MOVIE REVIEW ‘Jai Gangaajal’: OK but not a must watch

Jai Gangaajal is a sequel to the 2003 critical and commercially successful movie ‘Gangaajal’. It stars Priyanka Chopra as Abha Mathur, in the role of a tough cop who gets posted as the first woman SP of Bankipur district of Uttar Pradesh. With corrupt politicians ruling over it, lawlessness and crime happen in broad daylight at rampant. Abha Mathur’s team has officers like Bhola Nath Singh, played by the film’s own director Prakash Jha, who are corrupt and have a nexus with the corrupt politicians and help them carry out their criminal activities.

Abha Mathur is a no-nonsense cop and works hard to eradicate the rot that affects the system. But soon finds herself embroiled in the politics played against her by the local MLA Babloo Pandey, played by Manav Kaul and his group of henchmen and party cadres. Like any other Prakash Jha movie, this movie also takes up a lot of issues like forceful acquisition of land for industry purpose, farmer suicides, kidnappings etc. but somewhere fails to portray the right message. A farmer commits suicide by hanging himself by a rope from a tree when he succumbs to threats by local politicians and policemen. Who are trying to force a group of farmers to give up their agricultural land for an upcoming thermal power plant project. The farmer’s daughter, who also protests is kidnapped and raped in a truck and is finally killed. In situations like this, a corrupt officer like Bhola Nath Singh played by Prakash Jha goes through a change of heart and decides be a part of the process of changing things. He supports the villagers when they decide to publicly lynch a group of corrupt local politicians and also decides to take full responsibility about this.

Abha Mathur however believes it is the police and judicial system that should cleanse the system and no one should take the law in their own hands. But in such a place where crimes happen at rampant and the police are mere puppets in the hands of the politicians, will Abha and her team be successful in their endeavours? This is what is revealed in the next part of the movie.

Coming to the performances, Priyanka Chopra looks very good in the role of the tough cop Abha Mathur and plays her part well with dedication but has less screen time, less acting prowess to show and is let down by an overlong predictable script. The real hero in the movie is the movie’s director Prakash Jha, who has also written the screenplay in the role of corrupt turned good cop B.N. Singh and has the best action scenes and dialogues in the movie. This is one of those rare instances where a director of a movie has this kind of a full fledged role. The director has very good understanding about the ground realities about these issues and therefore shines. The host of evil men in the movie played by Manav Kaul and Murli Sharma as his eunuch henchman shine in their scenes. Rahul Bhat is completely wasted in the role of an activist and has lesser screen presence in the scenes.

The movie builds up well but then stretches too long and is burdened with too many background songs in action and dramatic scenes. The movie tries to shake and move viewers with punch lines, an energetic background scores and slow motion action scenes but fails. The climax is however paisa vasool and entertaining. The movie has nothing new to offer and definitely match its previous part which was very much raw and gritty. It is not Priyanka Chopra but Prakash Jha who has the meatiest role in the movie. A movie that can serve a weekend time-pass but is definitely not a must watch!

2.5-out-of-5

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