If the intent is all that mattered, Jayeshbhai Jordaar would certainly have been one of the most remarkable films in recent times. It uses comedy, proven to be effective while dealing with social evils, to tell us what misogyny could lead us to. Not just that, Jayeshbhai Jordaar delves into the deep-seated issues that are linked to female infanticide. Alas!
Set in a small village named Pravingadh in the state of Gujarat, this is the story of Jayeshbhai and his family. His wife, Mudra, is pregnant for the eighth time. She has already gone through six abortions after the birth of her first child, a daughter. Jayesh’s father, the head man of the village, would not settle for anything but a boy who can take the lineage ahead. And this has brought perils to the life of Mudra, despite her loving husband. But things are bound to change this time as Jayesh decides he has had enough. Unlike the usual filmy heroes though, Jayesh is not fighting it out. He is not standing up to his family… he is merely fleeing with this pregnant wife and daughter.
Here on, the film is more or less a chase drama, laced with comedy and ample plot points that take on basic issues that come together to create a misogynist society – from domestic violence to regressive customs. One of Jayeshbhai Jordaar’s more interesting talking points is the usage of pappi (kiss) as a form of expression of love when reciprocated by both persons involved. Something that could make a relationship less one-sided and more mutual, providing both people a sense of gratification.
But despite all the great ideas, Jayesbhai Jordaar falls well short of what it could have possibly achieved. Its biggest strength unfortunately turns out to be its biggest drawback. The relentless need to keep it funny fails to keep the screenplay engaging beyond a certain limit. And suddenly you feel like you are headed for a Priyadarshan-esque ending from the early 2000s.
Screenplay irrespective, Ranveer Singh as Jayeshbhai is the life of the movie. He transforms into this character who is unknowingly a feminist, someone you would root for… and at the same time someone who is annoyingly incapable of standing up to his father. Also holding up the film is an immensely likable performance by the young Jai Vidya as the spunky internet-savvy daughter of Jayeshbhai.
Undoubtedly Jayeshbhai Jordaar has a heart. But Divyang Thakkar’s debut director does get lost in its own ambition to push as many agendas as possible. As they say, too much of everything… blah blah. Well, this film certainly is a departure from the testosterone-driven mindless action sagas we have seen scoring big off late – in case that is enough for you.
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