Jalsa Movie Review: A Strong Battle of Motherhood
Cast: Vidya Balan, Shefali Shah,
Two women from diametrically opposite class divide form the central characters of Jalsa. These women are heavily impacted by a fatal accident that turns the course of their peaceful life and results in strained and conflicting emotions. Jalsa, which reunited director Suresh Triveni with his “Tumhari Sulu” costar Vidya Balan, is a fresh and thrilling take on motherhood, values, and class differences.
Vidya Balan plays Maya Menon, a highly reputed and successful journalist who is popular for always siding with the truth. She is proud of what she stands for. But a rather unforeseen event where she runs over a girl creates a qualm. Her career and life are at stake. Things get even more complicated when Maya realizes that the girl she ran over was her maid Ruksana’s daughter, Aliah. Ruksana, though from an underprivileged background, is not someone who can be controlled or sidelined. She stands tall, even in the face of uncertainty. I would credit Shefali Shah’s brilliant and convincing portrayal for the success of this character. She plays a grieving mother with utmost conviction.
Vidya Balan’s Maya Menon is no less either. The leading ladies give each other a strong competition and give us performances worth celebrating. Maya, through her digital channel, has created an image for herself where she is seen as the face of truth, and she is extremely proud of that as well. And for the same reason, this hit-and-run case gets her emotionally. Guilt kicks in and Maya starts to lose herself. She has two options ahead of her, either safeguarding her life, career, and son by covering up the entire incident or standing with the truth.
The film is not about those in power ruling and controlling the powerless. It is simply the story of people belonging to different class structures being subjected to pure coincidences that have the power of severely impacting lives. Apart from Maya and Ruksana, there’s Roshni George a trainee at Maya’s digital channel who is looking for her first big story, and there is sub-inspector More, who is looking forward to a comfortable retirement and his daughter’s wedding that is about to happen in a month. All these characters find themselves involved in the case not by choice, but by coincidence.
For an industry that is losing its charm to glamor and relies on remakes of regional movies, Jalsa is a ray of hope that upholds the dignity and purpose of Hindi cinema. It doesn’t have a lot of starry aurae, just pure talent that makes the film stand out.
Jalsa also makes a strong statement by casting Surya Kasibhatla, a person with cerebral palsy as Maya’s disabled son. The film becomes a flag bearer for the representation of disability by actually employing a disabled person as a character with a disability. Surya, who plays Ayush has done a wonderful job and deserves a special mention. His addition to the cast elevates the realism that the film tries to offer.
Jalsa, as a whole, has been tightly executed with every frame catching our attention. It is a slow-paced thriller that intrigues us and entertains us.
Watch on: Amazon Prime Video
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