Jazbaa is a Must Watch for Gripping Story & Strong Performance Despite Some Faults in the Script

When Talvar is still fresh in our minds, another thriller hit the screens and added to the intensity created by cinematic reminiscences of the infamous Noida double murder case. Jazbaa is not just another woman-oriented film. True to current times, Jazbaa is a grim story of two women who are strong and vulnerable at the same time. The axis of the plot that the fast-paced story of Aishwarya Rai’s character top lawyer Anuradha Verma revolves around is a revengeful mother played by Shabana Azmi, which is revealed at the end.

What kept me glued to the screen are the story with contemporary touches and the performance of the lead actors, which even cover up the blotches in the script. The script is at times melodramatic because of Anuradha Verma’s emotional outburst over her separation from her daughter. However it is not overwhelming due to wry humor of Irffan Khan’s cool headed character.

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The presence of Jackie Sroff’s character, who is a high profile political aspirant, during the courtroom drama, is out of the sync. His son, a drug addict, is in love with Garima Chaudhury’s (Sabana Azmi) easygoing daughter, who eventually gets raped and murder by a drug supplier. On one hand the political career-conscious father tries all possible means, good and bad, to avoid getting involved in the case, and on the other hand he is present in the courtroom only to be pointed at by lawyer Anuradha Varma during the trial.

Anuradha Varma is threatened to defend the actual criminal and get him out of the prison as a ransom to her daughter’s kidnapper. On one hand, she claims in the court why Siya would let the accused in her house on the night of the murder when they did not know each other. On the other hand, she says that Siya’s drug-addicted boyfriend might have killed her when he found her in bed with the accused. The opponent lawyer played by Atul Kulkarni does not counter-question her two different claims.

Anuradha Varma gets only four days to try the case of the rapist and defend him. When she meets Siya’s drug-addicted boyfriend Shyam in a mental asylum on the second day of the investigation, Shyam appears to have lost his sanity. He suffers from hallucinations and behaves like wild lunatic. Eventually he appears with mental equilibrium in the court on the fourth day and surprisingly narrates what happened after he found Siya dead. This fault in the script seems to be a deliberate force to drive the plot towards the end.

However, these faults in the script of Jazbaa film may elude your attention under cover of the gripping story and the powerful performance. It is a must mention that subtle references to female feticide and the thoughts that girls invite rape by wearing short dresses, visiting pubs, making friends with boys, etc. have found space in the script.

 Though not based on a true story, Jazbaa is close of real life. Shabana Azmi’s character hatches a smart plot, gets lawyer Anuradha Varma’s daughter kidnapped and threatened the lawyer to get the rapist discharged so that she can punish the criminal the way he deserves for his brutal crime. It reminded me of Dimple Kapadia starrer Zakhmi Aurat (released in 1988) in which a rape victim takes her revenge by castrating the rapist.

Needless to say, the repetition of the rape and murder scene in flashback for several times is disturbing.

Garima Chowdhry represents those parents whose daughters have not got justice yet or whose daughters’ rapists have not got proper punishment. Jazbaa can be considered a critical lesson to the law that often fails to mete out harsh punishment to rapists as it is evident in the case of Nirbhaya whose poor parents have been waiting for justice since 2012.

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