Saturday, July 05, 2014

Bobby Jasoos  

Hyderabadi Tadka

Whenever there’s a film with a female star playing the title role, you get your hopes up, but they are dashed, more often than not (eg. Revolver Rani).  You want Bobby Jasoos to be a great, genre-breaking film, but its many merits do not make up for its flaws.

Director Samar Shaikh had a glittering phalanx of smart and intelligent female detectives for inspiration, from literature and cinema— the most prolific being Precious Ramotswe, the delightful ‘traditionally built’ detective created by Alexander McCall Smith. Unfortunately, Bilquis aka Bobby (Vidya Balan) is not half as bright or quirky.

The setting of an old Hyderabad mohalla is authentic and different, the Deccani lingo easy on the ears, but it’s not clear why a semi-educated woman from a conservative Muslim family wants so badly to be a detective. And how does she have the expertise and resources to turn into a master of disguise?   In any case, the multiple disguises turn out to be just a marketing gimmick.

The weakest part of the film is the plot, which makes very little sense, but Bobby the 30-ish singleton, who is not marriage material and is the bane of her father’s (Rajendra Gupta) existence, still has enough going for her to make the film amusing in spurts.

Her ‘cases’ may be elementary—like finding out if a girl is seeing someone—but she is always courageous and inventive. With her ragtag team of net cafe owner, a tea stall man and a tech expert, she manages to crack two almost impossible cases for a mysterious client Anees Khan (Kiran Kumar)—to locate two girls with just their names and birthmarks to go on. After she does, she wonders if she has been inadvertently abetting a crime.

Running parallel is her strange romance with TV anchor Tasawwur (Ali Fazal), who ends up being engaged to her when he doesn’t want to marry any mohalla girl, leave aside Bobby. She as effortlessly bulldozes him into helping her, as she chases and overpowers a burly thug.

A character as individualistic as Bilquis needed a better case to solve and more thrills in the line of work, not just biryani sampling expeditions. There are nods to TV detectives from Karamchand to CID, and interesting supporting characters like a doting mother (Supriya Pathak) and match-making aunt (Tanvi Azmi), but too much of a burden placed on the shoulders of Vidya Balan to make the flimsy plot work. She does well though, and looks lovely in simple costumes. You hope, for her sake, that the film does work.


Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

eXTReMe Tracker