Bobby Jasoos Movie Review by Taran Adarsh

Bobby_Jasoos Rating: 2

There’s a spurt of women-centric films. Films like NO ONE KILLED JESSICA, THE DIRTY PICTURE, KAHAANI [all three featuring Vidya Balan], FASHION, HEROINE [both helmed by Madhur Bhandarkar], ENGLISH VINGLISH and more recently, QUEEN and REVOLVER RANI [both featuring Kangna Ranaut] have encouraged a number of film-makers and writers to think beyond the clichéd, formulaic male-dominated movies. The BO triumph of a majority of those films has certainly given an impetus to the trend.

At the same time, there is a spate of detective movies in Bollywood. The year commenced with MR JOE B. CARVALHO, then SAMRAT & CO. followed, this Friday witnesses Vidya Balan donning the garb of a detective in BOBBY JASOOS, while DETECTIVE BYOMKESH BAKSHY and JAGGA JASOOS are in production stages. The genre, it is apparent, is being lapped up by storytellers. What makes it fascinating is the fact that reputed Studios/production houses as well as top of the line stars are ready to step out of the comfort zone to act in these films.

Come to think of it, we haven’t had a woman detective in Hindi films so far. Will BOBBY JASOOS trigger off a trend? Having said that, although BOBBY JASOOS narrates the story of a detective, the makers make sure they add human drama to it, which sets it apart from the detective films we have witnessed thus far. But an unenergetic screenplay acts as a roadblock. More on that later!

The premise first! Bobby [Vidya Balan] hails from a modest neighbourhood of Hyderabad. Her parents [Rajendra Gupta, Supriya Pathak] are keen she gets married, but Bobby is keen to chase her dreams of becoming a detective. She offers to work for a leading detective agency, but when things don’t work out, she starts her own detective agency — Bobby Jasoos P. Ltd.

Slowly but surely, the cases start coming in, but the cases are trivial and don’t interest her. The story takes a turn when Anees Khan [Kiran Kumar] offers Bobby to trace some missing people. Glad that she has made a beginning, Bobby grabs the offer instantly, but as she starts the investigations, she realizes something is amiss…

Unlike the protagonists of MR JOE B. CARVALHO and SAMRAT & CO., who ended up looking like a parody of Sherlock Holmes, first-time director Samar Shaikh and writer Sanyuktha Chawla Shaikh ensure they instill anxiety, the feeling of uneasiness and make the spectator impatient as the drama unfolds. Concurrently, the element of mystery is wonderfully intertwined in the narrative, which draws the audience into the world of Bobby and the case she decides to take up. The twists and turns that ensue — when Bobby realizes that this case is not as plain sailing as it appears to be — involve the spectators completely, also because the writer and director make sure the film doesn’t follow the stereotypical formula.

While much of the first half is devoted to constructing the suspense, the post-interval portions, sadly, do not live up to those lofty expectations. Sure, there are some absorbing moments and you do hope to get a shocker when the veil of suspense is finally lifted — about the missing girls and also about the true identity of Kiran Kumar. Sadly, what transpires makes you wonder, what was the chase all about? Why did those families disappear? The reasons offered by Kiran Kumar aren’t too persuasive. Furthermore, the film lacks the thrill quotient, which is so essential in a film like this.

A couple of episodes have also been elongated without much reason. The biryani episode and prior to that, the audition part could’ve been condensed for a stronger impact. Besides, the writer integrates the romantic track with the core story, but there are times when you feel it appears forced in the scheme of things. The romantic song before the climax, for instance, is like a sore thumb and could’ve been circumvented. Even otherwise, the soundtrack is nothing to hum about. The beautiful locales of Hyderabad have been captured with flourish by the DoP [Vishal Sinha].

Vidya Balan is known to walk that extra mile to get the character right. The supremely talented actress, who is seen in a variety of disguises in BOBBY JASOOS and speaks in Hyderabadi accent, is the soul of the film. She embraces the part with all the power that she can muster and is absolutely brilliant. Ali Fazal is a complete revelation. Although pitted against a powerhouse performer like Vidya, Ali makes his presence felt with a wonderful performance.

