Of the many unexplored genres in Indian cinema, a musical film is one of the most least touched upon and also the least expected one! By musical, I don’t mean a film like Rockstar (2011) or Jab Harry met Sejal (2017) that were filled with a huge number of songs. By musical, it involves the music having a noteworthy part to be played in the narration. In fact, it would be the medium for narration in most musical films.
There are quite a lot of musical films like sound of music (1965), West Side story ( 1961) and many more. The most recent one to follow this list is the academy award winning la la land (2016). When such is the number of films being shot in this genre, the question of why this isn’t happening in india obviously ponders in one’s mind. The reason is, the amount of recognition and acceptance that these films are awarded there are worth more than anything. Why couldn’t a film like jagga jasoos sustain at the box office? Let me tell you why it should’ve sustained more than most of the films in the theatres right now.
It’s way more different than la la land!
Jagga jasoos is one of the most beautifully captured musical-adventure films that’s very rare to find even in world cinema. In such a scenario, a film of that kind being attempted in indian cinema itself deserves a pat on shoulders of the makers. This film is very unique than any of the musicals that we’ve watched all this time. Let me give you an example. Take la la land for instance. Many of us would’ve at least once questioned the presence of a song every now and then after each scene. Well, that’s the liberty that one gets on opting this genre. You could place it anywhere in between your scene and no question against you is going to matter you anyway!
This is where Jagga Jasoos stands out largely. The film answers all your questions firmly. This film offers you with a reason for having songs throughout the film. The protagonist of this film has an habit of stuttering while speaking but is able to sing without stuttering. Hence, all of his dialogues are in the form of songs as he chooses to sing while talking. This is exactly done in most musicals- the characters talk while singing (even in la la land) but this is the first film to offer you with a justification for it.
It isn’t a boring slow-paced musical that we are used to.
Most musicals are not enjoyable by all the sections of audience because of the very slow pace. But let me tell you, this is one of the most fast moving musical films that has been done. So, it’s going to be enjoyable and engaging for all kinds of audience. Obviously right? How can a detective story not be engaging enough? But, how many musicals have a detective story to it? Jagga jasoos has! The music is the medium that anurag basu has chosen to tell this detective story quite differently. And the narrative pattern followed in this film is not something that one gets to watch every time in an usual film.
Striking resemblances with Vikram Vedha?
This film has some striking resemblances to vikram vedha (2017) ! Like vikram vedha, this film also has a mythological connect (which doesn’t constitute the main core plot like in vikram vedha) that has a strong say in the story. The film rightly links this concept right from the start until the end of the story (I’m talking about the red circle theory in buddhist philosophy). In fact, jagga jasoos released before vikram vedha. But how many of us noticed this? Or even, how many of us noticed this resemblance after vikram vedha’s release? I’m asking this question because, vikram vedha was highly appreciated for linking the mythological concept rightly until the end of the film. But why wasn’t this film talked about for that then?
Why couldn’t we notice the mythological connect during the time of it’s release?
One of the reasons for this connect being hardly noticeable by the most of us is that this film dealt with a lot many things than one would actually expect in a single film! Firstly, it spoke about the ‘infamous purulia arms drop case’. Then it introduced us to a tintin like character in indian cinema! Then, it used music as a tool for it’s narration for the most part! On above of all of this, it had a non-linear screenplay pattern. How many of us are used to non-linear narrative in a musical? During the course of all of this, we could’ve somewhere not given much of a thought to that aspect.
If at all there was one thing bad (can’t say bad actually) in this film was the haphazard arrangement of scenes which could be a problem for some and might be enjoyable by some! Taking into accounts of the aspects where this film stood out largely from many films (even english musicals), it could even be Indian cinema’s pride.
This film had got rave reviews from critics, yet failed to succeed at the box office. Only when they get acceptance from us, they would want to give us more right?