29 January 2010 | AvinashPatalay
The "Slice & Dice" of life in a jail
In life some moments end up obtaining the status sacrosanct. No matter how hard one attempts, they cannot be relived and any attempt to recreate the magical moments go futile. The same would applies to Madhur's "Page 3". In hindsight it serves the purpose of being an yardstick, a guiding light force, a benchmark simply to aspire but never surpass.
"Page 3" created a genre which signified a fine balance of ingredients of parallel cinema doused with commercial sensibilities. Madhur's subsequent outings were attempts to fit into this genre but his every passing milestone were getting over-weighed by commercial temptations. "Corporate" and "Traffic Signal" to a certain extent carried the soul of "Page 3" but with "Fashion" it was transparent that the voice of "Page 3" was silenced and in his recent outing "Jail" the voice has perhaps died of extreme suffocation.
"The Green Mile", "Teen Deewarien" and "The Shawshank Redemption" are the thought that would spring into the mind as you watch "Jail" especially the latter with Manoj Bajpai reprising the role of Morgan Freeman. Indeed the stark reality, the rustic look and nexus is portrayed with utmost perfection. Sadly the plot fails to bear the weight and the seams begin to give away with each passing reel.
Performance wise, everybody is spot-on. Its difficult to segregate between the actors and the actual inmates.
˚ Niel: Gets a role of his life-time to showcase his talent in full glory. Sadly, as mentioned earlier the writing fails. Commendable is his commitment to get into the character and thereby gets an authentic look. And yes, the way his character gets implicated warranted better writing.
˚ Mughda: Seemed her character was more of glam-doll. And quite cinematic for her to stand up to the protagonist right from first frame.
˚ Manoj: The character did not have much meat in it therefore he appears to akin to a goat peering his eyes into the camera.
˚ Arya Babbar: Leaves an impression.
˚ Navni Parihar: Except to stand next to Mughda, her character served no purpose (probably pre-meditated the "Saas-Bahu" equation well in advance!)
˚ Atul Kulkarni: Very small role.
Whilst the "Page 3" ending was a realistic ending, the wrap-up of "Jail" is so commercial (on the same note even "Fashion" was).