‘JALSA’ REVIEW | 18 March, 2022

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T-Series Films and Abundantia Entertainment’s Jalsa is a thriller. Rukhsana (Shefali Shah) works as a maid in upright journalist Maya Menon’s (Vidya Balan) house. Maya is a single parent to Aayush (Surya Kasibhatia), a young boy with special needs. Her ex-husband (Manav Kaul) has remarried but does visit his son. Maya’s mother (Rohini Hattangadi) also lives with her.

One night, Rukhsana’s daughter, Aaliya (Kashish Rizwan), meets with a serious accident. The driver of the car which knocks down Aaliya, runs away. Aaliya is hospitalised. The police does not seem keen to pursue the hit-and-run case. Although Maya pays for the treatment of Aaliya, Rukhsana wants justice for her daughter. Who is the culprit?

Prajwal Chandrashekar and Suresh Triveni have written a story which has a lot of intrigue value. The duo’s screenplay is a bit long-drawn because of which the drama becomes slow at places. However, the unfolding drama keeps the audience guessing and, therefore, involved. There are some moments of tension and some twists and turns which keep the viewers guessing about what would follow. The climax is very interesting and scares the daylights out of the audience. Dialogues (by Hussain Dalal and Abbas Dalal) are realistic and some of them appeal a great deal.

Vidya Balan excels in the role of Maya Menon. Her anguish, fear, frustration, etc. look so real that one forgets that he is watching a film. Shefali Shah is also superb as Rukhsana. She too conveys a variety of emotions extremely naturally, and lives the role of the maid. Manav Kaul makes his presence beautifully felt as Maya’s ex-husband. Master Surya Kasibhatia shines as Maya’s son, Aayush. Rohini Hattangady leaves a fine mark as Maya’s mother. Iqbal Khan lends able support as Maya’s business partner. Vidharti Band is first-rate as the trainee journalist working in Maya’s office. Shafeen Patel has his moments as Rukhsana’s son. Kashish Rizwan leaves a fine mark as Rukhsana’s daughter. Shrikant Yadav is outstanding as cop More whose daughter’s marriage is fixed. Ghanshyam Lalsa is fair as cop Pradeep. Vijay Nikam lends nice support as the politician. Gurpal Singh is natural as the judge. Sharad Yadav makes his mark as Rukhsana’s husband. Junaid Khan (as Aaliya’s boyfriend), Sahil Brown (as the person who Rukhsana slaps repeatedly), Trushant Ingle (as the politician’s son) and the others are adequate.

Suresh Triveni’s direction is very good. His narrative style keeps the audience engrossed and participating in the guessing game. Gaurav Chatterji’s music is fair while his background score is effective. Saurabh Goswami’s cinematography is very nice. Production designing (Ajay Chodankar and Vipin Kumar) is upto the mark. Shivkumar V. Panicker’s editing is reasonably sharp.

On the whole, Jalsa has an intriguing story and wonderful performances to make for interesting OTT viewing.

Released on 18-3-’22 on Amazon Prime Video.