The film has a strong supporting cast, but the ones who register noteworthy performances include Rajendra Gupta [as Vidya’s father] and Kiran Kumar. Both are top notch! Surprising, talented names such as Supriya Pathak, Zarina Wahab and Tanvi Azmi are relegated to the back seat and don’t get meaty characters to leave much of an impact. Arjan Bajwa is just about okay. Aakash Dahiya and Prasad Barve [as Shetty], Vidya’s constant companions, leave a mark.

On the whole, BOBBY JASOOS has an interesting premise, but the writing plays the spoilsport. The saving grace and also the USP is Vidya Balan for sure, but is that enough to salvage the film?


  1. aryan 7 years ago

    Bobby Jasoos Movie Review by Paloma Sharma/Rediff

    Bobby Jasoos is a very confused film

    Bobby Jasoos works only because of Vidya Balan and the strong supporting cast, says Paloma Sharma.

    Here’s a case that Bobby Jasoos needs to solve — there’s film with a beginning and a middle but there is no end.

    Where did the end go?

    Bilqis urf Bobby runs her own one-woman detective agency, which sees her running through the Mughalpura mohalla of Old Hyderabad quite often — sometimes after criminals and other times from them.

    While her mother Zebo (Supriya Pathak) is encouraging and proud of her, her father has stopped speaking to her.

    According to him, Bobby (Vidya Balan) has brought shame upon the family due to her profession.

    Bobby makes do with small, often insipid cases — suspicious spouses, worried parents and even creepy, stalker-y dudes — while looking for a job in a detective agency.

    Despite being rejected several times because she has neither experience nor a Masters degree, Bobby never gives up hope.

    Eventually, her lucky day arrives when rich, mysterious Anees Khan (Kiran Kumar) offers her a large sum of money to track down girls for him.

    Bobby complies but when she finds out that the girls are missing, she becomes suspicious and goes after Khan, who turns out to be a ghost with no past.

    As far as Bobby Jasoos goes, don’t judge a film by its title.

    Bobby Jasoos is a romantic comedy/drama and although it sometimes rises to the challenge of being a mystery, it seems too confused to know where to go thereafter.

    Debutant director Samar Shaikh can’t seem to figure out how to handle the many subplots of his film, letting them fight for control and the editing does nothing to help.

    Shaikh seems more focused on the visual aspects of the film, and while the cinematographer captures Hyderabad’s essence beautifully, pretty pictures will take you only so far (and not nearly far enough).

    Bobby Jasoos relies entirely on its performances to keep it going.

    Vidya Balan is, after all, Vidya Balan and the only wrong she is capable of doing is not choosing the right script.

    Prasad Barve and Aakash D

    ahiya play Shetty, fixer of computers and owner of the local cyber cafe, and Munna, a waiter who helps Bobby get work.

    Both of them are Bobby’s friends and sidekicks, and act as the comic element in several scenes.

    Ali Fazal is adorable as Tasawur, a broadcast journalist and the local heartthrob of Mughalpura and Supriya Pathak really makes you smile as she tries to defend Bobby’s detective dreams.

    But the holes in the script are too obvious to overlook.

    Which brings us back to the case for Bobby.

    The beginning, though containing a long, absurd title track, is alright.

    Unnecessary songs (quite horribly composed, if I may add) interrupt the narration but still, the middle is interesting.

    When the mystery is revealed, it is more of a lame excuse than a closure; and then the film is over.

    But where is the end?

    Bobby Jasoos boils down to one of the worst climaxes I have ever watched. It is an end for the sake of an end, not because the story demands it to be so; and even though it is present, it does not serve its purpose.

    Bad songs, bad subplots, shabby direction make Bobby Jasoos a very, very confused film that is slightly better than a bearable watch only because of the strong heroine and the talented cast.

    Bobby might prove to be a good jasoos, but Bobby Jasoos has no clue about where it is going.


  2. Anjanpur685Miles 7 years ago

    It is a good movie if you ignore the songs and dont go with expectation that its about investigation/detective background.

    Well written and well directed.

Leave a reply

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?