WION Web Team New Delhi
Jul 26, 2019, 11.18 AM
There are so many moments in director Prakash Kovelamudi's latest 'Judgementall Hai Kya' that seemed to draw references from real life. From its lines to the premise and how it portrays its lead character- the film is meta at so many levels.
The film's lead, Kangana Ranaut plays Bobby Batliwala Grewal, a half-Punjabi, half-Parsi dubbing artist who suffers from a dissociative identity disorder. She does elaborate photoshoots dressed in characters she gives her voice too and has a manager cum boyfriend Varun (the terrific Hussain Dalal) who she blames can't get her a proper role in a movie. 'Tum normal nahi ho', Varun says to Bobby right at the beginning - which serves as a forewarning to the audience on how to perceive Bobby and her antics.
She lives alone in a sprawling bungalow and is okay with the usual humdrum of her life, creating birds and flowers out of gory murder news snippets and making occasional visits to the mental asylum. Her so-called peace is disrupted when a new couple, Rima and Keshav (Amyra Dastur and Rajkummar Rao) become tenants in her house. While she is fascinated by the brooding Keshav, she is also convinced he is not what he seems to appear. Soon enough a murder takes place and Bobby is quick to blame Keshav and thus begins the chase of cat and mouse with both Bobby and Keshav trying to outdo each other as the plot takes numerous twists and turns.
Written by Kanika Dhillon, some of the film's most poignant moments seem to be drawn from Kangana's personal life. An actress who's always managed to raise eyebrows for her choice of roles as well as unhinged take on society, Kangana has seen the good and bad side of Bollywood up close and personal. She has had a love-hate relationship with many biggies in the film industry. There are moments in the film, that has Kangana's character being warned by Varun to behave properly in front of colleagues else no one would give her work- a warning that perhaps Kangana has got in real life too for speaking her mind.
While one can't help but draw parallels between the reel and real ever so often while watching the film, the taut script ensures you are glued to the seat in this psychological thriller. The film not only talks about mental health and our perception of those suffering from it- but it also subtly takes a stand on domestic violence and abuse. With a modern take on Ramayana, where Sita (Dhillon makes a cameo as a theatre actress) goes to seek Ravana herself instead of the other way round- 'Judgementall Hai Kya' gives many layers to a basic murder plot. Which is both complicated and fascinating at the same time. Sure, the many twists and turns demand your undivided attention, but in the end, it delivers a relevant message- loud and clear.
The film's twisted plot is propelled by great performances. Rao, as usual, delivers a fine, nuanced performance as a regular guy Keshav, who has to deal with too many things at the same time and outsmart Bobby and her crazy. Then there are delightful, strong performances by Hussain Dalal (who gets the best lines in the film), Amrita Puri, Jimmy Sheirgill and Amyra Dastur who in limited screen time are impactful. But the film rests on Kangana Ranaut who is in terrific form as the loony, troubled Bobby.
Bobby is not an easy person to deal with. She suffers from acute psychosis and has multiple voices speaking to her at all time. And Kangana portrays her so well that at some point you feel that two are the same people. A scene where she describes to the cops the presence of a cockroach in her house is outstanding. Just notice the glint her eyes while she explains how the bug has a role to play in the murder that has taken place. Rao ably matches with her in every scene and it's such a delight to watch the two supremely talented actors perform and outdo each other.
A special word for Daniel B. George's score which is just right for a thriller that has so many twists and turns and Prakash Kumar's camera work which beautifully captures the dark spaces inside Bobby's head. While the film has enough quirk and mystery, the second half seems a bit stretched where the narrative slackens a bit. There are also a few oddities in the plot which don't add up to the overall story but those can be overlooked for its story and the performances.
'Judgementall Hai Kya' is not a very easy watch but it is still worth your time. It is twisted, complicated and demands your attention but still manages to crack you up with its quirk. More importantly, it drives home a very relevant point- that what we perceive as normal may not be so normal after all.
Written by Kanika Dhillon, some of the film's most poignant moments seem to be drawn from Kangana's personal life.