1 August 2016 | bobbysing
A good-intentioned but loud and over ambitious political satire, partially inspired from MANTO's classic short story "Tetwal Ka Kutta".
Keeping in mind the film's title, posters, promos and various quotations displayed in the beginning on the concept of Democracy, a viewer perfectly gets the message that this is sure going to be a good-intentioned, insightful satire mocking at the present political scenario of our country in a hilarious manner. However, what eventually turns out to be in the next 96 minutes is a mixed bag of theatrical show with many long sequences and loud, over the top performances coming from all reputed names.
As an enjoyable satire, JAI HO DEMOCRACY successfully manages to engage the viewer with an interesting comical start, when an Indian jawaan accidentally finds himself standing on a landmine hidden in the 'No man's land' between the borders of India and Pakistan. And the sequence straight away reminds you of the Bosnian language Oscar winner NO MAN's LAND (2001). The entertainment continues further when the focus shifts on 'a hen' wandering between the two borders with both the sides trying to catch her as a matter of 'national pride'. But here the insertion, once again is inspired from another similar classic short story from MANTO titled TETWAL KA KUTTA revolving around a stray dog moving between the borders of two neighbouring countries.
As the 'hen story' goes into the stretching mode, the engaging moments do not last for long and next we have a painfully lengthy sequence of a crucial political meeting being held within a closed room. And from here onwards one feels like watching a play instead of a film, with some pretty loud theatrical acts presented by the veterans, not delivering the content promised in the beginning. The over lengthy discussions keep killing the momentum badly and post intermission it even tends to become annoying, heading towards nothing great or innovative related with the core subject. But then the concluding moments with a fine 'Qawaali' by Wadaali brothers and some emotional outbursts at the borders, marginally save the film from being a completely avoidable venture or a forgettable dud.
Giving its fair due, JAI HO DEMOCRACY has got a few enjoyable moments to offer, but the film overall fails to make any solid impact trying to follow the entertaining path shown by the master film-maker Stanley Kubrick (when it comes to political satires), through his cult classic DR. STRANGELOVE OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB released in 1964.
Directed by Ranjit Kapoor (with Bikramjeet Singh Bhullar) the man who wrote the dialogues of many known films like JAANE BHI DO YAARO, KHAMOSH, BANDIT QUEEN, LAJJA, HALLA BOL and more, the film is unable to deliver as per the expectations raised in the beginning due to some poor writing, hamming acts and laughable proceedings shown defying the simple logic. Interestingly Ranjit's first venture CHINTU JI (2009) was also a below average social satire made on a potential entertaining plot revolving around a small town and its people.
In its technical department, JHD does get some good support from its music composers (background score and one song) but its average cinematography; editing and unimpressive writing is not able to maintain the interest alive throughout. Admitting the fact that veterans such as Om Puri, Satish Kaushik, Seema Biswas, Adil Hussainand Aamir Bashir were all intentionally trying to portray the funny caricatures of some real life politicians, their respective acts still tend to become a bit loud and irritating too towards the end. Whereas Annu Kapoor emerges as a winner playing a south Indian Minister superbly along with Grusha Kapoor as the Home Minister and Mukesh Tiwarias the confused Army Officer at the border.
In all, JAI HO DEMOCRACY might be an engaging watch for a few interested in political satires in particular when its aired on one of television channels in the coming months. But for majority of viewers it's going to be a loud comedy that unfortunately gets caught in its own well-intentioned but over-ambitious trap of mocking at the present political scenario.