By Neha Bora
‘Judgmentall Hai Kya‘ is a thriller, it is a comedy but mostly it is the story of a little girl who had a tough childhood and as a result, now, suffers from acute psychosis. The hue and cry about the name of the movie which was earlier called “mental hai kya”, seems a little overboard because the movie is actually a dig at the society which discredits people with mental illness.
One goes into the movie hall wondering if it is going to be one of those movies that can not deal with the mental illness of its characters and ends up making them uni-demensionally violent or subjects of ridicule. But it is exhilarating that writer Kanika Dhillon (who also appears in the film in a special appearance) made Bobby a believable character.
The first half of the movie very subtly pulls you into Bobby’s world, brings Keshav and Reema into her life and introduced you to her crazy, all the while keeping it harmless and before you even realise a murder has happened.
In this thriller, three dead bodies have already been laid down and the cases all cleared, all in the first half. The second half unfolds like a completely different story with it’s new characters in a new setting.
The second half seems like a new story with new characters in a new setting and suddenly Bobby meets Keshav again and it looks like her life is a fight between her illness and reality.
But, the very fact that a second half exists, alerts the audience that perhaps all is not as it seems. Even though the audience can see where the climax is headed, it is created so beautifully with Bobby and her imaginary band of detectives taking on the passionate and maybe innocent Keshav, to finally reach the end where all is revealed.
The dialogues are well written and switch between poetry, tongue-twisters, comic one-liners and light sex jokes. The script is not extraordinary and while it contains some unique elements like that of Bobby’s murder filled origami and the Ramayan juxtaposition, it falls into the age old trap of explaining itself out to it’s audience without considering the fact that ‘Sri Ram Raghavan’ has already happened to us.
Prakash Kovelamundi’s direction is worth noting right from the first scene where dark red blood from two dard bodies leaks into the surrounding gulaal, to the excellent use of lights throughout the film.
A feature of note is the extensive use of mirrors throughout the film, constantly creating an atmosphere of deceit and duality.
“I should have seen that coming”
“I did not see that coming”
“I saw that coming”
The effectiveness of a thriller depends on which of these three reactions the film has managed to get. While the best films are a thrilling “I should have seen that coming” with their clever scripts and direction, “Judgemental hai kya” is an exciting “I saw that coming”.
Nevertheless, we, as an audience appreciate the new ‘genre defying genre’ of thriller-comedies being made in Bollywood and while ‘Judgmental Hai Kya’ is not ‘Andhadhun, it is also not a shoddy piece of work.
It could have been just another average film, but the acting performances take it a notch higher. Those of us, who though that no one could outshine Rajkumar Rao, no matter how little his screen time, will find that this film belongs to Kangana Ranaut, whi shines in every frame.
Kanika Dhillon said that this character was written keeping Kangana in mind, and there is truly no on screen difference between Kangana and Bobby. They are one.
Rajkumar Rao is effortless and manages to convince you of his innocence and guilt as and when he wants. Hussain Dalal and his T-shirts deserve a special mention for adding a flavourful comic element.
The film heavily rests Ranaut and Rao’s shoulders but the entire supporting cast of Amyra Dastur and Amrita Puri and the detective duo of Satish Kaushik and Brijendra Kala worked well in the film. It is also a collective desire of the audience to see Jimmy Shergill with more screen time.
The background score by Daniel B George is an integral part of the entire story. It scares, thrills, sways and titillates according to the demand of the script. You really want to hate ‘The Wakhra Song’ but you can’t but you can’t because you are too busy swaying to it.
The last word being that the film is a unique and fresh dish in the stale market of thrillers produced in bollywood. It might not work for people who do not like over-the-top ideas but people willing to let themselves roll with the dice will certainly love it. Filmi Files is here to keep you updated with all the latest news and gossips going on tinsel town.
FF Ratings: ***
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Categories: World Cinema