Jagga Jasoos – A Cinematic Candy Shop with Delightful Treats for Kids 

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I have been very closely following the promotional events of the Jagga Jasoos team over the last few weeks. It was quite interesting watching the ex-love birds Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif go from hostile and even disrespectful to genuine love, warmth and admiration for one another. I really liked their chemistry off screen and the movie seemed highly intriguing as well.

I decided irrespective of the movie´s reviews, I would surely take my daughter to watch this movie. The main reason being that we do not have enough Indian movies or even books catering to the children´s genre. When did we ever have movies catering to that genre really? In our childhood days, we feasted on Mr. India, Chaalbaaz, Hum Hain Rahi Pyaar Ke, King Uncle and Chamatkaar. Recently, there was Dangal but that is not an ´out and out´kids movie.

I had my own concerns how good Jagga Jasoos would be considering the lead couple´s breakup during the making of the movie. Also, the reviews were mixed.

But all those fears came to rest when we started watching this epic movie on the big screen. Jagga Jasoos is such a clever movie, I tell you!

The biggest win of the movie for me was listening to the children in the theatre, including my daughter, chuckle and laugh their guts out just watching the silly antics of the lead pair. Ranbir Kapoor is just on another level of acting compared to his peers. He is such a natural and you can really see his conviction and belief in his role as Jagga. One of my favourite scenes of Ranbir was when he finally tears up after waiting desperately for the post man to deliver the customary Birthday mail from his father. The relationship he shares with his father and his longing for him is endearing to say the least. Not to forget, his dance in the ‘Galti Se Mistake’ song is full paisa vasool.

Coming to Katrina Kaif, there is just one word to describe her character, Shruti and performance – A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E. The woman is a living doll and just as mesmerising in her role as a journalist as in her mind-blowing item dance songs. Yes, there were 2-3 scenes where she fell short, but Katrina more than makes up for that deficit by really becoming the character of Shruti. As in real life be it in her fashion sense or choice of words, what I liked best about Katrina´s performance was her subtlety and restraint. In fact, the children laughed the loudest at her antics. It was a good decision to cast her as Shruti as she has a personality that is warm, pleasant and highly positive. Be it narrating the Jagga Jasoos series of books to the children or going on a wild Ostrich ride with Jagga, Katrina simply sparks up the screen with her sheer affable presence.

Jagga and Shruti are two characters who come with their own set of handicaps and quirks. Jagga is a chronic stammerer but finds a novel solution in singing his way out. Shruti is as clumsy as you can imagine anyone to be and even clumsy is an understatement. A trait that she commonly shares with Jagga´s whistle blower father, Bagchi. Coming to Bagchi, his character is quite hatke as well and I liked how Jagga kept drawing parallels between his love interest and his father in the movie. That was some really cute workings inside Jagga´s ingenious mind, if you ask me!

Yet, Jagga and Shruti´s handicaps or deficiencies don´t take away from the fact they make a highly intelligent, delightfully curious and super entertaining duo bravely taking on international baddies. While Jagga has an astute sense of intuition, Shruti is highly independent. They share a crackling chemistry. I loved their banter in the basket scene for example and their clandestine rendezvous like when Ranbir tries kissing Katrina stealthily not once but twice but gets caught red-handed both the times. Or even just watching them dance is a treat to the eyes like the Úllu Ka Patha´ song.

Some of the reviews that I read before I watched the movie complained that it didn´t have a strong script. I completely disagree with this as the movie actually has a pretty good decent script. It reminded me of the books that I read as a child. Besides, C´Mon! You and I know that children really don´t care much about the script as much as the thrill and experience of a given moment. And, this is where Jagga Jaasoos hugely scores.

Why does the movie need to take the conventional path in the first place? Can´t it just be wonderfully random and spontaneously perfect the way it is? If you have ever been to Disneyland, this movie is just like their wildly adventurous joyous rides. It is grand visual spectacle with shifting landscapes and adventurous journeys from Darjeeling to Manipur to Assam to Kolkatta to Thailand to Cape Town to Morocco.

Another review called this movie a beautiful failure that Bollywood needs commit more often. I agree with all the bits except terming the movie a failure. I don’t think this movie is a failure by any measure or means. In fact, it is stupendous winner all the way. Movies in the past like Andaz Apna Apna and Lamhe were commercial flops but are considered cult movies and appreciated today for their novelty. However, I do hope for our kids’ sake, the movie does well at the box-office and we have more much films in this genre being made.

Jagga Jasoos is unique, innovative, wildly adventurous and gloriously bright. Anurag Basu´s direction, casting, script, cinematography, music especially the background score were all spot-on. I particularly liked the treatment of the movie. There are no OTT (over the top) emotional scenes. Even the intense scenes like the reunion of the father and the son in the end is quickly interjected with humour. And it´s fun time in Jagga La-La-Land again.

But where the movie should have paid serious attention to is in the budget and editing department. It could have been chopped by 30-60 mins and made more crisper to have better attention.  And, watch those lavish production costs!

Also, this movie caters to a specific target audience – Kids above the age of 2 years and for all the adults who are kids at heart. This is the audience group that is going to lap up the movie like a child takes to candy. I personally believe that the child in us never really dies even if we believe otherwise.

I cannot wait for Jagga Jasoos to become a franchise and churn out many sequels. I am already dreaming of Jagga and Shruti´s future escapades to Korea, Japan, North America, Brazil, Antarctica and more. Why not! Don´t our kids deserve a cinematic treat exclusively made for them?

As for my daughter and me, we give Jagga Jasoos two big thumbs up and five twinkling stars.

Did you watch the movie and what was your thoughts on it? How did your children react to it?

(This post was first published here – Jagga Jasoos Review @ Mycity4kids)

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