Diganta Guha

 

 
Film: No One Killed Jessica
Director: Raj Kumar Gupta
Cast: Rani Mukerji, Vidya Balan, Myra Karn, Rajesh Sharma
Rating: Average
 
No One Killed Jessica being the first big release of the year, with Rani Mukerji and Vidya Balan in the lead, the anticipation level was sky high. The film is based on the real-life incident when model cum bartender Jessica Lall (Myra) was shot dead by Manu Sharma, son of a high-profile Haryana politician. The film narrates the story of Jessica’s sister Sabrina Lall (Vidya), her fight for justice and the nation’s fury at the blatant use of money, muscle power and political influence to manipulate the investigation.
The problem with films inspired by real-life incidents is that viewers always end up comparing them with what really happened. And there lies the challenge for a director. Sadly, Gupta fails to dramatise the incident in a way that intrigues the audience.
Considering it’s a sensitive plot, the film ought to have won your sympathy, if not move you to tears. Director Raj Kumar Gupta actually explores the flaw in our legal and political systems. They say, justice delayed is justice denied, and Gupta through his film underscores it perfectly well.
Gupta, who has made a film like Aamir, had a perfect subject to make a hard-hitting film. But No One Killed Jessica lacks punch. An incident that rocked the nation could have been
portrayed in a much more aggressive manner.
The first half is rather slow; especially the way Sabrina Lall tries to get justice for her sister has not been highlighted appropriately. Vidya’s subdued act doesn’t portray the ‘firebrand’ woman the audience was expecting to see in Sabrina. Agreed, a director is allowed a few cinematic liberties, like tweaking the script or adding or substracting a few characters, but, he is not expected to change the plot in a real-life adaptation. That’s where the film falters. The film sees Rani doing what Sabrina should have been doing.
One positive aspect of the film is the performance. If the first half belongs to Vidya who excels with her subtle act, the second half is Rani’s. As an aggressive journalist, Rani delivers one of the most power-packed performances of her career. But the way Vidya reacts to Rani’s aggression is worth a mention. She doesn’t try to score over Rani, but plays second fiddle to perfection. Some of the sequences involving the two ladies are indeed worth remembering.
The script is inconsistent. A right balance between fiction and facts would have had a better impact. Gupta takes the liberty of including choicest of cuss words including the ‘four letter word’ quite often but that doesn’t add value to the story.
To conclude, No One Killed Jessica is worth a watch but it certainly could have been better.

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