The only good thing about Jai Gangaajal is Prakash Jha himself!
Priyanka Chopra is making headlines as a cast member in Baywatch and recently the actress made ripples in Bollywood again by playing the role of SP Abha Mathur in Jai Gangaajal. Chopra has been mesmerising audiences with her bubbly appeal, however, in Jai Gangaajal she brings out a more sombre and mature look.
The story revolves around SP Abha Mathur who, is Bankipur District’s first female SP and, is burning midnight oil to catch the corrupt. She stands tall amongst other police officers of her district, and upholds her integrity whilst fighting criminals.
Piggy Chops has the looks and certainly knows how to act; unfortunately, she falls short in her role of a police officer. She does impress with her acting skills but there were moments when she seemed to struggle, especially in the fighting scenes or the ones where she had to keep a frown on her forehead and remain a stern and focused police superintendent.
Even with Chopra appearing as a lead character, the audience will keep an eye on Prakash Jha who plays the antagonist, Bhola Nath Singh. Jha has rendered multiple jobs for the movie. He is the director, he co-produced with Milind Dabke, and wrote the screenplay. However, his acting skills – seen for the first time – take the cake. His dialogue delivery is smooth and he has blended in with his notorious character with ease. The movies that Jha has previously directed are crime stories that focus on how the oppressed take revenge from the oppressors. His works include Apaharan (2005), Chakravyuh (2012), and Satyagraha (2013) to name a few.
The story of Jai Gangaajal is predictable to say the least and follows the clichéd formula that Bollywood has used for years in crime thrillers. SP Abha is a good, honest cop. The authorities transfer her to a challenging area where fraud and corruption is the law on any given day. Her opponent is a criminal usurping a farmer’s lands and is involved in multiple illegal activities. The good and bad sides fight to control the area. Moreover, SP Abha has to face resistance from other police officers who are working for the villains in exchange for money. Vidhayak Bablu Pandey, played by Manav Kaul, is a local politician who has bribed nearly all police officers in the district and faces resistance only from SP Abha.
Jha is SP Abha’s deputy but works for Bablu Pandey. While watching the movie, viewers will debate whether SP Abha will bring Jha and the others to justice or will she bend down to a system that values men only? However, there are moments that hint at Jha doing things out of the blue, hence compelling the viewers to gasp in anticipation.
The main reason SP Abha was transferred to the Bankipur District was so she could remain a puppet while the culprits carried on with their corruption. This idea has been used so much in Bollywood movies that it has become timeworn.
Moreover, Jai Gangaajal is the sequel to Gangajaal (2003) starring Ajay Devgan, Gracy Singh, Mohan Agashe, and Mukesh Tiwari. Jha was also its director, producer, and writer. The question remains though: is Jai Gangaajal’s story any different from Gangaajal?
The first half of the movie has vehement dialogues that add value to the the story. However, the story drags too much in the first half and since the movie is predictable because of the same Bollywood formula of good cop fighting bad people, the viewers already know what the climax of the movie is going to be.
If you think that SP Abha will eventually change the system and become the saviour of her area, though, then you are in for a surprise.
I did feel, however, that the action and suspense scenes needed better soundtracks. In a few scenes, the sound of the background music alongside the action taking place looked so out of place that I couldn't understand how I felt about the scene. An interesting fact, however, is that Amruta, wife of Maharashtra’s Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis, has lent her voice for the song Sab Dhan Maati. She has a soulful voice and her song does add some sense into the movie.
The saving grace, if any, was definitely Jha's brilliant villainous aura. Every movie shows the transformation of a main character, and in Jai Gangaajal, SP Abha’s character does transform, but it is someone else, someone you would least expect, who actually turns over a new leaf.
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