete with zebras, giraffes and ostriches. There are some breathtaking visuals and special effects I loved. Jagga (played by Ranbir Kapoor) creates an endearing protagonist with his Tintin inspired hair style and stammer. Though I feel that the stammer was overdone and tends to be annoying after a bit. His sidekick Shruti Sengupta (Katrina Kaif) is a narrator as well. She floats in an out of the story book to join the story.

Jagga Jasoos sings and speaks in verse. I loved that. You may recall the film Heer Ranja (made in 1970) where Kaifi Azmi wrote the entire film and its dialogue in verse. Satyajit Ray made Hirak Rajar Deshe (The Diamond King) where the entire story is told in verse.

Jagga solves more than one mystery. So you get your money’s worth. Ranbir in a school uniform is a stretch. But then since Jagga is all about heart. The search for Tutti Phooti could have been narrated far more concisely. It is a story that will appeal to the child in you and the children near you. The visuals and opening scenes will remind you of Barfi. The lush green paddy fields and the scenery of Jagga Jaasos, like the movie, has all the gifts of a right brain director. It is the left brain elements that could have enhanced the impact of the story. The film begins with a reference to the Purulia Arms Drop case in 1995 but its link with Jagga is not clear. The film could have played on this real-life event to make people believe that it was Jagga who actually solved the case while creating a cover up through real-life headlines just to stay away from the public eye. What a story format that could be.

But then you don’t get to see too many Broadway style detective musicals. So go see this just for that. Just use the right half of your brain though.

What did you think of the film? Leave your comments below.


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  1. Good review.

  2. Good review.

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