No One Killed Jessica – A Review

Inspired by a headline handpicked from The Times Of India, the murder of Delhi based model Jessica Lall forms the plot of the Rajkumar Gupta directed “No one killed Jessica”. The director seems to have got into a knack of producing critically acclaimed movies by following Aamir (2008) by No one killed Jessica (2011). The movie is produced by Spotboy.

Sabrina Lall, the sister of Jessica Lall, is on screen lived by Vidya Balan in the UTV Spotboy production. Vidya Balan excels in playing the non-glamorous sister who is in pursuit of justice for the murder of her beloved sister. While the first half is ruled by Vidya Balan, Rani Mukherjee simply takes away the second half. Rani Mukherjee, whose character is loosely related to Barkha Dutt, plays the character of Meera in the flick. Myra Karn plays Jessica Lall, and lives up to the role of a glamorous girl aspiring to be a model.

However, in context of the movie, she doesn’t have much to do, but her short lived stay doesn’t disappoint. The accused shown in the movie, named, Manish Bharadwaj, is suitably played by Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, who displays perfectly almost all the required emotions. Be it acting as the spoilt brat of an elite political family, while asking for a drink from the celebrity bartender, or be it the expressions of fear with a trembling voice and dropping sweats. Shayan Munshi, portrayed as Vikram Jai Singh in the flick, an eyewitness in the murder case is played by Neil Bhoopalam. The movie scores through its music as well. Amit Trivedi, who has earlier given music for DevD doesn’t let the movie bow down on this front.

The movie opens up with shots from Delhi, with the song on Dilli playing loud in the background which raises the expectations from the movie. The movie relates to real life situations and with effective picturization of scenes, like the one when the inspector tells Vidya Balan, “70 lakh liye the ji maine, sirf uspe lockup me haath na uthane k liye, aisa kya dekh rahe ho madam, har koi khata hai, sirf kisliye me fark hai”.

The movie is a bit slow in the first half but that is understandable since, it spends some screen time making up the plot of the movie. It succeeds in doing that as the second half is not only fast but showcases some of the most impactful scenes.

The much active and strong Sabrina Lall (Vidya Balan), who goes to any mighty extent for the sake of justice, gives way to a different and a no hope girl who has succumbed to the corrupted system and betrayal of eye witnesses. The scene where Rani Mukherjee confronts Vidya Balan and sparks in her, the will to stand up again and fight, is undoubtedly one of the scenes which make your heart skip a beat.

Well, the movie takes you through ups and downs of a woman who gives up nearly everything, who begins to lose her family members in the quest to find justice in a city where the eye witnesses also turn hostile and do no good but break down the strength of a very spirited girl to the extent that she doesn’t bother talking to anyone. However, the movie projects Delhi in good as well as bad light simultaneously.

The best thing about the movie is that it doesn’t seem alien to the ones who failed to keep track with the nearly 11-year long case. It takes you on a tour of the murder case in a very comprehensible way.

The 136 minutes are very riveting, from the sting operation to the group SMSes that emphasize a need for reviving the case, more so, because it picks up facts viz. the candle march, and is not just made up.

However, the movie lacks in some scenes which seem a bit unrealistic. But all in all, the movie not only just presents the facts the right way, but also shows an instance of the spirit of youth. With powerful acting and sending a strong message across, No one killed Jessica gives bollywood the first big hit of 2011, and India, the message that the youth has woken up.

Animesh Ganguly

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