Cinegoers have witnessed escapist cinema for years but along side comes a film that makes you think. Jhalki is one such film.
Director Brahmanand S Siingh and co-director Tanvi Jain's interpretation shakes you up completely. Prakash Jha, Kamlesh Kunti Singh, Brahmanand S Siingh and Tanvi Jain's story makes you sit up to the harsh realities of human-trafficking & child-labour. Certain films can really change the way you cogitate about an issue. Jhalki is one such film. Sensitively handled by director Brahmanand S Siingh and co-director Tanvi Jain, Jhalki is a a purposeful film. The story is straight out of newspaper & television headlines. In that respect, the movie would be identified more by an Indian cinegoer. More than anything else, the two directors ought to be complimented for having the courage to make this kind of cinema. A number of scenes in leave you spellbound and the rustic locales only give the film a distinct flavour. In a nutshell, Jhalki will come across as a shocker to those traditional Indian audiences who have grown up on the staple diet of sugar-coated romances & feel-good/sunshine/escapist cinema. You ought to have a strong stomach to absorb a film like Jhalki.
On the flip side, Jhalki caters to a niche audience. The film has an episodic feel to it. It also gets repetitive and lacks the intense moments because it evokes a wide variety of emotions at the same time -- anger, rage, disgust, abhorrence, revulsion and anxiety. Jhalki has the power to win awards. But box-office rewards and a mandate from the aam junta will elude it. The lethargic pacing will also go against it. It is non-committal when it comes to actual movements & its own premise. Also, in a serious, issue-driven film like Jhalki, the scenes of comedy only take away from the seriousness of the narrative. The culmination to the story does not evoke any real emotion within the audience. It also tends to get dry and heavy at regular intervals.
Jhalki boasts of some of the most talented names on and off screen. The performances are truly spellbinding. Divya Dutta, Boman Irani, Sanjay Suri, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Joy Sengupta and Govind Namdev succeed in making the proceedings life-like. Aarti Jha walks away with the glory, delivering one of the finest performances the Indian screen has seen from a child actor. All in all, an award winning act! Goraksha Sakpal leaves a lasting impression. The child actor manages to register a strong impact.
On the whole, Jhalki will cater to the connoisseur of qualitative cinema. The two directors will win praises but the film's appeal will be restricted to the elite at select multiplexes. Awards yes, box-office rewards no!