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    Thread: Jana Gana Mana

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      thanks

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      Thanks Aravind...Another beautiful review...

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      Quote Originally Posted by anukutty View Post
      Thanks Aravind...Another beautiful review...
      Thank you..

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      Quote Originally Posted by Aravind Krishnan View Post
      Venue: Netflix

      Jana Gana Mana was an exciting film for me right from that memorable teaser long ago which involved a face-off between the Driving Licence Duo-Suraj Venjaramoodu and Prithviraj Sukumaran. This duo was the main attraction in what seemed a really promising movie.

      Jana Gana Mana bravely puts the viewer in the midst of the encounter killing of 4 suspects in an alleged rape and murder of a college professor. The movie has effectively questioned our notion of ‘instant justice’, the media trials and the audience giving a verdict before that of the court. The film’s biggest strength is a long overdue critique of the much-celebrated police encounter killing of 4 suspects which was highly disturbing when it had happened. For this alone the makers deserve kudos. Jana Gana Mana takes us through three acts with varying degrees of success and for the most part, the narrative is engaging enough.

      Act One is the students’ fight for justice against the dead professor Sabha (Mamatha Mohandas) interspersed with a hurried investigation by ACP Sajan Kumar (Suraj). The sequences are a mixed bag comparing The Vice Chancellor’s chilling speech on the aftermath of the killing contrasted with the Professor sorry Director in Maharaja’s College in Kerala, a figment of idealistic imagination than anything else. With a song too many, the movie already feels stretched by the time it enters Act Two. It is only Suraj’s character arc and expressions/body language (we get he has something to hide) that makes us engaged in the proceedings.

      Act Two is the most entertaining segment as we enter the ‘courtroom’…that is if we leave our brains behind. It seems the makers wanted to take us back to school debate hour where the ‘judge' (more like schoolmaster) acts as an irate teacher scolding his students and actively intervenes in the lawyers’ arguments in such a childish manner, making the 90’s and 2000’s film courtroom sequences subtle portrayals in comparison. Honestly when looking back I have not seen such a laughably poor representation of the courtroom in film in some time. The makers make this setting one where they talk down to the audience, witnesses and spectators through the three, central male characters rather than allow the other characters to participate or talk back. It felt like one angry teacher delivering a long lecture. It also felt odd that a courtroom in Karnataka was having most of its dialogues in Malayalam when a mix of English, Hindi and Kannada along with Malayalam would have made more sense. Despite these flaws, the makers do manage to make us question how everything unfolded in the 1st half especially the varied reactions favouring quick justice and this segment is thus the strongest and most thought-provoking segment in the entire film. It needed someone of Prithviraj’s stature to forcefully wake us up from the media and political bubbles that we are part of to make us think about, why some cases make the headlines and others don’t, and so on.

      In Act Three, the makers hurriedly provide a double twist for Sajan Kumar along with a star boost for Prithviraj and his past, scenes which should have just been left for the inevitable sequel. From a structural point of view, it seemed the editor and director were enjoying the courtroom sequences so much that they let much time go by before hastily realising…’But we must conclude the film and set up the sequel!’

      The approach that Jana Gana Mana takes is rather amateurish. It felt like an extension of a long angry Facebook post by a group of angry students. Instead of making the film an intriguing thriller that effectively explains ‘How and why’ the encounter killing was just a pretend showcase for politicians and the police, the makers throw one loud speech after another in an overtly theatrical recreation of events. The result is a disjointed film, poorly structured with many scenes not having any connection to another particularly in the latter stages. Key sequences are repeated unnecessarily, reducing the overall thrill. There are many characters and unnecessary subplots involving journalists, the families of the ACP and the lawyer, which should have been cut at the editing table. Above all, Jana Gana Mana throws us a list of wailing, angry characters without letting any of them relax and breathe. The same goes for Jakes Bejoy’s loud score which grates towards the film’s latter stages.

      Coming to the performances, Suraj’s ACP Kumar takes the cake. His measured portrayal of a flawed police officer is the key redeeming factor of the film. I was not fully sold on Prithviraj’s performance as the lawyer. He had the screen presence to make an impact, but the performance felt like one long breathless monologue where he was trying too hard. His voice modulation was not up to the mark when compared to similar such portrayals in the past by the senior superstars-by this I am trying to talk about the ease at which actors move between high and low pitch dialogues. On the other hand, Shammi Thilakan briefly brought out fond memories of the mighty Thilakan in voice, appearance and body language which was a real pleasure to watch. Vincy Aloushious is sincere in a poorly written character. The other performances are a mixed bag and mostly one-note. The crucial character Sabha is too thinly written, mostly narrated in rushed flashbacks and an ordinary performance by Mamtha which does not help matters.

      Jana Gana Mana has a lot to say and high on ambition. How effective the movie is really depends on what message the audience takes out of it. I would prefer to selectively choose the questioning of instant and selective justice and media trials and leave the film once the trial concludes.

      Rating: 2.75/5
      രാജ് ഒരുപാട് കഷ്ടപ്പെട്ടിട്ടുണ്ട്.. തൊണ്ട പൊട്ടി ഞരമ്പ് വലിഞ്ഞു മുറുകി അലറുന്നുണ്ട്.. എന്തിനോ എന്തോ
      Unlearning the grammatic language of cinema!!

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