Jalsa Cast: Vidya Balan, Shefali Shah, Rohini Hattangadi, Iqbal Khan
Jalsa Director: Suresh Triveni
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime
Review by: Russel D'Silva
Vidya Balan has spearheaded the imperative movement of female-centric films like few others have since 2010 in Bollywood.
The Dirty Picture, Kahaani, Ishqiya, No One Killed Jessica, Tumhari Sulu all have immensely contributed toward bettering the core of women-oriented cinema in Bollywood. Likewose, Shefali Shah has proven that age has no bar in being recognised for quality work with her roles in Dil Dhadakne Do, Delhi Crime, Human and more. Now, the two stalwarts finally join forces for Amazon Prime's Jalsa, helmed by Vidya Balan's Tumhari Sulu Director, Suresh Triveni. Does it create the same impact? Maybe not, but that doesn't mean it doesn't merit a decent watch.
So, are you excited about what to watch this weekend or what to watch this week and wondering whether Jalsa is worth your time? Scroll down for my full Jalsa movie review...
What's it about
Maya Menon (
Vidya Balan) is a star journalist who lives with her mother (Rohini Hattangadi) and physically challenged son. Rukhsana ( Shefali Shah) is her cook. Drastic, unforeseen circumstances lead to their lives spiralling and clashing in uncontrollable ways.
Watch the Jalsa trailer below: VIDEO
Vidya Balan and Shefali Shah are at the front and centre of Jalsa, together displaying a masterclass in body language, facial expressions, voice modulations, accents and subtle changes in pitch, tone and inflection.
Rohini Hattangadi, Iqbal Khan and tie rest of The supporting cast also do a good job. The incident serving as the catalyst to all the unforeseen circumstances and the ladies' decisions in the movie is truly shocking while the climax, where the limits of human capability for vengeance for one's kin is tested to the limit, is another major highlight. Additionally, Director Suresh Triveni deftly taps into complex emotions against a dark backdrop of human drama, doing just enough to hold our attention. Adding to the drama Gaurav Chatterji's competent background score and sound effects and Saurabh Goswami's foreboding camerawork. It also pays dividends that editor Shivkumar V. Panicker showcases an assured hand over the time frame.
The trailer of Jalsa is extremely misleading, giving one the impression that they're about to witness a psychological thriller, whereas the movie is an ambiguous human drama. Additionally, the pace dips too slow at times while the narrative hits several uneven bumps at others, especially in the second half, making Shivkumar V. Panicker's editing all the more remarkable. One also wonder what exactly was
Manav Kaul doing in the movie, cameo or not. Plus, if it wasn't for Vidya Balan and Shefali Shah, the movie wouldn't be half as watchable as it eventually is.
Vidya Balan and Shefali Shah deliver a masterclass in the “art of acting without acting”, helping iron out the uneven creases and pacing issues of Jalsa to a large extent. This is a complex human drama made more than watchable on the strength of two fine performers at the top of their game. I'm going with 3 out of 5 stars.
Rating : 3 out of 5
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