7 November 2009 | bobbysing
Too dark & predictable to be liked by all.
Madhur Bhandarkar is one of those rare talented directors who has mastered the art of making movies out of the newspapers. Continuing his series of films based on real life instances, he strikes again with a dark, uninviting and somehow upsetting movie on an unconventional subject of Jail and the life of its inmates.
Before going into further details, one thing you have to keep in mind before watching "Jail" is that it's not the usual witty and gossipy kind of subject chosen by Madhur this time. As suggested by the title itself, the theme is more cruel, dark and depressing which is also in complete contrast to Madhur's previous famous films. It is even more harsh than his "Traffic Signal" having no room for any comic, humor or sex references.
So if you have opted for the movie looking for some great entertaining stuff then you are definitely sitting in the wrong theater.
But at the same time "Jail" is also not at par with Bhandarkar's earlier highly appreciated works. For the first time he has opted for a completely predictable and seen before kind of script which has not got any shock treatment for which Madhur is more famous for. The story is anybody's guess where a young boy is wrongly framed under a drug case and has to spend a few painful years in Jail for a crime which he had never committed. Now the problem here is that the miserable ambiance of Jail and the life in it has been already shown in many movies before. The grouping system in the convicts, usual fights between the inmates, the use of money for their personal comforts and the underworld operating from the jail, everything has been there on the screen umpteen times before Madhur's elaborate movie on the subject. So there is nothing new in store for the viewer, which usually is the first expectation from a Madhur Bhandarkar project. And that's where "Jail" fails to deliver to a great extent.
However, the director's excellence is still evident in a few well conceived sequences related with some important characters in the script. Especially the sub-plots of Manoj Bajpayi (Nawab) & Rahul Singh (Ghani Bhai) are brilliantly handled by Madhur in his famous trade mark style (But I found no justification in Nawab killing his own kid brother without any reason). Madhur even explains the relationship between Monsoons and Jails in a very impressive manner. Besides this the narration showcases the questionable process of law and the greedy lawyers operating freely in this corrupt ongoing system. In addition to the above, the director also incorporates the real life inspiration angle in the movie taking references from the famous BMW Hit & Run case, Cricket bookies now found in every city and the hidden truth of homosexuality in the Jails.
Apart from his much applauded direction, the other department in which Madhur has got a great understanding or instinct is the Casting. He is simply perfect in his choice of actors for a particular role. For instance Neil Nitin Mukesh as the main protagonist, Manoj Bajpai as Nawab, Rahul Singh as Ghani, Arya Babbar as the influential inmate, Mughda Ghodse as the helpful lover & Atul Kulkarni as the savior lawyer, every one suits to their respective roles so perfectly. Undoubtedly the best act comes from Neil as the innocent helpless boy, followed by Manoj Bajapai giving a worth watching performance as per his reputation. Neil impresses with his superb expressions depicting the solitude and sufferings faced by his lonely character. On the other hand, Manoj speaks more through his effective stares and exceptional body language. The climax is the best part of the film which has got the Bhandarkar power in it but I think the movie could have been a bit shorter by few minutes to make it a more engrossing watch.
The script has got no scope for any full length songs. Still there are few quick numbers added into the story which actually don't serve any particular purpose. The compositions are not melodious enough to get register and even the Lata Mangeshkar prayer track is not able to move you either emotionally or musically. But the realistic set of prison and cinematography both deserve a prasing mention for their remarkable contribution.
On the whole, "Jail" is too realistic and gloomy to be liked by everyone. Moreover the repetitive and predictable content of the movie will prove to be its main drawback at the box office. It is thought provoking for sure but not after you have left the theater.
Yet there is one moral lesson I concluded from the movie which I would like to share with you all. It gave me the precious insight that
"CRIME is the unwanted and illegitimate child of ANGER and we should always take care of the precautions before it gets conceived" - bobbysing