Jalsa: A Gripping Layered Moral Drama
What happens when an apostle of truth tries to hide something?
What happens when momentary lapse threatens to derail an entire career and image?
What happens to ethics and values when life stress tests it?
Jalsa is a story of two unequal yet equal women whose life changes due to a twist of fate. Maya Menon is the face of truth of a digital channel. An accident threatens to derail her career and life. She is a mother of specially abled son who shares a great rapport with house-maid Rukshana and grandmother. Rukshana is a maid from the margins who makes an attempt to hold on to a life of dignity. She takes pride in her work and honesty like her boss Maya.
Maya is imperfect, sassy, bossy, vulnerable, confused, rebellious, smart.
Rukshana is real, raw, righteous, proud, hopeful, humane.
The outburst of Maya on her defenceless son is one of the highlights.
A great potential lay in other characters. Young journalist who is obstinate and wanting to break a story. An honest cop who is fearing a blemish on verge of his retirement. A youngster crazy about social media likes. Divorced husband. But the director ensures that the focus is on the core story and two strong fiery women.
The movie is not judgemental. The conflict is hidden. No over attention-seeking melodrama. Beyond gender and religion. It has one of the best beginnings that keeps you hooked. Great production values.
The ending will determine the way you relate to the movie. Weird like Maya and life? Improbable? Or a hurried climax – which not everyone appreciates!
Watch Jalsa for this…but watch Jalsa for the phenomenal brilliance of Vidya Balan and Shefali Shah. The way they have unleashed the storm of their talent – just amazing! The eyes, the expressions, the emotions, the body language, the voice modulation – sheer acting masterclass! And Rohini Hattangadi and Vidhatri Bandi make it a perfect women team. Shefali has an edge over Vidya for sure!
One more strong reason to watch Jalsa is the highly commendable and appreciative decision to cast Surya Kasibhatla as a specially abled Ayush. Surya has cerebral palsy and his character makes a great impact.
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