Cast: Rani Mukherjee, Vidya Balan, Myra Karn, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub, Neil Bhoopalam, Rajesh Sharma
Director: Rajkumar Gupta
Music: Amit Trivedi
Producers: UTV Spotboy
Ratings: * * * 1/2
Not so very long ago, the infamous Jessica Lall murder case united the whole nation in the fight to nail the culprits. Almost everyone is aware of the incident and its consequences. So, if a filmmaker tries to portray the whole issue on celluloid right from scratch till the end when the culprits are convicted, it requires much more than dedication. Thankfully, such dedication is visible in Rajkumar Gupta’s No One Killed Jessica, a film that successfully blends the apathy of Jessica Lall’s family, protest and unity of the nation and more importantly the height of corruption in India.
The film focuses on how Sabrina Lall (Vidya Balan) struggles to get justice for her deceased sister Jessica Lall (Myra Karn), who was shot dead by Manu Sharma (Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub), (who is named in the film Manish Bhardwaj) and how she is helped by TV news reporter Meera Gaity (Rani Mukherjee).
Apart from directing the tale with sincerity, Gupta also achieves perfection in the very vital task of writing the screenplay and dialogues. Vital because in such real life cases the writer has the mammoth task of making sure that the proceedings don’t appear like a documentary or a docudrama and Gupta succeeds in that as he narrates the real-life story while keeping in mind the elements needed for a feature film. The filmmaker, who debuted with the critically acclaimed Aamir is here to stay.
The film doesn’t merely show how Sabrina struggled to get justice. It also gives a strong message of how the citizens should make sure that justice is done. Having said that, it might not be appreciated by those folks who are hungry for entertainment as in some portions it just lacks a strong punch.
Although there isn’t much scope for music, songs Dilli Dilli and Aitbaar manage to fit well in the plot and have a lasting impact. Music director Amit Trivedi once again does well.
Both Vidya Balan and Rani Mukherjee give one of their career best performances. Vidya portrays the helplessness of Sabrina Lall with utmost maturity. The way she struggles and moves from pillar to post is sure to move everyone.
On the other hand, Rani is impeccable in a never-seen-before avatar of a foul-mouthed bindaas journo. This performance of hers deserves thumbs up and will surely be talked about forever. Although Myra Karn doesn’t have a full fledged role, she impresses in her debut and shows a lot of confidence.
Debutant Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub does very well in the difficult role of the culprit. Neil Bhoopalam, another debutant, also impresses. The film also contains first rate performances from the supporting cast.
No One Killed Jessica has a strong chance of having a Rang De Basanti effect on the masses. It will rely strongly on word-of-mouth and would succeed if that happens.