Jagga Jasoos is historic. Only the naïve and the stupid can miss out on the enormity of the effort. Anurag Basu errs in effort because he does too much. If only he had toned down and cut the movie by nearly half, he would well have marketed a masterpiece.
The grammar of the film is stunning and compelling. JJ (Ranbir) is an orphan with a stammer. He is told very early in life that to overcome the stammer, he needs to be poetic. So, he sings. Doesn’t talk (remember Heer Ranjha?). His foster father Tooty Fruity (Saswatha Chaterjee) helps him grow with a sharpened intellect into our own Poirot. With friends back in school, in comic caper style, he unravels a murder mystery. Foster dad disappears, Shruti (Katrina Kaif) enters. She, like the foster dad, is blundering help. How she with the stammering detective unravel through serendipity, arms deals, espionage is what JJ is about.
More importantly, JJ is one of its kind cinema. The film maker dares to do it differently. He has the gall to defy the usual format and give a wakeup call to viewers who love the formula. He makes a goofy film of goof-ups, good gals and bad boys. Here Alice meets Tintin. Not Arabian Nights, this is Anurag Lights.
The film is also outstanding for some awe inspiring cinematography by Ravi Varman. Even before you reach South Africa, you have some mind-boggling cam shots. And then, there is Ranbir. Chip of the old block, he shows tremendous understanding of the craft only to prove genetics right. My heart goes out to this amazing package that is caught in the mundane demands of commercial cinema. Wake up viewers. Forget the Khans. Look at the likes of the Kapoors (Shahid and Ranbir). Encourage genuine talent. We owe it to ourselves. Where is the quality vigilante of India?