Ranveer Singh is a class apart in Jayeshbhai Jordaar, which released in theatres today, May 13. Here’s our review.
Bollywood right now needs a jordaar hit. South cinema has pretty much annihilated the industry that has for years gloated about both masala and path-breaking cinema. In less than half a year, South has invaded, brought the west to its knees, and showed them that both content and masala can co-exist. So what does Bollywood do? Hit back with something stronger or try to play catch up? For once I’m happy with Bollywood’s move – as Ranveer Singh, star of Jayeshbhai Jordaar recently said, here’s an oestrogen film in the wave of testosterone. Grab the popcorn.
At the onset, let’s just put it out there that this is no Rohit Shetty film, someone we know can harness Ranveer’s madness. But debutante director Divyang Thakkar knows that better than you think. So he doesn’t even try it. He let’s Ranveer Singh flow, much like the androgynous fashion he’s been donning of late. On Divyang’s part, it was both a requirement and a risk, for the entire film, every frame is Ranveer. But kudos to the actor here who has come such a long way in the last decade. And kudos to the director for finding method in Ranveer’s madness.
The trailer of Jayeshbhai Jordaar gave us a fair idea of what to expect. The film follows Jayesh, a timid father of a girl child aged 9, husband of Kinjal (Shalini Pandey). Kinjal’s whole purpose in life is to provide a waris. A boy. Pehli galti is maaf, so both were allowed to keep their first born daughter. The next 5 pregnancies were tagged ‘miscarriages’. You get the drift. With a sixth child on the way, Jayesh, a softy, decides to finally be not a hero, but the action hero his daughter wants, needs.
No, he’s no Yash. He truly doesn’t like violence but violence likes him. With a dash of Ranveer quirk of course. So his greatest threat to his father and other panchayat heads when they try to capture them and kill their unborn daughter is ‘main kaat dunga, apna’. You don’t know whether to laugh, applaud or cry at this momentous dialogue. The society’s obsession with collectively controlling a sex could only stem from deep-rooted fear that if they concede, they will be shown that they have been wrong all along. In this, Divyang deserves a pat on his back.
But not everything in Jayeshbhai Jordaar is so tapte tawe pe paani ke chheete jaisa sizzling. Several portions are preachy. If Sanjay Dutt gave us jaadoo ki jhappi, Jayeshbhai introduces the concept of jaddoo ki pappi. But sidelining all this, the borderline dystopian world the film creates is commendable. It is set in Gujarat, but it could just as easily be a gaon in Maharashtra or a kasba in Uttar Pradesh.
Ultimately Jayeshbhai does turn action hero. Prithviraj type, horse riding his way into giving his unborn daughter a better life, or just a life to begin with. But that’s not even the end of it.
Ranveer is a class apart. The more we see him over the years, the more we realise how exponentially he’s grown. Juxtaposed with his pulpy soft man-ness, is Boman Irani’s toxic masculinity, which the actor brings to life effortlessly. You hate him and that is his achievement. Ratna Pathak Shah as Jayesh’s mother is perfectly strong yet helpless at the same time. Yet the cutest takeaway is Puneeth Isaar, the heavy built textbook man who swears off violence, bends his towering figure to say ‘soorry’ in an accent, and ends his sentences with ‘pleej’.
Will Jayeshbhai Jordaar pull off a KGF or at the very least a Kashmir Files in terms of box office collection? No chance. But these are films that will touch the heart. This feel-good feeling we’re walking out of the theatre with is currency enough.