‘Jalsa’ is a film which audiences will rightfully have been looking forward to, mainly due to it bringing together two actresses who are much admired; Vidya Balan and Shefali Shah. Aside from this, director Suresh Triveni was trying out the thriller genre for the first time in a story which looked both heartbreaking and suspenseful.
Maya Menon (Balan) is a renowned TV journalist but after a tough but successful day and a late night drive back, she has an accident with a girl on her journey. However, little does she know that it’s her maid Ruksana’s (Shah)
daughter. She doesn’t stop to help and then goes about trying to figure out how to deal with the situation and overcome her fear, not able to decide whether she should open up about the truth or not.
Triveni has worked with Balan before in the much loved ‘Tumhari Sulu’ in 2017. His versatility as a director is shown once more with ‘Jalsa’ which is a world apart from the 2017 film. He brings about the human side of the story through the emotions of the main characters and this is what makes ‘Jalsa’ interesting, in the most part. The viewer is absorbed by the contradictory characters and wants to know how the story will pan out. Some scenes are memorable too, but it is ultimately the way Triveni has got the actors to emote which really captures the audience and the story.
Balan and Shah are absolutely fantastic as Maya and Ruksana, as expected. Both actresses are already powerhouses in their own rights but ‘Jalsa’ brings them together and it’s a relief that never does one cancel the other out. They are both so endearing to watch and their raw emotions are easy to identify with even if their actions may not be. The other actors such as Iqbal Khan and Manav Kaul add to the mix and Rohini Hattangadi as Maya’s mother is a real joy to see on the screen.
The only thing that really lets ‘Jalsa’ down a little is the intricacies of the story which often make you lose attention. But it’s never for long as the performances bring you back each and every time. The suspense aspect is definitely to blame for this, so to speak, because with such a story, there’s a lot to explore and put forward but with ‘Jalsa’ it’s thankfully not lost in translation or in the detail.
Watch ‘Jalsa’ to see Balan and Shah at their best and feeding off one another on screen. Watch it if you want an intriguing story to get your teeth into which pulls you in and keeps you at the edge of your seat.
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